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It’s no secret that I need most of my meals to be quick, nutritious, and tasty. This one fits the bill and is in a regular rotation in our house! I can get it on the table in an hour (or less with prep ahead) and is always a member of the “clean plate club” with my entire family (well, except my mom, but she can substitute beef or we can just tell her it’s not turkey…ha!).
If you’ve made spaghetti and meatballs before (and really, who hasn’t?), you can create this with ease. It’s essentially the same method as a traditional meatball but I played with flavor profiles to imitate take-out without all the grease and added sodium. Start with a large bowl and add ground turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, chopped onion, onion powder, pepper, sesame seeds, cilantro, and a splash of extra virgin olive oil. Running late tip: If you don’t normally use ginger, break off a small piece in the grocery store since it’s sold by weight. I buy a medium size piece, peel the whole thing and keep in in a freezer bag in the freezer. I take it out and grate it frozen when needed and it still gives that zip of fresh ginger and won’t go bad quickly. It’s important not to overmix a meatball, so I recommend doing it with your hands and use a folding motion to incorporate all your ingredients without “squishing” it too much.
Once everything is combined, form your meatballs! I do it by hand, making 1 inch balls, but you can use a spoon or ice cream scoop for uniformity if you prefer. (You can also make miniature ones for an appetizer, just reduce the cook time by at least 5 minutes.) Place the meatballs on a cookie sheet (spray with cooking spray if it’s not a non-stick surface) about 1 inch apart and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, turning them around the 20 minute mark (if desired but not necessary if your hands are full!).
I typically serve these with brown rice and roasted broccoli. Timing-wise it works out perfectly. I read a bunch of studies and articles about arsenic in rice and got paranoid. Crazy I know. But if you share my neurosis, this is the rice I now buy because it’s sourced in California where they haven’t found arsenic in the product. It’s also delicious.
You can make the rice ahead of time or just start it before you even begin forming the meatballs. This way, it’s done at the same time as your meal. Broccoli will roast in the oven simultaneously with the meatballs and finishes at the same time. Talk about convenience!
For the sauce to top them I take the store bought shortcut. Hoison sauce is essentially asian BBQ sauce and it is awesome! Just read the ingredients on the bottle and aim for one without MSG (monosodium glutamate). For this recipe, I just use the sauce as is and thin it with just a few drops of water or rice wine vinegar and drizzle over the top of the meal. Build a bowl with rice on the bottom, layer the meatballs and broccoli, and top with a drizzle of sauce.
Let me know if you try it and if you put your own spin on it! Tag me in your creations and feel free to add this to your pinterest for easy access! Enjoy!
Asian Turkey Meatballs
- 1 package ground turkey (1.25-1.35 lbs)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1.5 tsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated or minced
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp dried cilantro (rub in your hand to activate oils and improve flavor)
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 Tbsp plain bread crumbs
- a splash of extra virgin olive oil
- Hoison sauce (about 1/4 cup) for topping (plus a few drops of water to thin)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine ingredients from turkey through extra virgin olive oil using your hands. Once combined, form one inch meatballs and place on a cookie sheet (sprayed with cooking spray if not a non-stick surface).
- Bake for 25 minutes, turning after 20 minutes, if desired (creates a crunch on both sides).
- Serve over rice and top with Hoison sauce that has been thinned with a few drops of water.