I love meatballs, but I stopped ordering them in restaurants because I realized that the base must be ground beef. I stopped eating red meat years ago; so I either had to give up meatballs completely, or come up with a concoction myself to satisfy my taste buds.
I have to remind you – I only measure ingredients when I bake (
But most of what I cook takes shape when I add ingredients based on the aroma. If it smells like it has enough basil, garlic or Parmesan cheese, or all of the above, it’s time to get it in the oven.
And another dilemma: how long do I cook these little balls?
I’m going to say: Check after 40 minutes. I know when they look “done”.
These 3 main ingredients that I combined are really the answer to never using ground beef again.
- 2 lb. ground turkey 85% fat free (or you can use 93%)
- 2 lb. ground sweet sausage Small Italian roll OR 2-3 pieces of bread soaked in milk (thanks Chef Barry for this tip to keep them moist)
- Parmesan cheese
- Dry basil
- Granulated garlic and onion
- Dry parsley
- Break up the bread, squish it and squeeze out the liquid, and keep it handy.
- Add the Parmesan cheese, dry basil, granulated garlic and onion, salt, pepper, dry parsley into the sausage and turkey. Mix thoroughly.
- Add squeezed out bread and continue mixing until it’s all incorporated. Note: If you can smell the cheese and garlic, you have enough. And don’t overdo the salt – the Parmesan cheese already has some, as does the sausage.
- Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper, roll out the balls, and bake in the oven at 350° until they look done (check at 35 minutes).
- Transfer to containers to refrigerate or freeze.
- You can add sauce to the container to make it a “meal in one”, or just freeze the meatballs plain.
If you are saying to yourself “she left out the bread crumbs and eggs, and you need both to make a good meatball,” I promise you that you are going to be just fine.
No eggs, No bread crumbs!