Turkey Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

Spaghetti and meatballs

Every couple months I make a double batch of meatballs. After dinner, I put the remaining meatballs into a big freezer bag so I can pull them out as needed for quick meals. I love having another quick option for dinner when I'm short on time. 

Don't skimp on the fresh parsley – you'll be disappointed in the flavor if you omit it or substitute for dried parsley. You can either use 100% ground turkey or mix with ground pork. 

I use gluten-free bread – it's the perfect way to use up bread heels I save in the freezer. If you prefer regular bread, which is bigger, just use 4 or 5 slices.

Turkey Meatballs Recipe
You'll Need:

9 slices of gluten-free bread (or ~4-5 slices regular sandwich bread)
~1 cup water

2 pounds of ground turkey
4 eggs
1 cup Parmesan cheese
4 Tb fresh parsley, chopped fine
4 cloves minced garlic
3/4 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes (1.5 for spicy meatballs)
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Meatball Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. In a small bowl, soak the bread in water. Once saturated, tear the bread into small chunks. Squeeze out any excess liquid before you add to the meat.

3. In a large bowl, add the squeezed bread along with all other ingredients. Mix with your hands until well combined.

4. Roll into balls that are about 2" wide and place on two rimmed sheet pans. This recipe makes about 25 meatballs. 

5. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes, until thermometer of internal temp reads 165° F.

6. Put the meatballs you plan to eat that day in tomato sauce and simmer. Allow leftover meatballs to cool and then place them in a freezer bag for easy future meals. Thirty minutes before dinner, just make more tomato sauce and heat the frozen meatballs. 

gluten-free turkey meatballs

Tomato Sauce Recipe
You'll Need:
2 Tb butter
1 small onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp black pepper
24 oz can crushed tomatoes
(Fresh basil, if you have some around)

Sauce Instructions:
1. Melt butter in sauce pan over medium heat.

2. Add onion and cook until translucent, around 4 or 5 minutes.

3. Add the garlic and spices and cook until fragrant (1 minute).

4. Add the crushed tomatoes. Cover with a lid and simmer low to melt flavors. Add chopped fresh basil if you have it. 

5. If serving with meatballs, add them and allow them to heat in the sauce (covered). 

PS: This tomato sauce recipe is based on one from America's Test Kitchen.