Turkey, Mozzarella & Beet Green Meatballs 

I’ve got to say, I am having THE BEST time experimenting in the kitchen as a newly omnivorous cook!

I keep bookmarking all sorts of recipes, and every so often one gets really stuck in my head.  These Turkey Meatballs from Bon Appétit totally got me fixating. I loved the idea of warm and homey tomato sauce, and being able to have it as a main meal with a healthy and hearty protein.

This is the tomato sauce I use for just about everything — lasagna, pasta dishes, and pizza sauce!  And now it’s great for turkey meatballs too!

Instead of going with the spinach, I used beet greens, as they came with a bunch of beets in my veggie box, and were too gorgeous not to use up!  But you could also use a package of frozen spinach (10 oz) or a clamshell of baby spinach here.

Mr. KitchenOperas and I enjoyed these 2 at a time, swimming in a bowl of sauce.  We loved the anise flavour from the fennel seeds to complement the ground turkey — I wouldn’t make them any other way!

Turkey, Mozzarella & Beet Green Meatballs
Inspired by Bon Appétit’s Turkey-Spinach Meatballs, Serves 4.

Marinara Sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter

Turkey Meatballs

  • 500g lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 bunch of beet greens
  • 1 egg
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil, for brushing the balls


Begin by making the Marinara Sauce:
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, sweat the onions over low heat until they are translucent.  Add the oregano, basil, paprika, sea salt, and diced tomatoes, and bring to a boil over medium heat.

Turn the heat down to low, and simmer the sauce for 30-45 minutes.  Add the butter, and stir.

Make the Turkey Meatballs:
Preheat the broiler.

While the sauce is simmering away, mix together all of the ingredients for the Turkey Meatballs (except the olive oil) in a large bowl.  Scoop out the turkey mixture by the 1/4 cup, and form into balls with your hands (I got 12 balls).

Place the balls onto a parchment-line baking sheet, and brush with the olive oil.

Broil the meatballs, turning every 5 minutes, until browned all over and cooked through (ground turkey is safe at 165°F), about 15-18 minutes. 

Finish the dish:
Add the turkey meatballs to the marinara sauce and serve hot!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Categories: Gluten-Free, Main Course, Poultry, Sauce


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3 Comments on “Turkey, Mozzarella & Beet Green Meatballs ”

  1. Monika
    November 26, 2015 at 9:36 am #

    Sounds delish ! Did you mortar and pestle the fennel seeds ? Monika Ps. hope ur mom got s few so she didn’t have to be a one armed chef for a meal. 🙂

    Sent from my iPhone


    • November 27, 2015 at 9:01 pm #

      Hey Monika! I just stuck the fennel seeds in whole — the flavour did indeed come through. 🙂


  1. Gluten-Free Crappy Dinner Party Recipes | Kitchen Operas - September 23, 2016

    […] your marinara sauce simmer away while you do other things.  I am currently in love with these Turkey Meatballs as they have fennel and Mozzarella and beet […]

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