Time for a healthy flavorful dish using ground turkey, sundried tomatoes, basil and the secret ingredient… smoked fontina cheese. The original version of this recipe was first made for me by my best friend in college, and they were in the form of a turkey burger, but these meatballs are a fun twist. We loved them because they were light, super flavorful, easy to throw together, and gave us a great excuse to drink beers out on our porch around the BBQ. : )
I love these meatballs because they can be used in so many different ways. Serve them on their own as an appetizer, add them to traditional spaghetti, or serve them as sliders on hawaiin buns.
There only substitution as far as the ingredients go if you want to turn them into burgers, is to leave out the eggs. Then simply form them into patties and cook them on the grill! : )
Ok, here it goes…
Start with a shallot, or two if yours are smaller like mine were.
Chop it up and add it to olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Season with a little salt and pepper.
Cook the shallots for a few minutes until they begin to caramelize, set aside.
Next, chop up 3 – 4 cloves of garlic. I tend to add a lot of garlic when a recipe calls for it, you could use less for a milder garlic flavor.
Next chop up 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes.
On to the good stuff. The cheese.
When I first made these with the college roomies, we only used parmesan. Probably because that’s all we could afford. However one time I was lucky enough to accidently add smoked fontina I had leftover in the fridge, and I’ve never gone back. The rich smoky flavor takes these meatballs over the top.
Grate them up. About 1/4 cup parmesan and 1/2 cup smoked fontina.
Next is the basil. Give it a good julienne.
And then a good chop.
And then add everything to a big mixing bowl; the shallots, garlic, sundried tomatoes, basil, cheese, and two eggs.
If you were making burgers, this is the part where you would leave out the egg. For the meatballs the eggs help to bind everything together, and you don’t need that same texture for the burgers.
Give all this a mix before adding the meat.
Then add the turkey.
Season with a little salt and pepper, and mix everything together.
I divide the meat into four sections, and make three meatballs out of each quarter for 12 total.
Cook them in a NON STICK pan with olive oil over medium heat.
The cheese will melt and begin to brown, if you don’t use a non stick pan, the cheese can get very messy in the bottom of your pan.
Cook for about 8-10 minutes on each side rotating a little bit to get all the sides brown.
And there you have it….
Beautiful flavorful cheesy turkey meatballs.
I like them with a little marinara.
And all the ingredients keep the turkey from drying out on the inside.
- 1 1/4 lbs lean ground turkey
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes in oil
- 1/4 cup basil, chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup smoked fontina cheese, grated
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, add chopped shallot and cook stirring occasionally until the shallots begin to caramelize. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Chop the garlic, basil, and sundried tomato and add all to a mixing bowl. Grate cheeses and add to the bowl along with the cooked shallots and two eggs. Stir to combine.
- Add the ground turkey and season lightly with salt and pepper. Mix everything together.
- Form twelve meatballs and cook in a non-stick pan over medium heat about 8-10 minutes per side, rotating the meatballs so they brown evenly.
- Can be served with marinara sauce, in spaghetti, as sliders, or are perfect on their own!
I shared this recipe at the following fabulous blogs: