I have a theory about turkey meatballs: you can mix anything from your pantry with ground turkey, and create great meatballs. Okay, maybe not anything, but except for Nutella, I can't think of a pantry staple that wouldn't work. Our latest incarnation, Moroccan turkey meatballs, features ground-chickpea falafel mix in place of breadcrumbs. The warm spices of ras el hanout -- cinnamon, cardamom and turmeric -- give these meatballs the sultry flavor of North Africa, and the dark appearance of... rocks! Oh, well. Forgive the strangely yellowish-brown color, and serve these meatballs in a salad, in a pita stuffed with hummus, or with roasted vegetables and couscous.
Moroccan turkey meatballs
Makes 12 large meatballs.
For the ras el hanout:
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp turmeric
1-1/2 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
3/4 tsp ground cloves
For the meatballs:
1 lb ground turkey (I use 93% fat-free)
1/2 cup falafel mix or dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I use 0% fat)
1 large egg
3 Tbsp ras el hanout (above)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
1 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a Silpat (silicone liner) or parchment paper, and set aside.
Mix the ras el hanout ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, falafel mix or bread crumbs, yogurt, egg, 3 tablespoons of the ras el hanout (you'll have a bit left over), salt, pepper, olive oil and parsley. With your clean hands, bring all of the ingredients together until well-combined, but do not overmix.
To taste for seasoning, heat 1/2 teaspoon of oil in a small frying pan. Take a spoonful of the turkey mix, and fry it in the hot oil. Taste, and adjust as needed with salt and pepper.
Wet your hands with water, and form the turkey mixture into 12 large meatballs. (I use an ice cream scoop with a release -- called a disher -- to make meatballs that are all the same size.) Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 16-18 minutes or until the meatballs are browned a bit on the outside.
Serve warm or cold, over couscous, as part of a salad or stuffed into a pita bread.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Curried turkey meatballs
Turkey, cranberry and basil meatballs
Turkey meatballs with pasta, spinach and tahini dressing
Greektown turkey meatballs
Chipotle turkey meatballs
Green chile turkey meatballs
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Ras el hanout rubbed beef back ribs, from The Food in my Beard
Moroccan chickpea barley salad, from Simply Recipes
Ras el hanout roasted pumpkin seeds, from Opera Girl Cooks
Saffron roasted cauliflower, from Chocolate & Zucchini
Moroccan grilled shrimp and vegetable skewers, from Steamy Kitchen
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