Gluten Free Turkey Meatballs
In case you were wondering, I put vegetarianism aside this past summer so I could get into some really rockin’ meatballs. My favorites were tied between the offerings in this category at Porta in Asbury Park, NJ and Arturo’s in Maplewood, NJ. As I was floating around on my meat-cloud, I couldn’t stop thinking about something: how do people who lead gluten-free lives (either due to Celiac or diets like the Paleo) get to enjoy meatballs? They probably just don’t! Now, I’m betting when you eat meatballs the last thing that crosses your mind is the fact that they’re not gluten free. But in fact, one of the most important ingredients in meatballs is gluten: breadcrumbs to be exact! Breadcrumbs work with the eggs in the meatball mixture (ew..) to make a spongier texture by soaking up moisture during cooking! In fact, if you’re making a two or three inch meatball, without breadcrumbs, all those meat juices (once again, ew) will peace out and you’ll be left with a dense and tough spaghetti topper. Not such a great idea. So I came up with my own recipe on how to make gluten free meatballs using a delicious compromise to breadcrumbs: almond flour! I also went for ground turkey instead of beef here, just because that’s usually how I make meatballs (there’s not too much of a flavor compromise, and it’s a lot healthier) but of course, you can use whatever you want! I haven’t tried it with a meat substitute yet, but I’m almost positive there’s a way that’d work too.
– 1 egg, beaten
– 1 pound ground turkey
– 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
– 1 cup almond flour
– 1 tbsp. dried parsley
– 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– 1 tsp. black pepper
– pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
– pinch of kosher salt
Mix the almond flour and spices together in a large bowl and add ground turkey, cheese, and egg. Mix well (as gross as
you may I find touching raw meat to be, the best way to do this is with your hands). Shape the mixture into meatballs using a mellon-baller or your hands. Coat a pan with olive oil on medium high heat and brown the meatballs on all sides. (It’s okay if they don’t cook completely). Now, if you grew up in my house you’d know there’s no way to finish cooking meatballs that doesn’t involve submerging them in the bubbling pot of fresh tomato sauce that has been simmering on the stove until you’re ready to eat. However, we all lead busy lives and fresh tomato sauce just isn’t a thing for many people. If that’s the case, just preheat the oven to 350 degrees F while you’re frying and finish off the meatballs in the oven for 15 minutes or until completely cooked on a parchment paper-covered cookie sheet. Eat them however you desire! Straight off the pan on a fork is perfectly acceptable! So is pasta!
If you can’t tell from the pictures, I didn’t actually pair these meatballs with pasta. I made a delicious sandwich with smoked mozzarella, fresh tomato sauce, pesto, and a little grated Parmesan on a toasted roll. It looked like an ice cream sundae of meat. Yes plz.