I experimented today with this recipe by adding Parmesan and bell pepper and it turned out fantastic! Perfect for a long winter day. These meatballs are so good – beware it takes some serious effort to stop eating them. They are not your traditional meatballs as they don’t come with the sauce. Instead, they are very crispy outside yet moist inside. I would say that they are similar to crabcakes presentation-wise.
Ingredients (for 20-25 meatballs)
2 lbs. ground turkey (dark thigh meat)
1 yellow or red bell pepper
1 medium onion
2 springs green onion finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
3 slices white bread
1 cup 2% milk
1 extra large egg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3-4 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
About 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1. Put ground turkey in a large mixing bowl. Peel and grate the onion using a grater right into the bowl with the turkey. I recommend to not use a food processor for this – the texture will be much smoother if you grate the onion manually. Sprinkle the with salt, pepper, cinnamon, paprika and drizzle with Worcestershire sauce.
2. Tear off crust from the bread and put it in the cup with milk. Let it sit for a few minutes until the bread absorbs some milk and becomes soggy. Add the “milked” bread into the bowl with turkey. Discard leftover milk which hasn’t been absorbed by the bread. Mix the turkey with the bread and spices until smooth.
3. Dice bell pepper into very small pieces (about 1/4 inch) and add to the turkey mixture. Break the egg into the mixture and add Parmesan cheese. Add finely chopped parsley and green onion. Mix everything well. The mixture should be very moist yet still hold its shape if rolled into meatballs. If you find the mixture too moist so it’s very difficult to shape meatballs, add a few tablespoons of breadcrumbs.
4. Spread 3-4 tablespoons of breadcrumbs on the plate. Start shaping meatballs and coat each of them with breadcrumbs. Heat vegetable oil in a large non-stick skillet and begin to fry meatballs in batches . I usually cook them in two skillets, it’s just faster. Fry meatballs 3-4 minutes on each side. When meatballs look golden brown and crispy, transfer them to a plate. I always change the oil before I add another batch of meatballs because it gets smelly and burns. Just wipe the skillet with the paper towel before adding a new batch of meatballs.
5. Once all the meatballs are fried, arrange them on the baking dish or tray and put in the preheated oven at a broil setting for about 15 minutes. Serve with potatoes or your favorite side.