Blackberry-Balsamic Turkey Meatballs

There are some things I am just too lazy to do when I am pressed for time and just want to hurry up and eat dinner. One is set up my lightbox – so my photography should be a good indicator of what kind of night it was! Another is straining seeds from sauces. Seriously, who has time for that? Not me, when I have crazy 90 minute weight lifting routines to do after work and it’s 8 o’clock and my tummy is growling! (And that’s even after the post-workout protein shake.) When I found this recipe for Blueberry-Balsamic Turkey Meatballs, I thought it sounded perfect – except my plans changed a little when I saw blackberries on sale for $1.99. The thing about blackberries is that they are a lot seedier then blueberries. Well of course, since blueberries are not seedy whatsoever. I could deal with the seeds, though if I had a little more time, I probably would have strained them. If you really can’t stand seeds in your sauces, just make sure to allot some extra time when making this! One other change I made was to pop the meatballs in the oven while preparing the sauce, because I think the hold together better when par-baked.

Seeds aside, this dinner was really enjoyable. I substituted tomato paste for the ketchup since I never have ketchup on hand and did not want to buy a bottle just for this meal. I probably could have added a few extra spices to compensate, but it was still good as is. This could definitely pass for an interesting cocktail-style meatball, but we liked it for dinner as well. I served it with lemon-roasted asparagus and carrots! Why am I so excited about carrots? Because, for the first time, I actually managed to use my extra carrots. I regularly end up buying a 1-lb bag to use just 1-2 carrots in a recipe, wishing that my stores sold them loose. And I regularly throw out the rest of the bag once they go bad in the fridge. This time, I actually decided to prepare them, and it turns out, we DO like steamed carrots as a side dish! (ok, I steamed them first and then sauteed in a dab of olive oil and seasoned with herbs de provence).

Blackberry-Balsamic Turkey Meatballs
1 1/4 lbs of ground turkey
1/4 cup of minced parsley
1/2 small onion, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 tsp paprika
freshly ground salt & pepper

2 cups blackberries
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine meatball ingredients and mix well. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with nonstick cooking spray. Shape the turkey mixture into small balls and place on the baking sheet. Place in oven while you prepare the sauce.
Combine sauce ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and process until smooth in a blender or food processor. Strain the seeds, if desired. Return to pot, add meatballs, and cook over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes.
Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 333.3
Total Fat: 10.9 g
Cholesterol: 105.0 mg
Sodium: 214.7 mg
Total Carbs: 29.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.7 g
Protein: 31.7 g
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5 Responses to “Blackberry-Balsamic Turkey Meatballs”

  1. 1

    Joelen — April 8, 2009 @ 12:44 pm Reply

    What a great combo of flavors and I love how colorful the plate is!

  2. 2

    Meghan — April 8, 2009 @ 9:17 pm Reply

    These sounds great! I rarely make turkey meatballs for anything other than spaghetti, but I’d like to try it. My husband loves pairing meat with fruit. Love the bright colors!

  3. 3

    Dori — April 10, 2009 @ 12:41 am Reply

    interesting mix of flavors! i’m intrigued. and the fact that you don’t have ketchup on hand fascinates me.

  4. 4

    Kerstin — April 14, 2009 @ 3:16 am Reply

    The blackberry sauce sounds amazing! I’m impressed you used all your carrots – we never get through them all either. Very cute blog 🙂

  5. 5

    Susan (peebsmama) — October 21, 2009 @ 10:59 am Reply

    I bookmarked this recipe some time ago but just got around to making it last night. SO delicious. I will definitely be making this again. Thanks for the reminder to eat carrots. We had them with the meatballs. I actually love cooked carrots but I never think to include them as a side dish. Like you, I tend to buy a pack, use one or two for ingredients in a recipe then toss the rest in the compost when they get shriveled.

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