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Turkey-Pork Meatballs With Feta and Fresh Herbs

  • 1/5
    Turkey-Pork Meatballs With Feta and Fresh Herbs
  • 2/5
    Add the turkey, sausage, eggs, cheese, ketchup, mint, chives, thyme, salt, and black and cayenne peppers to a large bowl, and mix until combined.
  • 3/5
    Using 1 tablespoon as a measure, scoop out the meat mixture and place on the baking sheet, spacing the meatballs about 1 inch apart.
  • 4/5
    Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, until lightly browned.
  • 5/5
    Turkey-Pork Meatballs With Feta and Fresh Herbs

Text, photos and food cooked by Michal Martinek

Nov 16, 2017

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Turkey-Pork Meatballs With Feta and Fresh Herbs

Meatballs are more of a concept than a recipe with exact measurements; all you’re really doing is throwing together some ground meat, cheese and spices, binding them together with eggs and maybe breadcrumbs. There are recipes with crazy-long ingredient lists—I have one that calls for ground beef chuck, pork shoulder and veal, with minced pancetta, and that’s just the meat part—and elaborate steps… but this is not one of them.

I was going for healthy-ish meatballs, so I used lean ground white turkey and mixed it with pork sausage to add some fat and texture. I wanted a sort of Greek/Mediterranean flavor profile, so I added feta cheese and a good amount of fresh mint, chives, and thyme.

I also wanted gluten-free meatballs, so I skipped the breadcrumbs—even though they help with binding, rolling them into balls, and keeping their shape. (Mine are not perfectly round and look like little blobs. I used a cookie scoop to portion out the meat mixture and transfer it to the baking sheet. Also, without breadcrumbs, it would be hard to brown them in a skillet, as is typical; that’s why I baked them).

I love making my own marinara sauce from scratch, and you can certainly do that. But I didn’t want to bother in this case, so I got a jar from Trader Joe’s. You can skewer the meatballs with toothpicks and serve them with crusty bread as one-bite tapas, or with spaghetti, or over steamed rice. Either way, they’re succulent and hugely satisfying. 

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  1. Serves 4–6 (yields about 48 meatballs)
  2. 1 pound ground white turkey
  3. 10 ounces sweet Italian pork sausage (about 2 sausage links), casings removed
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 1 cup finely crumbled feta cheese
  6. 1 tablespoon ketchup
  7. 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  8. 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  9. 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
  10. ½ teaspoon salt
  11. ¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  12. 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  13. 12 cups basic marinara sauce (homemade or store-bought)

1

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2

Add the turkey, sausage, eggs, cheese, ketchup, mint, chives, thyme, salt, and black and cayenne peppers to a large bowl, and mix—with either your hands or a wooden spoon—for 2–3 minutes, until combined.

3

Using 1 tablespoon as a measure, scoop out the meat mixture and place on the baking sheet, spacing the meatballs about 1 inch apart. You should have about 45–48 meatballs (you might need to use two baking sheets, depending on size). Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, until lightly browned.

4

Add the marinara to a large skillet and heat through over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and stir to combine. Serve over spaghetti, other pasta shapes, or steamed rice.

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