What's not to love about moist and tender homemade Italian meatballs? Because they're made with lean turkey, they're lower in saturated fat, too! —Mary Berg, Lake Elmo, Minnesota
Recommended: 37 Marvelous Meatball Recipes
VERIFIED BY Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 3 slices white bread, torn into small pieces
- 1/2 cup fat-free milk
- 2 pounds lean ground turkey
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 teaspoons Italian seasoning, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon pepper, divided
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 medium green pepper, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes in puree
- 2 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- Hot cooked pasta
- Additional minced fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese, optional
- Preheat broiler. Combine bread and milk in a large bowl; let stand until liquid is absorbed. Add next five ingredients, 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls; place on a greased rack of a broiler pan. Broil 5-6 in. from heat until lightly browned, 4-5 minutes.
- In a 6-qt. slow cooker, mix the next six ingredients and remaining Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Add bay leaves and meatballs; gently stir into sauce.
- Cook, covered, on low until meatballs are cooked through, 4-5 hours. Discard bay leaves. Serve with pasta; if desired, sprinkle with additional parsley and Parmesan cheese.
- Freeze option: Omitting additional parsley and Parmesan cheese, freeze cooled meatball mixture in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Microwave, covered, on high in a microwave-safe dish until heated through, stirring gently and adding a little water if necessary. If desired, sprinkle with additional parsley and Parmesan. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Italian Turkey Meatballs in Taste of Home Everyday Slow Cooker & One Dish Recipes Annual 2017, p28