Sweetheart Turkey Meatballs was a fun project that ran amok. I was unpacking my Valentine’s Day decorations and accessories and noticed that I had a heart-shaped muffin-type pan, a non-stick thing with 12 heart-shaped compartments like this:
So, I started brainstorming ways to use this pan (which you can order through Amazon here: 12-cup heart-shaped muffin pan) and decided to make Sweetheart Turkey Meatballs. But, when it came down to the actual making of those Sweetheart Turkey Meatballs, I didn’t want to limit myself to just 12 meatballs because I wanted to make a boat load of Sweetheart Turkey Meatballs for several different projects. So, while this pan is adorable and works really well for brownies (which I made later – stay tuned), I did not use it to make my Sweetheart Turkey Meatballs.
I used this instead:
Yes, I used a cookie cutter (which you can order through Amazon here: Fox Run Heart Cookie Cutter Set). I used the second to the smallest one, which measures just over 2-inches and makes a meatball that is almost an ounce and a half in weight. Perfect size for a meatball, don’t you think?
Disclaimer: I was not compensated to write this post, but this post does contain affiliate links to the products listed above, which will take you directly to these products on Amazon. Toot Sweet 4 Two is an Amazon affiliate and receives a small commission if a product is purchased through these links. If you click on the link and purchase a product, I will receive a commission of approximately 5% on the sale. If you don’t want me to receive any commission, you could just open a new browser window and search for the product on your own. But, if you do use the links to purchase products, THANK YOU! This does not change the cost to you; thanks for helping to keep content on this site free!
My recipe for Sweetheart Turkey Meatballs made a whopping 34 meatballs! It probably would have made a perfect 3 dozen if I had pinched a bit of meat from each meatball to make 2 more. But, after making 34 Sweetheart Turkey Meatballs, I wasn’t about to go back and pinch my little hearts!
Since it’s usually just me and Charlie, why did I make so many at once? Well, I like to plan ahead. And, if a recipe is easy to make once and is something that can be frozen, I usually double-up. If you don’t want to make 34 meatballs, cut my recipe in half or a third and make a dozen or two. Then you could try out the brownie/muffin pan and see how that works!
Here’s a close-up of my adorable Sweetheart Turkey Meatballs. You can see they are chock-full of deliciousness – onion, red bell pepper and both fresh parsley and basil. These little treasures are a savory bite of heaven plus they smell incredible – even cold (more about that in an upcoming post).
While these are easy to make, they do take a bit of time, especially if you are going to make the full recipe of 34! But, here’s the good news: you can bake them all at once in the oven! So, the time involved is just mixing up the meatball ingredients and then making the heart shapes one-by-one.
And, here’s more good news: this is a great project for kids! Have your children or grandchildren help you. It’s a fun project and with a variety of heart-shaped cookie cutters, you can give each child a handful of the turkey meatball mixture and their own cookie cutter and let them go to town. Who says they have to all be the same size?
And, if the kids make them, they are more likely to eat them! Although I really don’t know why any kid wouldn’t try just one, even if they didn’t make them.
Here’s a collage for your Pinterest board…thanks for sharing!
Here’s the recipe for Sweetheart Turkey Meatballs:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 red or yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup whole milk, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 pounds ground turkey
- 1½ cups Panko breadcrumbs
- ¾ cups grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Heat olive oil in medium-sized skillet over medium heat.
- Add onions and red pepper and saute' for a few minutes.
- Add garlic and continue to saute' until onions are translucent.
- Break eggs into a small mixing bowl and whisk them until yolks and whites are combined.
- Add milk, tomato paste, salt and pepper and whisk to combine.
- Place ground turkey into a large mixing bowl, add breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley and basil.
- Using clean hands, gently mix turkey mixture until ingredients are combined.
- Add egg/milk mixture and mix again to combine.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line 3 large cookie sheets with foil and spray each with non-stick cooking spray.
- Using a 2¼" x 2¼" heart-shaped cookie cutter, make heart-shaped meatballs, placing each on prepared cookie sheets.
- Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
- Serve with Fire Roasted Slow Cooker Arrabbiata Sauce.
Want more Valentine’s Day ideas for dinner? Check out these posts from the Toot Sweet 4 Two archives: