Curried Turkey Meatballs

These meatballs are awesome.  They’re slightly sweet from the coriander and slightly spicy from the cayenne, and rounded out nicely with cinnamon and ginger and bay leaf.  They’re very firm and hold together quite well.  The sauce is thin as the meatballs are the stand-out part of this dish.  We loved these when they were first made and we had them for dinner, and they were superb left over for lunch the next day as well.  They re-heated nicely and freeze well too.


For the meatballs:

1 ½ lb ground turkey

2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

3/4 tsp garam masala

1 tsp minced ginger

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 large egg

3/4 tsp kosher salt

½ cup panko

For the sauce:

1 medium-large onion, minced

3 Tbsp canola oil

2 bay leaves

1 small piece of cinnamon stick

1 can diced tomatoes

2 tsp minced ginger

3 large garlic cloves, minced

3 cups water

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp garam masala

Kosher salt, to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 425
  • In a large bowl, mix all ingredients for the meatballs, adding 3 Tbsp of the minced onion (the remainder will go into the sauce)
  • Form meatballs the size of walnuts and bake for 20 minutes
  • In a deep sauce pan, heat the canola oil. Add the remaining onion, bay leaves and cinnamon stick and saute over medium heat until the onions are brown at the edges
  • Add the tomatoes, ginger and garlic. Cook until the oil comes to the surface, 4-5 minutes, then add 1 cup of water
  • Continue cooking until the water has evaporated, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes. Then stir constantly for 3 minutes; at this point the mixture will be a bit dry. Add the powdered spices and salt, and the remaining water. Bring to a boil, cover the pot, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 5-6 minutes
  • Set the meatballs into the sauce, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Uncover the pan and continue to cook the meatballs for 3 minutes.

curried turkey meatbals over basmati rice with collard greens

I opted to serve these over basmati rice, with collard greens and naan on the side, but they would be good wrapped in some naan (grinder-style), or over egg noodles, or quinoa as well.


Recipe adapted from a post on The Perfect Pantry

Quinoa stuffing

Yesterday’s Farmer’s market had the best selection of fruits and vegetables yet this year, so I stocked up.   I had fresh garlic and eggplant, summer squash and zucchini, farm fresh eggs, and the list could go on and on.  A few nights ago my sister-in-law was over for dinner and talking about spaghetti and meatballs (which I love).  I decided that I would make myself some meatballs this week so I grabbed some ground turkey breast meat at the grocery store.  Since Duncan woke me up at 6:00 this morning I had nothing else to do before the rest of the human world awakes, so I decided to get started on those meatballs.

I began with a saute of celery, onion, and shallot and added to that mushrooms, summer squash, zucchini, eggplant, baby spinach, fresh basil, and assorted dried herbs.  Then I tossed in some cooked quinoa and shaved over a bit of Pecorino Romano.

Quinoa stuffing

Quinoa stuffing

I took about half of this mixture and tossed it in with my ground turkey, added an egg and some herbed bread crumbs and made meatballs.  I think that I’ll mix the other half with some tomato sauce for a stuffed pepper mixture.  If it doesn’t make it into a pepper it’ll be because I ate it as a side dish to eggplant stackers.