Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spicy Turkey Meatballs with Brown Gravy and Couscous

Spicy Turkey Meatballs

On its own, turkey can be a little bland.  I don't think anyone gets terribly excited about a turkey burger instead of a juicy beef burgerTurkey is never really what I think about at Thanksgiving - I'd rather taste all the holiday side dishes that go along with it - but I do love leftover turkey soup and sandwiches.

It is a healthy, lean protein, though, so when we make lasagna or spaghetti sauce with meat, we try to use ground turkey instead of ground beef or pork.

Spicy Turkey Meatballs

Because it doesn't have a lot of flavor on its own, it's a blank canvas for other flavor additions, like the jalapeno, onion and spices I added to these meatballs.  To make the meatballs taste a little richer than they actually are, I used low-sodium beef broth to make a light gravy to spoon over them.

Served with a spoonful of couscous, it was a satisfying and healthy dinner.  How do you like to use ground turkey for dinner?

Spicy Turkey Meatballs

Turkey Meatballs with Brown Gravy and Couscous
printable recipe

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, minced
  • 2 jalapenos, minced (seeds discarded)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • salt and pepper, to taste 

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed, deep skillet, such as an enameled cast iron pan.  In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs, then shape into 12-15 meatballs.  Sear meatballs in the hot oil, turning every few minutes, until golden brown on every side.  Transfer to a plate and cover with foil.

To make the gravy, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the onion to the pan.  Saute for 2-3 minutes until the onion is soft.  Add the garlic and flour and stir to combine, then gradually add the beef broth and water.  Place the meatballs in the liquid.  Simmer over medium to medium/high heat for 10-15 minutes until the broth has reduced by half into a gravy-like sauce, and the meatballs are cooked through.  As you reduce the sauce, frequently spoon it over the meatballs to keep them moist.

Serve over hot couscous, rice or mashed potatoes.

Yields 4-6 servings.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen


  1. I made these this weekend and have to say they were very tasty!

    I made one modifications to the receipe to make it a bit healthier and filled with fibre. Subbed out the breadcrumbs for a combination of oat bran and ground flaxseed. The taste was still great but the meatballs were very wet so next time I will have to add more oat bran to help them hold together better.

    Keep the recipes coming!

  2. Susan,
    Your modification sounds great! I've been eating a flourless bread lately that's rolled in flax seeds, and I really enjoy the taste of them, so I'm sure they were great in the meatballs.

  3. I'm excited to try this recipe for Christmas dinner! But one big question....where did you get the fork in the picture. I need new silverware and love the pattern!! :) Thank you!

    1. It was a while ago, but I'm pretty sure I found that at World Market.


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