These meatballs are so flavorful, and baked, not fried. They are the perfect addition to marinara sauce for spaghetti, or you can serve them as appetizers!
I love ground turkey. I pretty much always use it when a recipe calls for ground beef. I just prefer it – I like the taste of it, and it’s lean. I use ground turkey in my Shepherd’s Pie, tacos, and sliders. So when my mother-in-law gave me her recipe for meatballs, I of course used ground turkey. But you can absolutely use whatever ground meat you would like – beef, lamb, pork, or veal.
This recipe is actually my husband’s, great grandmother’s recipe for meatballs, with a couple of additions from my mother-in-law and myself. When she first gave me this recipe, it was written on a cute little index card – with descriptions such as “3 handfuls of breadcrumbs.” Don’t you just love recipes like that? I love recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. It really is the best.
The original recipe, however, did not include caramelized onions – my mother-in-law added this deliciousness to the recipe. Caramelizing the onions totally amps up the flavor! Trust me.
Even though I pretty much put onions in EVERYTHING that I make – I am not a fan of raw onion – at all. But whenever they are cooked, and especially caramelized, I can just eat the onions right out of the skillet. They are soooooooooo delicious. All of the natural sweetness comes out when they are cooked low and slow. Now, you don’t have to caramelize the onions for this recipe (I didn’t when I took these pictures), because they can take a little time to make – but I certainly recommend it. It gives the meatballs a real depth of flavor and makes everyone wonder – what is the special ingredient in these meatballs? That being said, these meatballs are still super delicious without the caramelized onions.
To caramelize the onions: heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is melted and starts to sizzle, add in the diced onions. Add some salt and pepper and sauté for about 20 to 25 minutes. You may want to pull your heat down a little after the first few minutes. Stir frequently. Once browned and caramelized, set aside to cool.
I call this meatball recipe an all purpose recipe because it is such a versatile meatball recipe. You can use this recipe with any kind of sauce, or just as an appetizer, or you can use these ingredients and form a meatloaf. I also sometimes use these meatballs for lunch meal prep. When I do this – I put about 3 meatballs into a container with some veggies, and then I have a healthy lunch for a few days. Delish.
Hope you try these meatballs. They are so good!
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