Italian, Pasta

Baked Turkey Cilantro Meatballs with Pasta

Baked Turkey Meatballs

I made 64 mini meatballs and they were super delicious! Makes 6 to 8 servings.

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups Panko
  • 4 to 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan and/or Romano cheese or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/2 black pepper
  • Optional spices: 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 pounds ground turkey
  • Two 24-ounce jars of your favorite tomato pasta sauce
  • 2 pounds dried rigatoni pasta
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. (I didn’t use any paper and the meatballs only slightly got stuck to the baking sheet.)
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk. Then stir in the Panko, garlic, cilantro, oregano, basil and grated cheese, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and optional spices. Add the turkey and combine using your hands and fingers.
  3. Form the mixture into mini meatballs about 1 1/2-inch diameter.
  4. I topped the meatballs with some pasta sauce which took a little over half a jar of sauce. Suggestion: pour out entire pasta sauce into a bowl and dip the meatballs into the sauce to completely coat your meatballs.
  5. Bake on center rack for 45 to 50 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook your pasta according to the package instructions.
  7. Serve pasta onto a plate and top with meatballs, warmed pasta sauce and shaved Parmesan cheese.

Camera 360

Source: Food & Wine Annual Cookbook 2013


8 thoughts on “Baked Turkey Cilantro Meatballs with Pasta

  1. I love meatballs!!! Although I have never tried using cilantro in it. Must give this a try. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Posted by Anne ~ Uni Homemaker | July 9, 2013, 11:35 pm
  2. Oh those do sound good. I’ve never used cilantro very much but just last night my daughter asked me if I’d start some for her from seed – she loves it in summer dishes. I guess I’m going to have to look into this.

    Posted by dianeskitchentable | July 9, 2013, 12:19 pm
    • I can usually buy 3 cilantro bundles (about 6 ounces) for $1.00 at the local Mexican market. Trader Joes sells 0.75 oz for $1.79. So I usually have cilantro left over. I find cilantro is a refreshing substitute to parsley in many foods.

      Posted by Unwind Cooking | July 10, 2013, 1:36 pm
      • Oh that’s very cheap. Have you ever tried freezing it? I just gave Niki a couple pots of basil to take home which then of course brought up cilantro.
        I saw a very cute idea (don’t now how practical it is) but I saw on Pinterest where someone took fresh herbs & froze them in those mini ice cube trays in olive oil. I thought it sounded like a good idea since I usually use some kind of oil w/herbs anyway.

        Posted by dianeskitchentable | July 10, 2013, 1:41 pm
      • No, I’ve never tried freezing herbs. I don’t freeze much food to begin with. But I’ve seen those frozen ice cubes with fruit pieces. What would you do with your frozen herbs?

        Posted by Unwind Cooking | July 11, 2013, 3:07 pm
      • I was thinking they’d probably taste better than the ones in the bottles & I usually end up throwing away a lot of fresh ones because I don’t use them up fast enough. I could see melting the little cubes w/the herbs already in them instead of just plain oil & adding the dried herbs. Could be more effort than it’s worth but I think I might try it just to see if they taste fresher than the bottled ones.

        Posted by dianeskitchentable | July 11, 2013, 3:42 pm
  3. I never would have thought of putting cilantro in meatballs. Thank you for sharing your recipe. With all the spices, they look delicious!

    Posted by cookazido | July 8, 2013, 6:37 pm

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