Indian Turkey Meatballs over Rice

Ohhhhhhhh yeahhhhh.

Indian Turkey Meatballs over Rice / Bev Cooks

Meatballs. But not just any meatballs! Turkey meatballs. But not just any turkey meatballs! Indian turkey meatballs. But not just any Indian turkey meatballs! I’m not sure what to say now.

But! This is sosososoosososososoooooogood. It’s like spaghetti and meatballs, but totally twisted and turned upside down with seductive spices, a buttery marinara, white rice and garlic naan! Carbs on carbs, man. Winter demands this extra padding, you know.

I see you nodding.

Indian Turkey Meatballs over Rice / Bev Cooks  Indian Turkey Meatballs over Rice / Bev Cooks

The sauce is actually a tip from my sis-in-law Carolyn. She suggested adding butter instead of oil. I think that basically makes her the queen of life. It adds this richness that makes ya wanna slap your mama. But mine isn’t here so I slapped myself. Which was a stupid move. But anyway.

The meatballs, my gah. I soaked some good grainy bread with milk for moisture, added some garlic, shallot, parsley, yadda yadda yadda. BUT, it’s the garam masala and kiss of turmeric that blow these balls right outta the water. It’s not too much spice, oh no. It’s just enough. Just a little subtle spice party in your mouth. They even rented a band. But not like one of those awful cover bands at your work holiday party where the lead lady singer moves too much and wears sequins on her shoulders. Good grief get out of there.


Indian Turkey Meatballs over Rice / Bev Cooks

I’m madly in love with this meal. Fairly easy, crazy comforting, pretty healthy, complex flavors, but not like whaaaaaaat is this. And you can easily sub anything for anything. Swap in ground chicken, egg noodles, whatever makes you sing. But not with sequin shoulders for the love.

You must absolutely add this to your winter rotation. Or your all of life rotation. That works, too.

Also, carbs on carbs.

Indian Turkey Meatballs over Rice / Bev Cooks

You have my permission to slap yourself.

Indian Turkey Meatballs over Rice:

What it took for 4:

for the meatballs:

* 2 slices grainy bread
* 1/4 cup milk
* 1 pound ground turkey (I used dark meat)
* 2 cloves minced garlic
* 2 Tbs. minced parsley
* 1 Tbs. minced shallot
* 1 Tbs. garam masala
* 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
* 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan
* 1 egg
* a pinch of salt and pepper

for the marinara:

* 1 (1 lb 12 oz) can San Marzano (if you can find it) whole peeled tomatoes
* 3 cloves sliced garlic
* 1 white onion, cut in half
* 4 Tbs. butter
* 1 tsp dried oregano
* salt

the rest:

* 1 cup white rice (jasmine or basmati)
* garlic naan (frozen is just fine! mine was from Trader Joe’s.)
* minced parsley for garnish

Pulse the bread in a food processor until it becomes crumbly. Place the crumbs in a small bowl and pour the milk over it. Combine with your hands until the bread is moist. Sorry.

In a large bowl, place the turkey, garlic, shallot, parsley, garam masala, turmeric, egg, and parmesan cheese. Add the bread mix and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Combine with your hands. Form 1-inch balls and place them on a tray or plate until you’re ready to cook. I let mine sit in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Place the tomatoes in a large bowl and crush with your hands. I like this part. I’m weird.

Transfer the crushed tomatoes to a large pot and add the onion halves, garlic, butter and oregano. Let simmer on low for about 45 minutes.

In the meantime, cook your rice in a rice cooker or stovetop method, whichever you prefer!

Also in the meantime, heat a little oil in a large skillet over medium high. Add the meatballs and sear on both sides until you get some good browning. Once browned, transfer the meatballs to the sauce to finish cooking, about 15 minutes. Fish out the onion halves to make room. Give a pinch of salt to the sauce at the very end.

Serve the meatballs with marinara over rice, with pieces of torn garlic naan. Garnish with parsley and eat this mess already.
Indian Turkey Meatballs over Rice / Bev Cooks

Sequin shoulders sold separately.

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20 Responses to Indian Turkey Meatballs over Rice

  1. Sarah @ Bonjour Sucre December 10, 2014 at 6:27 pm #
    That looks delicious! I love Indian and meatball so this is perfect. Thanks for sharing!
  2. Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health December 10, 2014 at 7:58 pm #
    you crack me up...and your babies are very adorable.. on a different note - this is a wonderful recipe for life, not just winter because who doesnt love extra padding :P
  3. Christina @ The Beautiful Balance December 10, 2014 at 8:04 pm #
    I can't get into the whole meat thing but I do love indian food! Oh and that garlic naan looks magical and just as light and fluffy as it should be!
  4. Terri December 10, 2014 at 11:18 pm #
    This is the perfect answer to my quest for something new to make for friends this Saturday! I'm going for it! So...whatcha drinking with this face slapping meal? It looks like honey in the jars?!
    • Bev Weidner December 11, 2014 at 6:09 am #
      Honey, ahhaha! I like that. Actually, just apple cider! But beer would be good. Or wine. Or hard cider. Or all of it.
  5. Sune Moolman December 11, 2014 at 2:19 am #
    This might be the best meatballs I've ever seen. I'm slapping myself. Also, that naan!!!!!!!
  6. Ashley December 11, 2014 at 9:18 am #
    You made meatballs look pretty!! Well done!! Loooove me some garam masalaaaa.
  7. Heather December 11, 2014 at 9:34 am #
    Meatballs with sauce over rice. Yum. I do something similar, but use ground lamb instead. And I throw in a bunch of chopped cilantro in place of the parsley. Oh boy.
  8. Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain December 11, 2014 at 12:37 pm #
    You have some nice balls. Wait. The turkey balls. But fo' reals, these are so being actioned!!
  9. Amy @Very Culinary December 13, 2014 at 4:12 pm #
    I want!!
  10. Natalie December 17, 2014 at 10:25 am #
    these look absolutely delish!!! The hubby is a huge indian fan and I think this is something the babe will also love, win win!! Thanks for sharing and happy holidays! xo Natalie
  11. Chelsea January 11, 2015 at 2:08 pm #
    These look amazing! If I don't have a food processor (I know, I know. Broke college student and single mom!) can I use my blender? Or just shred to pieces by hand?
  12. Stephanie January 11, 2016 at 5:31 pm #
    Oh my yummmmmmm. So good!!!! I made my marana with tomatoes, chiles, tomato sauce and paste. I then followed up and added butter, oregano, chopped garlic and onion. This dish is incredible.
  13. Hailey March 18, 2017 at 9:59 am #
    I come back to the recipe time and time again. It's one of our favorites. We make it gf by using gf bread. We LOVE it!
  14. Cassandra March 24, 2017 at 7:25 pm #
    Help! What is an example of grainy bread? Going to make this tonight. Thank you!
    • Bev Weidner March 25, 2017 at 8:38 am #
      Just now seeing this! Really, just bread with the word "grain" in it. Like, 8 grain. Multi-grain. Anything works! And if you can't find that, whole wheat bread is juuust fine. Let me know how it turns out!
  15. Aarin Kaur March 22, 2021 at 12:10 pm #
    When we look at human we see stories. Nice post keep it up. Great Job!


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