I am almost embarrassed to post this recipe. It is a departure from everything I gravitate towards. Its not exactly healthy, its messy, and it has guy-meal written all over it. But, the gooey cheese filled centers have beaten me senseless.
In a post vacation moment of fridge raiding and “what can I do with ground turkey, eggs and ricotta?,” these meatballs were born.
Admittedly, these are not very Mama-Mia Italiano (sorry, Nonna), nor are they the Ikea-clad Swedish variety. These are more of the lowly, American football watching, dipped in ranch dressing variety. Its the jalapeño popper of the stuffed pepper world or the hotdog of sausages. Not fancy in the least. .
Ok, so maybe these aren’t the best thing to serve at a dinner party, but you caught the part about them being stuffed with cheese, right? How can they not be good?! My thoughts exactly.
These aren’t anything fancy, but their assembly can be a bit tricky so I’m posting a few more process photos and explanations than I typically do below. So for fluffy pre-recipe banter, I am going to keep things simple.
Cheese Stuffed Turkey Meatballs
Total Time: 40 Active time: 25
Serves: 3-4 people
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1/2 onion finely chopped
- 3 tbl. olive oil, divided
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1/2 tsp. sage
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. coriander
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 tsp salt (+ more for cooking onions)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper (+ more for cooking onions)
- 1/2 cup cornmeal (for rolling)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
First heat, 1 tablespoon olive oil in medium frying pan. Add onion. Season with sage and salt/pepper. Cover the pan and stir occasionally. Cook until soft until soft.
Set aside corn meal in a small bowl for rolling.
Combine all other ingredients of the turkey mixture including the cooked onions in a large bowl and mix until well combined.
For the cheese filling, combine ricotta, green onion, salt and pepper whisk to combine.
Whisk in egg to combine.
Then stir in cheddar with a fork.
Lay out your three bowls: turkey mixture, cheese filling, and cornmeal to make assembly easy.
Lightly oil a 1/4 cup measuring cup to prevent sticking. Take a ball of turkey mixture and generously line the measuring cup allowing some to hang out above the edge. Make sure there is at least a thumb sized depression for the cheese filling to go in.
Place 1 tsp. size blob of cheese fill in in the middle. Use excess turkey on edge and add more if necessary to enclose the cheese in the turkey.
Remove from measuring cup and roll in cornmeal until well coated. Set aside on a clean, dry, flat surface.
Repeat this process until all turkey/cheese is used up:) For me, this makes 8 huge meatballs, but of course you can use a smaller measuring cup (or other similar implement) for smaller meatballs
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons. olive oil in pan over medium-high heat. Gently add meatballs. You may need to work in batches. Cook just until browned on all sides. Set aside.
When all meatballs have been browned, bake uncovered for 10 minutes. If you see some cheese oozing out of the middle this is a good sign that they are cooked all the way through!
Serve immediately with your choice of dipping sauces….I reluctantly inform you that such classy accompaniments as Ranch, bleu cheese, BBQ sauce, and ketchup have all been used to great delight.