The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Turkey Meatballs in Spicy Tomato Basil Sauce with Fresh Mozzarella

4.75 Mitt(s) 4 Rating(s)4 votes, average: 4.75 out of 54 votes, average: 4.75 out of 54 votes, average: 4.75 out of 54 votes, average: 4.75 out of 54 votes, average: 4.75 out of 5

Prep:

Cook:

Level: Easy

System:

4

Description

Tender, flavorful turkey meatballs in a simple, spicy tomato basil sauce and melty fresh mozzarella.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE MEATBALLS:
  • 1-½ pound Lean Ground Turkey
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • ¼ cups Breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Basil, Minced
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1-½ teaspoon Dijon Mustard (see Note*)
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • ¼ teaspoons Black Pepper
  • ¼ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper (Optional)
  • FOR THE SAUCE:
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • ½ teaspoons Red Chile Flakes (or To Taste)
  • 1 can (15oz Can) Plain Tomato Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • Salt To Taste
  • 6 ounces, weight Fresh Mozzarella, Cubed
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Basil, Chiffonade
  • 1 package Your Favorite Pasta, 16 Ounce Package, Prepared Per Package Instructions

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment.

Into a large bowl, add the ground turkey, eggs, breadcrumbs, oregano, basil, cumin, mustard, salt, garlic powder, pepper, and cayenne, if using. Mix together until combined. Shape mixture into 1-inch meatballs and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes until cooked through and browned.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by heating the olive oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and pepper flakes and stir and cook for one minute, or until fragrant but without browning the garlic. Add tomato sauce to the pan, followed by sugar and salt. Turn heat to medium-low and allow to simmer until the meatballs are finished baking.

When the meatballs are done, add them to the skillet with the sauce. Gently spoon the sauce over the meatballs to coat. Sprinkle the fresh mozzarella over top and allow to cook 5 more minutes or so until the cheese melts. Sprinkle the fresh basil over top and serve over pasta cooked al dente.

Notes:
I have also used 1 teaspoon of dry mustard in place of the Dijon mustard in this recipe.

Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen.

One Comment

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Avatar of Shawna C

Shawna C on 4.24.2013

I’m hoping these hold together without the egg (my son is allergic) because they look delish and I’d love to give them a try!

4 Reviews

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Avatar of mayasmom

mayasmom on 1.23.2014

I doubled the recipe for our big family. I was hesitant to use the cayenne and red pepper flakes but they make the dish in my opinion. My family loved the melted fresh mozzarella. As always your recipe is great!

Avatar of Helen

Helen on 11.13.2013

I have been searching for a good turkey meatball recipe and I finally found it!!! These are so moist and flavorful! I doubled the recipe to have leftovers to freeze and omitted the mustard (I didn’t have any on hand) and they turned out wonderful I will definitely be making these again!!

Avatar of Shawna C

Shawna C on 4.27.2013

I used my own sauce, but used this meatball recipe and finished as instructed with the mozzarella and basil. I had to leave the eggs out of the recipe as my son has an allergy, but used a splash of chicken broth to moisten the mix instead. I also included a handful of baby spinach, chopped fine, in order to boost the veggie content a bit.

The end product was great and I got rave reviews from my husband and both kids – not something that happens very often! I’ll definitely be using this recipe again!

Avatar of twowowies

twowowies on 4.12.2013

The flavor of the meatballs was fantastic! I have been looking for a turkey meatball with flavor and moist texture and these fit the bill. I added the cayenne to the meat but did not add pepper flakes to the sauce. Personal preference. I had a 14.5 oz can of petite diced tomatoes with olive oil and garlic so I pureed that for the sauce and it was delicious. Next time, and there will be a next time, I will use two cans as we like more sauce. I think I will shred the mozz instead of cubed. Good job!

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