I like Swedish meatballs but am trying to limit the amount of beef we eat, so I decided to try a ground turkey version. The turkey meatballs are moist and light. With plenty of onion and spices in the meatballs and a thick creamy sauce, I certainly didn't miss the beef. Don't use dried breadcrumbs in the meatballs. Instead use whatever bread you have on hand that's past it's prime and crumble the slices well (2-3 slices should do it). I cook the meatballs in a skillet to save time, but you can bake them before adding them to the sauce, if you'd prefer (350 degrees for 10-15 minutes). The baked meatballs will hold together better, but you won't get the advantage of the fond that you'll have if you cook the meatballs in the skillet. Either way, the meatballs will be good and make an easy, economical, and comforting Meatball Monday meal. Serve the meatballs with egg noodles or mashed potatoes. Lingonberry preserves are a traditional accompaniment to the meatballs, but cranberry sauce works as a substitute. Nonetheless, I usually opt for green beans or peas alongside and skip tradition and a search for either lingonberry preserves or cranberry sauce. After all, Mondays are challenging enough.
Turkey Swedish Meatballs -- Serves 4
1 - 2 teaspoons of canola oil
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 cup of soft bread crumbs
1/2 cup of low-fat milk
16 ounces of lean ground turkey (93 percent)
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, divided
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of allspice
1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
2 cups of beef broth or 2 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of reduced sodium "Better Than Bullion"
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes
1/4 cup of flour
1/2 cup of water
1 cup of light sour cream
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick skillet. In a large bowl, combine the onion, breadcrumbs, milk, turkey, eggs, 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, nutmeg, allspice, and cardamom and mix everything well with a wooden (or other sturdy) spoon. You'll need to stir the mixture well to incorporate the spices and bread crumbs thoroughly and to get the mixture to the point that it becomes cohesive. Form golf ball sized meatballs and add 6-8 of them to the hot skillet. If you add too many meatballs to the skillet, they'll be hard to turn and more likely to break apart (I tried, and it doesn't work. Cook them in batches). Brown the meatballs on each side, and remove them to a plate while you brown the remaining meatballs. Once you've browned the meatballs and removed them, turn the heat to medium, add the beef broth, remaining 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, and parsley flakes to the empty skillet and stir to mix them and incorporate the fond--little brown bits--from cooking the meatballs. Let the broth mixture simmer a few minutes. Combine the flour with 1/2 cup of water and whisk them well. Pour the flour/water mixture into the broth and stir everything together to form a thick sauce. Add the meatballs back into the pan and stir them gently into the sauce. Cover the pan, turn the heat to medium low, and let the meatballs cook for 5-10 minutes until thoroughly cooked. Turn off the heat and gently stir in the sour cream. Serve the meatballs over mashed potatoes or egg noodles.