Sweet and Sour Turkey Meatballs

Ground turkey is an often-overlooked source of healthy protein and these meatballs come full of vegetables for added nutritional value.
By Faith Gorsky
Sweet and Sour Turkey Meatballs

Sweet and Sour Turkey Meatballs
 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
 
Ground turkey is an often-overlooked source of healthy protein and these meatballs come full of vegetables for added nutritional value.
Author:
Recipe Type: Main
Serves: 6
Ingredients
Meatballs:
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
  • 1 (15.5 oz/439 g) can no-salt-added pinto beans, rinsed and well drained
  • 1 lb (450 g) ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and grated
  • 2 medium carrots, scrubbed and grated
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed using a mortar and pestle or grated on a microplane
  • ½-inch piece fresh ginger, grated on a microplane
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy or tamari sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 tablespoons breadcrumbs (or a little more as needed)
Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, de-seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed using a mortar and pestle or grated on a microplane
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated on a microplane
  • 6 tablespoons (90 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) low-sodium soy or tamari sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or more to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (20 oz/570 g) can chunk pineapple in pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in ½ cup (120 ml) cold water to form a slurry
Other:
  • 3 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. For the meatballs, preheat the oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat liner and drizzle on ½ tablespoon oil, spreading it around.
  2. Add the beans to a large bowl and mash them coarsely with a potato masher. Use your hands to mix in all remaining meatball ingredients (except the remaining ½ tablespoon canola oil), but do not over-mix.
  3. Use your hands to scoop out the meat mixture and roll it into meatballs (I make mine about 1½ tablespoons and I get about 25 meatballs). Line the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle on the remaining ½ tablespoon oil.
  4. Bake until fully cooked, about 20 to 25 minutes, flipping the meatballs once.
  5. Start cooking the sauce when the meatballs have about 10 minutes left to cook. To make the sauce, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat; add the bell pepper and onion, and cook until starting to soften and brown in places, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook 1 minute more, stirring constantly.
  6. Add the vinegar, soy sauce, honey, black pepper, and pineapple (with juices), and bring up to a boil. Once boiling, add the cornstarch slurry; let it come back up to a boil, stirring constantly, and then turn off the heat (the sauce will be thickened).
  7. To serve, very gently toss the meatballs in the warm sauce (be careful so they don’t break up). Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle on the scallion, if using.
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