Rating: 4.5 stars
103 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 72
  • 4 star values: 19
  • 3 star values: 7
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 3

As these turkey and rice meatballs simmer in the sauce, the rice absorbs moisture, swell ups, and creates a relatively tender, moist meatball. I didn't intend this recipe to be a Thanksgiving dinner alternative, but now that I think about it, these could actually work. These are delicious served over saffron basmati rice.

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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist
Sauce:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and oil the surface lightly.

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  • Mix ground turkey, cooked rice, garlic, parsley, egg, salt, paprika, cumin, pepper, oregano, cayenne, and olive together in a bowl using a fork. Portion mixture with a small scoop (between 1/4 and 1/3 cup) and place on prepared foil-lined baking sheet. Use your (wet) hands to form into round meatballs. Bake in preheated oven until browned, about 15 minutes.

  • Pour chicken broth and prepared tomato sauce in a saucepan. Whisk in creme fraiche, sherry vinegar, and paprika. Transfer meatballs to tomato sauce. Set heat to medium high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until tender, 60 to 90 minutes. If sauce gets too thick, add a splash or 2 of broth or water. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley, salt, and pepper.

Chef's Note:

You can also add cooked, softened chopped onion, chopped almonds, or currants to the turkey mixture.

Nutrition Facts

258 calories; protein 19.1g; carbohydrates 15.1g; fat 14.3g; cholesterol 105.7mg; sodium 1423.3mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (108)

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
02/22/2016
STOP THE BUS!!! Get off said bus, and RUN, don't walk...RUN to your kitchen and make these!!!! This recipe is a definite keeper. There were a couple of subs only because i didn't have the ingredients, and forgot one. i didn't have any creme fraiche, so i subbed low fat sour cream and and a splash of half and half. i didn't have any sherry vineagar, i used white wine vinegar and i forgot to add the oregano, so i just added it to the marinara (which i made). So delicious! i used brown basmati rice in the recipe and added some sauteed cremini mushrooms to the rice before serving. YUM! Thanks for a great recipe Chef John! Read More
(25)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
04/21/2016
I followed the recipe exactly. We did not enjoy these at all. The flavors /spices used did not work well IMO and the tomato sauce was bland and acidic. Read More
(3)
103 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 72
  • 4 star values: 19
  • 3 star values: 7
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 3
Rating: 5 stars
02/21/2016
STOP THE BUS!!! Get off said bus, and RUN, don't walk...RUN to your kitchen and make these!!!! This recipe is a definite keeper. There were a couple of subs only because i didn't have the ingredients, and forgot one. i didn't have any creme fraiche, so i subbed low fat sour cream and and a splash of half and half. i didn't have any sherry vineagar, i used white wine vinegar and i forgot to add the oregano, so i just added it to the marinara (which i made). So delicious! i used brown basmati rice in the recipe and added some sauteed cremini mushrooms to the rice before serving. YUM! Thanks for a great recipe Chef John! Read More
(25)
Rating: 5 stars
03/15/2016
This is to rnelson775, all recipes call for certain ingredients; most people who know how to cook think about what they have on hand & substitute.... REALLY! I have made numerous Chef John recipes & have never had a problem. As other viewers states I used red wine vinegar & sour cream as that is what I had on hand...Very good & will make this again! Read More
(14)
Rating: 5 stars
03/15/2016
I thought this was great. As for some other reviews and concerns over the ingredients lol look..the sherry vinegar is just cooking wine in a nutshell. You can buy a bottle of it at Walmart for heavens sake. You can even substitute it if you like easily enough with well a few things. A creme freishe is easily made with whipping cream and buttermilk right at home. None of the ingredients in this recipe are too stumping. But they do make a tasty and moist meatball and a great alternative to a beef. My family enjoyed it very much. Thank for another meal in my rotation. Read More
(9)
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Rating: 4 stars
02/25/2016
I really liked the texture of the meatballs but I found the cumin overpowered the other flavours in the sauce. I did make a few changes due to dietary restrictions and what I had on hand. I didn't have sherry vinegar so I subbed white wine vinegar as another reviewer did. I had to make it dairy free so I subbed a flavourless coconut based coffee creamer that I thickened with a 1/2 tsp of corn starch instead of the creme fraiche. There were three of us for dinner and it was rated 3 4 and 5 therefore I gave it a four. Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
02/20/2016
Excellent easy recipe turned out delicious. I did not have smoked paprika used regular paprika and threw in a teaspoon of Worcestershire to the meatball mixture. Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
04/03/2016
Sooooo good. Like others I substituted the creme fraiche and sherry vinegar with light sour cream and red wine vinegar because that is what my pantry has and left out the parsley since one of my kids is anti-green. Big hit with the adults and the kids. Definitely going into regular rotation. Read More
(4)
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Rating: 2 stars
04/20/2016
I followed the recipe exactly. We did not enjoy these at all. The flavors /spices used did not work well IMO and the tomato sauce was bland and acidic. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
04/06/2016
This recipe is awesome! Great alternative to the ho-hum Italian meatballs we always make. Family all liked it too, however next time I will cut down a smidge on the cumin & cayenne. (It was fine for my taste buds but was a tad too spicy for husband and daughter.) I made the recipe as-is except for a couple of things. I used sour cream with a bit of half-n-half because I didn't have creme fraiche, and long-grain brown rice because that's what I had on hand. As for the reviewer who complained the sauce was too boring, I used a good quality seasoned tomato/pasta sauce instead of plain tomato sauce and it turned out wonderful. And after baking the meatballs, I put them in a slow cooker to finish off instead of on the stove top (just because I had the time to do so). The meatballs were tender and the flavors were out of this world! This will definitely be made again in our house.Great recipe, thanks for posting! Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
03/14/2016
This was my first time making meatballs. These were super and very tasty. Followed recipe to a T except I didn't have sherry vinegar on hand so subbed with red wine vinegar and used pre-cooked brown rice instead of white. Served with roasted broccoli. Will make again. Thanks Chef John! Read More
(3)