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Easy Juicy Turkey Meatball Recipe

Updated on December 06, 2016
janshares profile image

Janis loves to post original recipes on occasion, influenced by the creative cooking skills inherited from her mother and aunts.


Joined: 4 years agoFollowers: 606Articles: 84

Turkey Meatballs Inspired by Aunt Jenny's Recipe

These juicy turkey meatballs topped with mozzarella, sauce, and parsley will melt in your mouth with flavor.
These juicy turkey meatballs topped with mozzarella, sauce, and parsley will melt in your mouth with flavor. | Source

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The Meatball: A Popular Food in Most Cultures

Meatballs are a comfort food in most cultures. Served with pasta, potatoes, or rice, with or without sauce, meatballs are baked, steamed, or fried to perfection.

In American culture, a traditional meatball is most often cooked with Italian seasonings and served with marinara sauce, atop a mound of spaghetti. It takes a great cook to perfect a particular method for making the perfect meatball.

My Aunt Jenny is such a cook. I recall enjoying her turkey meatballs as a teenager and later learning how to cook them. Aunt Jenny was known for watching cooking shows and keeping up with the latest recipes and gadgets used to prepare the best American dishes.

Despite her Jamaican heritage, Aunt Jenny always had a knack for preparing food outside of our culture. Her favorite dishes were lasagna, checkerboard cakes, and meatballs made with ground turkey and V8 Vegetable Juice, also known as tomato juice.

Juicy Turkey Meatballs Made With Vegetable Juice

The secret to making the juiciest meatballs lies in the method of preparation. I have found that the slow cook method, using organic tomato/vegetable juice, keeps the ground turkey meatballs moist while locking in the flavorful herbs and seasonings.

Each bite is remarkable, with a tenderness surrounded by a thickened tomato sauce rendered by the special ingredients. Those ingredients include grated Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs which produce a taste and consistency like no other meatball.

The following recipe for Ground Turkey Meatballs made with vegetable juice will serve a large family or dinner party. As I share this recipe with my own special touches, I express much love and gratitude to my Aunt Jenny for taking the time to cook these turkey meatballs for our family. It soon became one of my favorite dishes to prepare and eat.

Ground Turkey is Healthier and Less Expensive Than Beef

Ground turkey is an inexpensive, healthier alternative to ground beef. Compared to fattier cuts of ground beef, ground turkey is 93% lean, 7% fat. Depending on your health needs, the benefits of ground turkey may outweigh beef.
Ground turkey is an inexpensive, healthier alternative to ground beef. Compared to fattier cuts of ground beef, ground turkey is 93% lean, 7% fat. Depending on your health needs, the benefits of ground turkey may outweigh beef. | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 45 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 1 hour 5 min
Yields: 30 Meatballs (2-in size) Serves 6 to 8 people

Nutritional Analysis of Recipe

Good Points: Very high in Vitamins A, B6, and C

Bad Points: High in cholesterol and sodium

Turkey Meatballs 8 Servings

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 3 to 4 meatballs
Calories 260
Calories from Fat90
% Daily Value *
Fat 10 g15%
Saturated fat 3 g15%
Unsaturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 15 g5%
Sugar 8 g
Fiber 2 g8%
Protein 27 g54%
Cholesterol 124 mg41%
Sodium 667 mg28%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Finely Chopped Herbs and Vegetables

Fresh herbs and vegetables are best to achieve great flavor and texture for meatballs.
Fresh herbs and vegetables are best to achieve great flavor and texture for meatballs. | Source

Herbs and Seasonings for Turkey Meatballs

The combination of herbs and fresh vegetables make this meatball recipe a winner.
The combination of herbs and fresh vegetables make this meatball recipe a winner. | Source

Ingredients

  • 2 packages ground turkey, 93% lean, 16 to 19 ounce each
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 vegetable/tomato juice, organic store brand, 46 ounce
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs, plain, unseasoned
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, Kraft brand
  • 1 cup sweet onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sweet green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, white cap, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Sazon seasoning, packet without annatto
  • 1 teaspoon Spike salt-free seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons barbeque Sauce, hickory or honey flavor
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Make Your Meatballs Especially Yours

Adjust ingredients to your liking with more or less salt and pepper to taste. You will make this recipe your own as you find other ingredients to enhance the flavor and health benefits of your turkey meatballs.

Ground Turkey Mixture for Meatballs

Ground turkey mixture is prepared carefully to form meatballs that will be tender, juicy, and flavorful.
Ground turkey mixture is prepared carefully to form meatballs that will be tender, juicy, and flavorful. | Source

Turkey Meatball Formation

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Meatballs should be at least 2 inches in diameter, gently formed to promote tenderness.Formed meatballs are ready to drop into warmed pot of vegetable juice.Add sugar, grated Parmesan, and cayenne pepper to vegetable juice to heat while meatballs are formed.
Meatballs should be at least 2 inches in diameter, gently formed to promote tenderness.
Meatballs should be at least 2 inches in diameter, gently formed to promote tenderness. | Source
Formed meatballs are ready to drop into warmed pot of vegetable juice.
Formed meatballs are ready to drop into warmed pot of vegetable juice. | Source
Add sugar, grated Parmesan, and cayenne pepper to vegetable juice to heat while meatballs are formed.
Add sugar, grated Parmesan, and cayenne pepper to vegetable juice to heat while meatballs are formed. | Source

Directions for the Juiciest Turkey Meatballs

  1. Safely thaw frozen ground turkey, break up into a large mixing bowl. Crack eggs onto ground turkey, add bread crumbs, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, onion, green pepper, mushrooms, and parsley. Gently mix with spoon evenly spreading ingredients.
  2. Add to mixture Italian seasoning, Sazon, Spike, black pepper, garlic powder, thyme, barbeque sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Gently blend all ingredients, spreading herbs and spices evenly throughout the ground turkey mixture.
  3. Pour entire bottle of vegetable juice into a large Dutch oven pot. Add cayenne pepper, sugar, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Stir and let the juice heat slowly under low heat while you form the meatballs. Finish forming all meatballs before adding them to the juice for even cooking.
  4. Form meatballs gently with mashing the ground turkey to keep them moist, yet firm. Meatballs should be at least 2 inches in diameter. Place them in a separate container as they are formed.
  5. Drop each meatball into the warmed vegetable juice, one at a time, spreading as evenly as possible around the pot. The last few will sit on top of those on the bottom. Using pot handles, gently shake the pot until meatballs are covered with the juice. Cover, turn heat to medium-low, simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Meatballs should retain their size after cooking with a moist consistency. The juice will thicken upon standing and cooling, making a nice sauce. Serve with your choice of pasta, rice, or bread.
Click thumbnail to view full-size
A juicy, firm meatball is ready for plating and serving with pasta.Drop meatballs into sauce, one at a time.Make sure all meatballs are covered with juice.Simmer meatballs for 20 minutesSteaming hot meatballs will float to the top when done.
A juicy, firm meatball is ready for plating and serving with pasta.
A juicy, firm meatball is ready for plating and serving with pasta. | Source
Drop meatballs into sauce, one at a time.
Drop meatballs into sauce, one at a time. | Source
Make sure all meatballs are covered with juice.
Make sure all meatballs are covered with juice. | Source
Simmer meatballs for 20 minutes
Simmer meatballs for 20 minutes | Source
Steaming hot meatballs will float to the top when done.
Steaming hot meatballs will float to the top when done. | Source

Classic Commercial About Spicy Meatballs

Turkey Meatballs Serving Suggestion

Serving suggestion: Meatballs are topped with small cuts of mozzarella cheese and freshly cut parsley paired with a rotini and broccoli cheese blend.
Serving suggestion: Meatballs are topped with small cuts of mozzarella cheese and freshly cut parsley paired with a rotini and broccoli cheese blend. | Source

Thank you for rating this recipe:

4.6 stars from 5 ratings of Turkey Meatballs Cooked in Vegetable Juice

© 2013 Janis Leslie Evans

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I do love meatballs so you can bet I'll be trying this recipe. Thank you!

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thanks, billybuc. I hope you enjoy them. Thanks for the visit.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Wow, that does look delicious. Wonder if it would be OK to use ground chicken? Probably so, huh? I use to eat ground turkey a lot but after trying the ground chicken (although it isn't as easy to find) I just thought it had a better flavor. Maybe I will just try both! ^

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Hi Jackie,

      It might be okay but with a totally different flavor and consistency. I tried ground chicken once to make chicken patties. Did I say once? LOL :) I'm glad you stopped by and liked this recipe. Thank you for the visit, Jackie.

    • Carola Finch profile image

      Carola Finch 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Don't usually look at recipe hubs, but this one caught my eye because I love turkey meatballs. Will be sure to try this one. Well done!

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      I'm so glad to hear that, Carola Finch. I know recipe hubs aren't considered "real content writing" so I always try to include a story or something informative. I'm so glad you decided to visit. I really appreciate your taking the time to read my hub. Thank you. :-)

    • Heather Says profile image

      Heather Rode 3 years ago from Buckeye, Arizona

      This looks fantastic. I love recipes with tons of ingredients. I never thought about using organic vegetable juice-- that's a great idea. Pinning this for later. I need to try these sometime :) Love your original pictures too :)

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you, Heather. Glad you stopped by. Thank you so much for pinning. The organic juice tastes so much better than the V8. I discovered it by accident because it was on sale.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Mm another great recipe for me to vote up and save.

      Enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thanks for the votes and for the visit, Eddy.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great recipe for turkey meatballs

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Hi DDE, thanks.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      They look delicious and I appreciate your warning about cholesterol and sodium. I'll have to work on a way to lower that.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      You're very welcome. Thanks for stopping by. The lower sodium juice will do the trick. I've used it before.

    • Dale Hyde profile image

      Dale Hyde 3 years ago from Tropical Paradise on Planet X

      This sounds very tempting indeed! I have it bookmarked. Voted up among other little things I clicked on. :) I love the one video, lol, the commercial one. :)

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      LOL, thanks, Dale. I really appreciate the visit and the votes.

    • Laurinzo Scott profile image

      Live To Write 2 years ago from Phoenix, Az.

      I love turkey, and I love to cook...so this is a doubly good hub to me... I am looking forward to trying recipe...Yummy!!!!!

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 2 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you much, try them tomorrow for the Super Bowl! They are easy to make.

    • bethperry profile image

      bethperry 2 years ago from Tennesee

      jan, these sound delicious. I'll have to try out the recipe!

      Voted up.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 2 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you, bethperry. They are so good. Hope you like them.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Super yummy looking recipe. Thanks for sharing! Yum! ;-)

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 2 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thanks for saying so, DrBill. You're welcome. I appreciate the visit, fanmail, and follow.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 22 months ago from Florida

      I make turkey meatballs, but I bake mine! I've never tried making them in a veg. juice before. Yours look really good, and I'll bet they taste really good, too. When you have some time, check out my recipe for turkey meatballs and see what you think.

      Voted up, etc. and shared.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 22 months ago from Washington, DC

      Thanks for the generous comments, mary615. I will definitely stop by and check out your recipe.

    • trusouldj profile image

      trusouldj 21 months ago from Indiana

      Looks very tasty.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 21 months ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you very much, hope you try it.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 18 months ago from Home Sweet Home

      sure sounds good but lots of ingredients i can't find them here

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 18 months ago from Washington, DC

      Aww, sorry about that. Maybe you can substitute. Thanks for your visit.

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