To even see a turkey meatball recipe here is next thing to a miracle. You see, until recently, I had such an aversion to any sort of ground meat I simply never bought any. Last winter, I reviewed a meal service called Hello Fresh, that sends you the ingredients for meals along with the recipe cards. When I saw ground turkey in the box, I wrinkle up my nose in distaste, but later resolved to suck-it-up and make the recipe (I even adhered strictly to the directions, a miracle of monumental proportions). I sort of liked the little turkey meatballs the recipe made. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm still acutely fussy about ground meats, but do willingly purchase and cook organic ground turkey on occasion, and the mood struck me this weekend.
I found a recipe on the Cooking Light website for Creamy Parmesan Pasta with Turkey Meatballs (https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/creamy-parmesan-pasta-with-turkey-meatballs-10000000665475/), and while the sauce was not at all what I had in mind I used the turkey meatballs recipe as a starting point, since the ingredients seemed to be similar to the recipe I'd used before (but no longer have).
Now, I wanted a rich decadent creamy sauce for these little turkey meatballs, but wanted to keep it healthy, so heavy cream and copious amounts of butter or cheese were out. My solution was an Almond Buttermilk sauce. The tangy richness of low fat buttermilk makes a excellent base for a sauce like this, and healthy fat and nutrient laden almond butter works as a thickener. Sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil add Italian flair to the healthy creamy sauce.
Turkey Meatballs in Sun-dried Tomato, Almond Buttermilk Sauce
- 1 tbs + 1 teaspoon oil oil or butter
- 1 ½ cups finely diced sweet onion
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 1 lb. ground turkey I used a light & dark meat mix with 6% fat
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup bread crumb
- ½ teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- few grinds of fresh black pepper
Sun-Dried Tomato Almond Buttermilk Sauce
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 1 cup low sodium chicken stock
- ¼ cup almond butter I used a semi-chunky one
- 2 cups low fat buttermilk
- ¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes firmly packed
- 2-3 tbs chopped fresh basil
- Put 1 teaspoon of oil in large skillet over med heat. Once hot add onion & garlic. Saute until onions are cooked through, then remove from heat to cool.
- Place turkey, egg, bread crumbs, salt, thyme and Worcestershire in large bowl. Add a few grinds of fresh pepper and the cooked onions and garlic. Mix thoroughly by hand.
- Roll the mixture into small meatballs. (around 1 - 1 ¼ inches in diameter)
- Put a ½ tbs of oil in skillet, over med-high heat. Add half the turkey meatballs. Turn as each area of the meatball browns. Remove meatballs, to bowl. Then add the remaining ½ tbs of oil and cook the remaining turkey meatballs. When they are nearly done add the garlic for sauce, and stir gently to cook.
- While meatballs are cooking, whisk the almond butter into the stock.
- Once the garlic is cooked put the first batch of meatballs back in pan with the rest, and add the stock, buttermilk, sun-dried tomatoes and basil. Stir.
- Once the sauce starts to bubble, reduce heat to simmer.
- Sauce should reach ideal thickness in 45-60 minutes.
- Serve over rice, noodles, or starch of choice.