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Mini turkey meatballs in tomato sauce

by Lorena

Somehow I always find that food in their mini version tastes better than the large version. Do you feel the same way? These mini turkey meatballs in tomato sauce are my new favourite comfort food recipe. They’re really tasty, tomatoey and perfect for freezing.

I’m proud to say that those basil sprigs are from my basil plant! I don’t have a flat that’s perfect for taking cake of herbs. My balcony has shadows at multiple times of the day and that doesn’t suit many of the cooking herbs. However this basil is hanging in there and I’m taking as much care as I can so it stays alive. After that phrase I’m now singing “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees, though you should know, lol.

I’ve shared a turkey meatball recipe before and it was my turkey and zucchini meatballs. I feel like these mini turkey meatballs would be a bit dry if made in a larger version and so that’s where the zucchini comes in to help and save the day. However these tiny meatballs are so small that they’re not at all dry. They’re fully surrounded in that perfect tomato sauce.

Also I’ve done so many versions of tomato sauce I have really lost track of them! Every time I need to make tomato sauce I just go for it and write down the recipe and whatever you want to use is fine. In this case I blended the tomato sauce for a change but you don’t have to if you don’t want to. Here’s my personal collection:

mini turkey meatballs

Mini Turkey Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Low
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Lorena Salinas from Cravings Journal


For the mini turkey meatballs

  • 230 g ground turkey I used breast only
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil + extra to cook
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground oregano
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder

For the tomato sauce

  • 100 g yellow onion finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced, finely grated or pressed
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 bayleaves
  • 3 large tomatoes fresh over ripened* or canned
  • to taste salt and pepper


For the mini turkey meatballs

  • Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Lightly oil your hands and make half a teaspoon sized balls. 
  • Cook the meatballs on a pan on medium heat with olive oil. Once they’re golden and cooked through, remove them and keep for later use.

For the tomato sauce

  • Peel, deseed and chop the tomatoes really finely. Pass the seeds through a colander by pressing on them with the back of a spoon and keep their juices. Discard the skin and seeds. If using canned tomatoes you can use the juice that they come in.
  • Add extra olive oil to the same pan where we cooked the mini meatballs if needed. Use it to cook the onion on low-medium heat until translucent and sweet in smell.
  • Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for one minute while stirring.
  • Add the tomatoes and juices from the seeds along with the bayleaves and let it warm up.
  • Turn down the heat to a simmer and let the sauce reduce and the tomatoes soften. When you’re happy with the texture blend it.
  • Return the sauce and meatballs to the pot to heat back up and serve over, pasta, rice, mashed potatoes.


*For sauces it’s best to have close-to-death tomatoes. They’re really red and soft which makes the process of them cooking faster and the result is sweeter. That way you don’t need to add sugar!
Tried this recipe?Mention @CravingsJournal or tag #RecipeCJ!

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