Recipe for BLT turkey meatballs
Just when I thought I'd made every turkey meatball under the sun, I spied a few strips of leftover cooked bacon from a spinach salad, and voila! BLT turkey meatballs. The essential components of a classic bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich are all here: bacon, of course; sun-dried or slow-roasted tomatoes; parsley standing in for the lettuce; mayonnaise; and bread (crumbs). Form the meatballs small, and serve them as an appetizer. Or, make them large, and stuff a pita with lettuce, tomatoes and turkey meatballs -- a BLT inside a BLT. Turkey meatballs freeze well, so if you have time, cook a double batch. You can reheat them in the microwave for sandwiches, or add to pasta for a quick worknight dinner.
BLT turkey meatballs
Makes 30 1-inch meatballs, or 15 2-inch meatballs.
3 slices of bacon
1 lb ground turkey (I use 93% fat-free)
6 chopped sun-dried tomato halves (not oil-packed) or slow roasted tomato halves
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1 tsp dried thyme
2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 large egg
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a Silpat (silicone mat) or parchment paper, and set aside.
Cook the bacon, in a nonstick frying pan or in the oven, until crisp but not burned. Blot with paper towels to remove excess bacon fat, and cut the bacon into very small dice.
Add the bacon to a large mixing bowl with all of the remaining ingredients except the salt.
With your hands, mix just until the ingredients are incorporated evenly; do not overmix.
In the same frying pan in which you cooked the bacon, sauté a tablespoon of the meatball mixture until browned on both sides. Taste, and add salt to the meat mixture if needed. (Never taste raw turkey!)
Use a small ice cream scoop with a release (called a disher), or a tablespoon, to form the meatballs into 1-inch size. (Or, use a larger scoop to form 2-inch meatballs.) Place on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 18 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature, in a pita, just like a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Greektown turkey meatballs
Curried turkey meatballs
Turkey, cranberry and basil meatballs
Chipotle turkey meatballs
Turkey-falafel meatballs with pasta, spinach and tahini dressing
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Gluten-free turkey meatloaf with sun-dried tomatoes and pecan crust, from Gluten-free Goddess
Florentine turkey meat loaf, from Pennies on a Platter
Turkey meatballs with tomatoes and basil, from Simply Recipes
Mediterranean turkey meatballs with herbed yogurt sauce, from The Kitchn
Baked Caprese turkey meatballs with sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella and basil pesto, from Cookin' Canuck