If you're looking for something different to do with your ground turkey, you're going to love these unique and delicious Healthy Turkey Pesto Meatballs!
Made with ground turkey, orange, fennel, pesto (homemade or store-bought,) then baked in the oven and smothered in a unique, light and delicious creamy Lime Ginger Sauce, these meatballs are also Weight Watchers friendly at 2 WW points per meatball with sauce.
Turkey Pesto Meatballs
Ground turkey makes a delicious and healthy meatball! However, alone, they can be a little dull and dry. That's why I add pesto to mine. It gives it moisture and prevents the meatballs from drying out, as well as giving it a flavor boost! Trust me, you'll want to use my homemade Basil Pesto with Almonds for these Turkey Pesto Meatballs. It's easy to make, healthy and delicious. And because it uses almonds instead of pine nuts, it's a lot more economical. However, you could also use your favorite pesto recipe or store-bought pesto.
It's also a great make-ahead week night meal, yet fancy enough for a healthy date night or entertaining!
Turkey Meatballs in a White Sauce
Most turkey meatball recipes in sauce are served with a tomato sauce, but this one is different- it's made with a white sauce; a base of Greek yogurt and coconut milk, with lime and ginger flavors. You'll be amazed at how nicely the flavors meld together!
Healthy Turkey Meatballs
Meatballs are a great way to mix up a boring ground turkey routine! And if you're looking for additional ground turkey ideas, check the bottom of this post (under the recipe card!)
How to get Meatballs the same size (and round)
If you want to get your meatballs the same size, use an ice cream scoop, then finish rounding them with your hands *You can see how it's done in this VIDEO (forward to 2:25 to see the forming of the meatball.) And in order to ensure they stay round, don't let them sit on the pan - bake them immediately after forming.
How to Prevent Meatballs from falling apart
Baking your meatballs in the oven is a great way to prevent them from falling apart. Also using the right ratio of binder (bread crumbs and in this case, pesto instead of eggs) to meat, is just as important. You want to avoid over mixing as well. Another general rule when forming meatballs is to work quickly and handle them as little as possible. Also, it’s best to work with a well-chilled mixture. You can put the mixture in the fridge for 20 - 30 minutes to ensure it's chilled prior to forming the meatballs.
So, if you're looking for a healthy and unique turkey meatball, that's quick and easy, then give these Turkey Pesto Meatballs a try!
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Healthy Turkey Pesto Meatballs with Lime Ginger Sauce
- 2 pounds ground turkey-99% fat-free
- 1 ½ cups bread crumbs
- ½ cup light grated parmesan
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 1 tsp ground fennel seed
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup basil pesto (See recipe in NOTES) * You can use any homemade or store-bought basil pesto
- 1 tsp minced garlic **Only add this if you use store-bought basil pesto another basil pesto recipe (not mine/the one I linked to). Mine has enough garlic that you don't need to this additional garlic.
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp lime zest
- ½ cup non- fat plain Greek yogurt (0%)
- 14 ounce - can of light coconut milk 400 ml
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp agave * you can substitute honey, but you'll need at least 1.5 tbsp - 2 tbsp
- ½ tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp cornstarch (to thicken) * Only add if needed- you may need to add more
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F/190 degrees C. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil and spray with non- stick cooking spray.
- Mix ground turkey, fennel, orange zest, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt and basil pesto (See recipe in NOTES) together. Add minced garlic (if you are not using my basil pesto recipe)
- * If you can't find ground fennel, use a pestle and mortar to grind fennel seeds.
- Form into balls, using an ice cream scoop (see video in NOTES)
- Then place, spaced evenly on baking sheets.
- Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned and meat is cooked through (no longer pink). * don't worry if some oil from the pesto runs out onto baking sheet - this is normal.
- Meanwhile, whisk sauce ingredients together over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add cornstarch to thicken, if necessary. It should be the consistency of a thin gravy. * However, add additional cornstarch if you want it a little thicker.
- Garnish with cilantro, additional parmesan cheese and lime, as desired.
- Serve meatballs with sauce (over rice or cauliflower rice) and vegetables * add additional WW points for rice
**NOTE: Tips and tricks for forming meatballs Video HERE. (forward to 2:25 if you only want to see the forming of the meatball)