Heathier Turkey Mini-Meatballs with Smoked Tomato Sauce

This is such a fun way to serve meatball appetizers; good party food or a starter at a casual dinner party.

This time I made turkey meatballs since we're not eating red meat right now.
I always bump up the flavors; onion, garlic, herbs, etc. since turkey meat is rather bland and plain.

Proportions in the photos can be deceiving, these are small juice glasses from the 1940's & 1950's. Their capacity is 4 fluid ounces (a mere 1/2 cup); so you can get an idea of size ~ the meatballs are really mini-meatballs, one bite or so, each.

Serve with any Marinara (or other sauce you like.) I use my stovetop smoker to make Smoked Tomato Sauce, similar to THIS recipe but I reduce the oil by quite a bit to keep the calories in check.

You can certainly serve them in low dishes instead of the glasses.

I suggest using your favorite meatball recipe, and increasing the seasonings since turkey (and chicken) are so much milder in flavor, and rather bland.
The recipe I used is one I've been making for years, except updated for our lifestyle change:
Ground turkey instead of Beef and Pork
Egg substitute for whole egg
1 slice of whole grain bread, whirred in food proccessor instead of white bread for the crumbs
To make up for the reduction in salt, I increased the amount of minced onion and garlic,
as well as bumping up the amount of fresh minced herbs (including the freshly minced parsley I and add a little grated lemon or orange zest for flavor interest.
The other seasonings are black or red pepper, and a few dashes of hot sauce, if you like.

I mix the ingredients gently, scoop them with a small food scoop, sprinkle with sweet, hot, or smokey paprika then bake on aluminum foil or parchment lined baking sheet sprayed with cooking oil for easier removal and clean up. Try to take care not to over cook or they will be dry and not flavorful.

Sometimes I like to use rosemary skewers instead of traditional skewers. Select sturdy branches, starting about an inch down from tip end run your fingers down the stem to remove all rosemary needles beyond that point (save them for another use.) I bake the meatballs first, then insert the skewers. If you are grilling chicken or fish portions you can skewer them on the rosemary stems before cooking in infuse the meat or fish with a mild rosemary flavor.

Thank you for stopping by and any comments you would like to share. xo~m.

I hope you have a healthy and delicious day!


  1. Mari!! I love this idea. Your glasses are to-die-for, and the presentation is just gorgeous. Seriously. I love the idea of skewering mini meatballs and serving them over a little sauce in the glass. I will be stealing this idea the next time I have company over. I'm so impressed with your talent for food styling!

  2. Mari, this is so clever. You are so talented. Someone has to "discover" you and give you a book deal. I am serious. Your photos are totally professional also.

  3. Mary those look so delicious...

  4. I love love love this idea too..Who will be my first?:)

    So cute Mary..Thanks !!

  5. What is it about meatballs? Does anyone else go to Ikea just for the meatballs? Something about little balls of wonderfulness... but you take it to the next level here. Excellent!

  6. I think meatballs is more about how you flavor and cook them than the actual base meat. Turkey is fine with me! I love your presentation - such fun for a party. P.S. the fruit tart is pretty spectacular too.

  7. hi mari!I recently discovered your fabulous blog and tried these meatballs for some family and friends for the jewish holiday succos (tabernacles)this week. the ooohs and ahhhhs kept coming and i was so excited to be able to impress my crowd with such a simple but elegant entree. thanks so much!


Thank you for your comments, friends ~ they make my day!

A Sampling of my food . . .


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