Turkey lemon meatballs

Meatballs aren't just meant for beef and red sauce!

These are lighter by using turkey, but no less flavorful.

Then there's the sauce of lemon and mustard that is both tangy and sumptuous, add in the buttery castelvetrano olives and fresh basil and it's just a lovely summery version of meatballs.

The biggest thing about making turkey meatballs is you need to be sure to get moisture into your meat mixture. Beef has so much more fat and that's what keeps the meat moist when it cooks.

This recipe has a 1/2 onion that's grated into your mixing bowl, this is an important step because you want the onion to be very fine and all the juices that come from grating, there is also lemon juice, mustard, and olive oil.

You could put these over rice, steamed spinach, mashed potatoes, a toasted roll or the obvious pasta!

I usually choose pasta just because I like something to soak up that yummy sauce, well that and my hubby is Italian and pasta is always the choice..lol

These are delicious the next day as well, making them a great make ahead dish for company.


Turkey lemon meatballs

Serves 4-6

Prep and cook 45 minutes


2 lbs ground turkey

1/2 cup panko

Zest and juice from 1 lemon

1/2 onion grated (grate into mixing bowl to include the juice of the onion)

1 Tb olive oil + extra for pan frying meat balls

1 Tb Italian seasoning

1 Tb Worcestershire sauce

2 Tb Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste


1 heaping Tb minced garlic

2 Tb fresh chopped parsley or 1 Tb dried

Zest and juice of 2 lemons

2 Tb Dijon mustard

1/2 onion finely diced

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

3/4 cup white wine

3 Tb butter

1/2 cup halved castelvetrano olives

15 basil leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

For the meat balls mix all ingredients together until well combined.

Grated onion will be very fine with juice this adds both flavor and moisture.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add enough olive oil to cover the bottom depending on skillet size about 3 Tb.

Cook meatballs in batches until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes a side. Putting them on a plate lined with a paper towel as they are finished cooking.

Cover to keep moisture in and cook through without over cooking the outside.

Once the meatballs have all been cooked, add the onion and garlic to the pan and let go for a minute or so to release their oils. Add in the white wine and scrape up all those browned bits that are on the pan from cooking your meatballs...that's all flavor! Let reduce for about 5 minutes, then whisk in the mustard, lemon juice and zest, parsley, chicken stock and cooked meatballs. Let cook for another 5-6 minutes to reduce and thicken slightly.

Take off the heat and stir in the butter, the olives and tear the basil leaves over the top.


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