I really enjoy creating my own "healthier" versions of fast food at home. It's kind of a challenge for myself to see if I can take a fast food item that's fatty, greasy (and so good that millions are sold everyday) and turn it into a good-for-you fast food that still tastes just as good.
These turkey meatballs are really good. They have a good flavor and just a small kick to them. I slow cook them all day in a marinara sauce so they are juicy and very tender, but not mushy. I like to serve them on homemade baked sub rolls, but sometimes I just buy the fresh baked torpedo rolls from my local grocery store. (The meatballs and marinara are also great served over cooked whole wheat linguine noodles)
Here's my recipe:
Toasted Turkey Meatball Subs(makes 6 servings)
For the meatballs:
2 lbs lean ground turkey (93/7)
1 small onion, finely diced
2 - 3 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 - 3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 T Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp seasoned salt or kosher salt (I used seasoned salt)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper (or fresh cracked)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (to desired taste)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan/Romano cheese blend
2 jars (1 lb, 8oz each) favorite marinara sauce (or equivalent amount of homemade)
1- 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
For the assembly:
6 - 6 inch sub rolls
1 cup shredded reduced fat mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together all of the meatball ingredients except for the marinara sauce and diced tomatoes.
Line a baking sheet with non-stick foil (or use regular foil sprayed with cooking spray).
Scoop out about 2 full tablespoons of the turkey mixture and, using your hands, roll into tightly formed balls. Place onto the lined baking sheet. Repeat until all the turkey is used. This should make about 20 large meatballs.
Bake the meatballs in the oven for about 20-22 minutes. Then turn the oven to LOW broil and cook for another 3-5 minutes until the tops of the meatballs start to brown a little.
Meanwhile, place a slow cooker liner in your slow cooker (if desired-I always use them for easier clean up). Add the marinara sauce and diced tomatoes. Turn slow cooker on to HIGH.
Remove meatballs from the oven and immediately transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain off the excess fat.
Then add the meatballs to the slow cooker, carefully, making sure to submerge each in the marinara sauce.
Cook on HIGH for about an hour to an hour and a half, then turn heat to LOW and continue to cook for another 5-6 hours.
When ready to serve, set oven to LOW broil. Line a baking sheet with foil. Slice each sub roll lengthwise about 3/4 of the way through, opening them carefully. Then add three meatballs to each roll and some extra marinara sauce on top of each. Then sprinkle each sub with shredded mozzarella.