Hearty Turkey Meatball Stew

Hearty Turkey Stew

There are only a few weeks left of winter and if you look hard enough through this very cold northern weather, you can start to see spring creep up around the corner. I have to admit, as a dog owner in the city, I find January and February to be my least favorite months of the year, since it makes morning walks in the Park so uncomfortable – and believe me, Roger wholeheartedly agrees! So I can’t tell you enough how much we are looking forward to the warmer temperatures of March!

Hearty Turkey Stew

Although winters here can be tough, the positive thing that the cold weather does bring are hearty winter warming soups and stews to enjoy!

That brings me to one of my favorite stews to make in the winter months. My Hearty Turkey Meatball Stew is delicious and filling, yet still maintains its healthy components – because let’s face it, there’s no reason why a winter stew can’t be hearty and healthy!

Hearty Turkey Stew

This recipe is packed with all the good stuff that any person would love to have in their stew…sautéed onions and bell peppers add a touch of vegetable sweetness to this savory stew while earthy mushrooms help to balance out the flavors and create more depth to the sauce.

The heartiness and thickness is achieved by adding tummy-filling and satisfying petite gold and red potatoes to the stew.

Hearty Turkey Stew

But the star is obviously the turkey meatballs, which are a combination of 2 parts ground turkey breast and 1 part ground dark turkey meat. I prepare the meatballs in a healthful way, packing them with almond milk and delicious fresh herbs and seasonings while at the same time using very little dry breadcrumbs and cheese. Don’t let the health factor dissuade you, by par roasting the meatballs in the oven and finishing them off in the stew sauce I manage to keep these babies moist and tender, since they’re able to absorb the mouthwatering flavor of the sauce that they’re basting in.

All in all this Hearty Turkey Meatball Stew will have your family shaking their heads in surprise at just how good – and healthy – this meal is!

To make the meatballs for this recipe you will need organic ground turkey breast, organic ground dark turkey, almond milk, water, seasoned dry breadcrumbs, parmigiano-reggiano, an egg, granulated garlic powder, freshly cracked black pepper, kosher salt, and fresh parsley.

To make the stew you will need an onion, bell peppers, cremini mushrooms, petite gold and red potatoes, garlic cloves, fresh green beans, 2 cans of organic diced tomatoes, low-sodium chicken stock, kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper, red pepper flakes and a touch of all-purpose flour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

The first task at hand is to form these wonderful meatballs. In a large mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, almond milk, water, egg, pepper, salt, granulated garlic, parmigiano-reggiano, and chopped parsley. Stir the ingredients well so that everything is combined.

Add the ground turkey breast and ground dark turkey, gently mixing everything together – try not to over-mix or you will create dense over-processed meatballs which are not nearly as tasty! Set the mixture in the refrigerator, covered, while you prep the remaining ingredients.

Cut the onion and bell peppers into 2-3 inch long strips. Slice the mushrooms and gold and red potatoes into thick slivers. Trim the green beans in half, creating 2 inch pieces. Set everything aside.

Back to the meatballs. Line a full sheet pan with foil. Remove the turkey mixture from the fridge and roll the mixture into meatballs that are slightly smaller than a golf ball. Set each meatball on the lined baking sheet. Depending on the size of the meatballs formed, this recipe should yield about 30 slightly smaller than golf ball meatballs.

Loosely cover the meatballs with foil and throw the baking sheet in the oven at 375 degrees F for about 20 minutes – keep in mind when taken out of the oven, the meatballs will still be slightly rare in the middle.

You do not want to fully cook the meatballs yet, as they will finish cooking in the stew’s sauce, allowing them to soak up all that rich flavor and moistness. Once the meatballs are baked, they should be removed from the oven and set aside while the stew is being prepared.

While the meatballs bake away in the oven, heat a large heavy bottomed 7-8 quart cast iron dutch oven (or stainless steel pot) with 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add the sliced potatoes, seasoning them with salt and pepper, and sauté on medium-low heat (covered with the lid) for 5 minutes.

Add the bell peppers and onions to the pot. Season the veggies, cover them with the lid and sauté for several minutes until they slightly soften and gain a touch of color.

Drop the mushrooms in the pot, season with salt and pepper, cover and sauté them for several minutes until they start to release their juices.

Lastly, mince the fresh garlic and add it to the pot, along with the green beans. Cook them for 1-2 minutes.

The next step is to add the cans of diced tomatoes, low-sodium chicken stock and red pepper flakes to the mix. Stir the contents in the pot so that everything is combined. Taste for seasoning adjustments.

Now take the turkey meatballs and add them, one by one, to the pot along with any juices that may have accumulated in the baking sheet. Make sure to bury the meatballs as best you can in the stew – this will aid in allowing them to fully cook in the sauce and retain their moisture.

Bring the stew to a boil then reduce to simmer. Cook the stew – partially covered with the lid to allow for some evaporation – until the meatballs are fully cooked through and the potatoes are fork tender, about 10-15 minutes. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add a slurry to the sauce to help thicken it (1 tablespoon flour to 1 tablespoon water). Give the stew a last check for seasonings and remove it from the heat when done.

Hearty Turkey Stew

Serve this hearty Turkey Meatball Stew warm with a slice of crusty ciabatta bread – believe me, you will need it to scoop up every drop of that delicious stew sauce!

Enjoy!

Hearty Turkey Meatball Stew
Author: 
Recipe type: Lunch, Healthy, Dinner, Weeknight Meal
Cuisine: Turkey, Stew, Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • For Turkey Meatballs:
  • ⅓ cup breadcrumbs (Brand: 4C seasoned breadcrumbs)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 2 tablespoons parmigiano-reggiano, grated
  • ½ cup almond milk (Brand: Califia Farms Unsweetened Almond Milk)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • For Stew:
  • 1 small onion, sliced lengthwise into strips
  • 2-3 bell peppers, seeded and sliced lengthwise into strips
  • 8-10 cremini mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 8-12 petite gold and red potatoes, thickly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4-6 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 2 -15 ounce cans organic diced tomatoes (Brand: Muir Glen Organic Diced Tomatoes)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (for slurry if needed)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine breadcrumbs, almond milk, water, one egg, pepper, salt, granulated garlic, parmigiano-reggiano, and chopped parsley. Stir the ingredients so that everything is well combined.
  3. Add the ground turkey breast and dark turkey, gently mixing everything together - try not to over mix or you will create dense over-processed meatballs. Set mixture in refrigerator, covered, while you prep the remaining ingredients.
  4. Cut the onions and bell peppers into 2-3 inch long strips.
  5. Slice the mushrooms and gold and red potatoes into thick slivers and trim the bell peppers in half, creating 2 inch long pieces. Set aside.
  6. Line a full sheet pan with foil. Remove the turkey mixture from the fridge and roll the mixture into meatballs that are slightly smaller than a golf ball. Set each meatball on the lined baking sheet. Depending on the size of the meatballs formed, this recipe should yield about 30 slightly smaller than golf ball meatballs.
  7. Loosely cover the meatballs with foil and bake in the oven at 375 degrees F for about 20 minutes - keep in mind when taken out of the oven, the meatballs will still be slightly rare in the middle. You do not want to fully cook the meatballs yet, as they will finish cooking in the stew's sauce. Once the meatballs are baked, they should be removed from the oven and set aside while the stew is being prepared.
  8. Heat a large heavy bottomed 7-8 quart cast iron dutch oven (or stainless steel pot) with 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add the sliced potatoes, seasoning them with salt and pepper, and sauté (covered) on medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
  9. Add the bell peppers and onions to the pot. Season the veggies, cover with the lid and sauté for several minutes until they slightly soften and gain a touch of color.
  10. Drop the mushrooms in the pot, season with salt and pepper, cover with a lid and sauté for several minutes until they start to release their juices.
  11. Mince the fresh garlic and add it to the pot, along with the green bean. Cook them for 1-2 minutes.
  12. Add the cans of diced tomatoes, low-sodium chicken stock and red pepper flakes to the mix. Stir the contents in the pot so that everything is combined. Taste for seasoning.
  13. Add the turkey meatballs, one by one, to the pot along with any juices that may have accumulated in the baking sheet. Make sure to bury the meatballs as best you can in the stew - this will aid in allowing them to fully cook in the sauce and retain their moisture.
  14. Bring the stew to a boil then reduce to simmer.
  15. Cook the stew, partially covered with the lid to allow for some evaporation, until the meatballs are fully cooked through and the potatoes are fork tender, about 10-15 minutes. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add a slurry to the sauce to help thicken it (1 tablespoon flour to 1 tablespoon water). Check for seasonings and remove from heat when done.
  16. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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