Friday, January 6, 2012

Spicy Ground Turkey Meatballs with (Tzatziki) Yogurt Cucumber Sauce

Photo from

Spicy Ground Turkey Kabobs with Tangy Yogurt Sauce
Original Recipe link can be found HERE.

Our dinner tonight was fantastic.  We had these meatballs with sauce as well as carrot and celery sticks. My son tried a meatball and said,

"These are good.  The other meatballs you make are terrible, but these are really good!" 

So there you have it.  The endorsement of a teenager, a mom who is trying to get her family to eat healthier, and a husband who tends to crave beef over everything else.  We all liked it!  We ate a lot of the yogurt sauce on the carrot and celery sticks so I am wishing I would have made a double recipe of the sauce.  I altered the meatballs just a bit by omitting the dry ground mustard and fresh mint.  As for the sauce, I did make significant changes here; I made Tzatziki which is a garlicky yogurt-cucumber sauce.  The original sauce called for dijon mustard.  If you've ever had a Greek Gyro, you've probably had Tzatziki.  It's good stuff.

Spicy Ground Turkey Meatballs with Tzatziki
Adapted from


1 package JENNIE-O TURKEY STORE® Lean Ground Turkey
1/2 cup yellow onion, very finely chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the meatballs: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place lean ground turkey, onion, garlic, ground cumin, ground coriander, salt, and black pepper in a large mixing bowl; mix well. There will be about 2 1/2 cups of mixture. Form mixture into balls. I made 24 meatballs.  One serving equals 4 meatballs.  Meatballs should be approximately 1 1/2 inches across in size. Place meatballs on a nonstick baking sheet.  Meatballs should be evenly spaced and not touching. Bake for approximately 10 to 12 minutes or until meatballs are well-done, 165°F as measured by a meat thermometer. Turn meatballs once halfway through cooking.  I live at high altitude, so to be on the safe side, I cooked the meatballs for closer to 15 minutes.  The meatballs were so small, I had a difficult time testing the internal temperature with my instant read thermometer.

Tzatziki (Yogurt Cucumber Sauce):

3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cucumber (see notes below) *
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped (I used one medium sized clove of garlic)
1 teaspoon lemon juice (more if desired for a thinner sauce)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the sauce while the kabobs are baking.Combine yogurt, cucumber (*), garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir until well combined. Season with extra salt and pepper as desired. Sauce should be the consistency of thick cream.

(*) Cucumbers are full of liquid!  To keep the sauce thick, a little extra work is required.  Peel 1/2 of a cucumber.  Cut in half lengthwise.  Scrape out the seeds with a spoon.  Coarsely grate the cucumber with a cheese grater.  Place the grated cucumber in a clean kitchen towel or several layers of paper towel. Lift the edges of the towel and squeeze the cucumber in the towel to wring out extra moisture. 

Trying to find heathier recipes for our family.  We are fans of the show "Biggest Loser" and they often feature recipes using Jennie-O ground turkey. This led us to the Jennie-O website today where we found some recipes to try. I shopped accordingly today and we are looking forward to trying more.

Next:   Stuffed Peppers with Turkey and Quinoa.

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