Baked Turkey Meatballs with Polenta Cakes

Baked Turkey Meatballs with Polenta Cakes | cookiemonstercooking.com

Meatballs! Meatballs! Now imagine me saying that like my very Italian grandmother.

I pretty much always say it that way (you know all accent-like and making crazy hand gestures) and completely crack myself up every time. Is it weird to find yourself hysterical? Don’t answer that.

Besides, it’s just fun to say it that way, so you know. It has to be done.

And while these little guys may not be exactly like the meatballs my grandma always makes, they are pretty darn delicious if I do say so myself.

Baked Turkey Meatballs with Polenta Cakes | cookiemonstercooking.com

Added bonus? There’s polenta involved. And we all know I am a polenta junkie. Although I feel like I’ve been cheating on polenta with lentils. And farro. But this dish. This dish finally brought it back to the forefront.

Totally reignited the spark. That’s kind of a strange thing to say about polenta. Don’t judge. I get very excited about food in general.

So let’s chat about food … I mean, this meal. Simple, classic baked turkey meatballs. Which you’ll serve on crispy baked little polenta cakes. And finally you’ll top it all with a quick and easy homemade sauce and of course plenty of shredded parmesan and fresh basil.

If you’re not in the mood for a slightly crispy polenta base, I think this would also be awesome over some creamy polenta. Except for whatever reason I associate creamy polenta with the fall and winter. And it’s still super hot and humid right now. So I just. can’t. do. it.

Although … now that our air conditioning is all fixed up (yay!), I feel like I could absolutely go put on some boots and a scarf and sit on my couch…

Baked Turkey Meatballs with Polenta Cakes | cookiemonstercooking.com

And totally pretend that it’s fall. Take that summer heat!

Baked Turkey Meatballs with Polenta Cakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Ingredients
For the polenta:
  • 1 (18 ounce) tube polenta, sliced ½ inch thick
For the meatballs:
  • 1 ¼ pounds ground turkey (I use 93% lean)
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
For the sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (I use fire-roasted)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
For serving:
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • chopped fresh basil
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  2. To make the polenta - line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the polenta rounds on the prepared baking sheet and mist the tops lightly with nonstick cooking spray (I use an olive oil spray). Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until slightly crispy on the outside.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the meatballs - line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and then spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. In a large bowl, add the ground turkey, onion, panko, egg, salt, pepper, dried basil and dried parsley. Mix to combine (but don’t overwork the meat). Form into meatballs, about 1 ½ inches in size and place on the prepared baking sheet (I get around 22 meatballs). Bake in the same 375ºF oven for about 17 to 20 minutes, or until cooked through (165ºF on an instant-read thermometer).
  5. Meanwhile, to make the sauce - set a medium-large skillet over medium heat. Add in the olive oil. When hot, add in the onion and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, until tender. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add in the crushed tomatoes, sugar, salt, red pepper, basil and parsley. Let the sauce simmer gently for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens slightly. Remove from the heat. Taste and adjust the salt and red pepper as needed.
  6. Set a few polenta slices on each serving dish. Top with a few meatballs, spoon on some of the sauce and top with parmesan and fresh basil.
Notes
I think this would also be fantastic with ground chicken instead of turkey!

If you want to make your own polenta rounds instead of buying the tube, you can follow the instructions in this recipe ---> Polenta Bites with Ricotta and Shaved Asparagus.

To avoid buying an extra onion for this recipe, use a small portion of the onion for the sauce for the 2 tablespoons needed for the meatballs.

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

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Comments

  1. Love love love that you served this over polenta. I’ve never thought to do that and it’s brilliant. Mind blown.

  2. I’ve been craving meatballs lately so this is perfect! Super yummy. :)
    I get hysterical at some of the things I say (when no one else does)…you are in good company. ;)

  3. Maybe you need to start making polentils?! Sorry, I couldn’t resist :) I’m laughing just imagining you saying, “Meatballs!” I, too, love polenta, but I have never tried it with mealballs and all this yummy goodness. I am putting these on my list of things to make soon because my mouth is watering just thinking of them!

  4. yum.. how delicious! i too am a polenta junkie, cant get enough of the stuff!

  5. This is so darn clever! I love what a nice presentation this makes! I could eat those polenta cakes with everything!

  6. I have to admit I’ve started loving polenta only recently, but now it’s one of my absolute favorite foods. I’ve never tried it with toppings, actually, just plain, but it looks like these turkey meatballs will add an extra flavor bonus so I can’t wait to give it a go!

    xo, Elisa

  7. Your grandma would be so proud! Pass me a juicy slice :)

  8. This dish looks beautiful, Ashley! I’ve never tried polenta cakes before, but it sounds like it goes perfectly with these meatballs. Pinned!

  9. wow, sounds easy and comfortong meals!!!
    i think i’m gonna use chicken istead since turkey is rarely found here in Indonesia…

  10. It’s still so hot here in AZ and I am SO ready to pretend it’s fall! This looks so good! I need more polenta in my life!

  11. I wish I had an Italian grandmother to exclaim over meatballs with :) Love these!

  12. sounds like a great dinner, ashley! i still need to try polenta!

  13. I love the fact that we’re both totally on polenta recipe this week! :)
    I love polenta cakes cause they are so tasty and make always beautiful dishes!
    Have a wonderful weekend, Ashley!!

  14. I have always preferred ground turkey over ground beef. These look delicious Ashley! Creative and flavorful!

  15. This looks amazing! I have GOT to try polenta sometime.

  16. I love polenta! And these meatballs. I think of creamy polenta as a fall/winter dish too for some reason. And a big WOOHOO on your A/C being fixed! That must have been rough!

  17. I love the presentation of these meatballs with the polenta cakes, Ashley. Not only does it look colorful and different, it’s such a great spin for the summer. Sorry to hear you had issues with your AC – that is totally unacceptable! ; ) Glad you’re nice and cool and can crank on the stove and oven. I love pretending it’s fall and having a hearty meal.

  18. i love polenta. these look so good!

  19. I still have yet to try polenta cakes! This meal looks really delicious and I bet it was way more fun to make when you were saying everything with the Italian accent. ;)

  20. Haha I can just picture you saying “meatballs” here – too cute :) Love how creative this meals is. The flavors sound awesome and it looks delicious covered with the tomato sauce and fresh basil!

  21. I’m all about pretending that it’s fall! Love turkey meatballs and these look so good!

  22. mmmmmm….meatballs! And polenta!!! Everything about this dish I am obsessing over. Pinned!

  23. Love me some polenta AND meatballs! This is SO my kind of meal girly! Warms my heart! Happy weekend my friend!

  24. Considering how much I love polenta, I don’t make it nearly enough! So good, and it sounds absolutely amazing with these turkey meatballs. This is totally dinner! :D

  25. I love polenta, but nobody else does — I’m just gonna have to serve it up and say “too bad — this is dinner!” Meatballs are always a hit, however, so maybe this would fly? I absolutely love the colors — this is one pretty plate of food that would make me very happy! :)

  26. I just made some meatballs for my husband who is a huge fan of all different kinds of meatballs. Your meatballs with tomato sauce looks mouthwatering and I love the polenta cakes you served too.

  27. I think I’ve told you before, but if I didn’t, I’ll say it again, I love polenta! We grew up with it so these type of recipes always catch my eye. This looks and sounds delicious and I love the turkey meatball recipe!

  28. Can I come over for dinner? I love the combination of italian meatballs and polenta, looks delicious! So glad to hear that your air is working again because the heat is sweltering.

  29. I cannot stop starring at your polenta cakes – and all they are is polenta sliced and baked – am so in awe! I would take a plate of these cakes with turkey balls and sauce over a plate of spaghetti and meatballs anyday!
    Yay – your ac is fixed! Seeing you are walking – or sitting – around in boots and scarves, I say let the baking begin – I will volunteer to take ALL the leftovers ;)
    Have a wonderful weekend Ashley

  30. Seriously, this plate is the prettiest meatballs I’ve ever seen! Such gorgeous colors and so – well, eatable! Pinned!

  31. These ‘meatballs! meatballs!’ (imagine Italian accent and arm gestures) sound just perfect, and what an original idea to serve them on top of crispy polenta! I’m not sure we can get that tubey stuff over in Europe, so it might have to be creamy polenta for me, but still, both ways sound just as delicious!
    Have a great weekend, Ashley!

  32. I think it’s totally fine to find yourself hysterical! My “find myself hysterical” moments usually come when I’m having conversations with my dog too…totally not crazy, I promise :) LOVE these meatballs…they look perfect with the polenta cakes!

  33. Well….in the past I’ve totally bombed meatballs! Mine are awful, they taste like bland, um, meatballs. But we were eating with the neighbors (it’s kind of fun, we all bring our dinners over and eat together in the middle of our houses) and my neighbor made some turkey meatballs and they looked so delicious, but not as good as yours. I’m so ready for turkey meatballs and hope my family gives me another chance.

    Glad your ac is fixed!!! Happy Friday Ashley =)

  34. Hahah! “Take that summer heat!” These look so good Ashley! What a creative and delicious looking meal!

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