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Turkey Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

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Turkey Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

Turkey Meatballs in Marinara Sauce
Ray Kachatorian
Provided by:
total prep


  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 3 shallots finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 c dry white wine
  • 4 pounds ripe red heirloom or plum tomatoes coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 c fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Meatballs:
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1/2 c plain panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 shallots finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 T fresh flat leaf parsley chopped
  • 2 T fresh thyme chopped
  • 2 T Dijon mustard
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 1 egg (large)
  • 1/4 c canola oil
  • 1 wedge Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or other good-quality Parmesan cheese


  • Tomato Sauce
  • Heat the oil in a heavy wide pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add the shallots and garlic and sauté until tender about 2 minutes.
  • Add the thyme and bay leaf.
  • Add the wine and tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
  • Simmer very gently uncovered over medium-low heat stirring occasionally until the tomatoes break down to form a chunky sauce (you may need to add a little water during the cooking process if the sauce thickens too much) about 1½ hours.
  • Stir in the basil.
  • Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the thyme stems and bay leaf.
  • Meatballs
  • Combine the turkey breadcrumbs shallots garlic parsley thyme mustard salt and paprika in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the egg.
  • Using your hand gently mix just until blended.
  • Form the mixture into 6 to 8 meatballs.
  • Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium heat.
  • Fry the meatballs until golden brown all over about 12 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon transfer the meatballs to the tomato sauce.
  • Simmer gently until the meatballs are cooked through and the flavors are well married about 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the meatballs and the tomato sauce to serving bowls.
  • Using a Microplane rasp grater grate the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over the meatballs and serve.
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