The meatball is a vehicle for easy comfort. It’s a truly simple weeknight dinner staple, where with the right recipe, that perfect meatball juiciness is an easily achieved part of the early equation and not something that needs to be belabored, whether or not your meatball is slathered or simmering in a sauce. Here now, Eater editors’ go-to recipes for turkey meatballs, Asian-style meatballs, and everything in between.
Turkey Ricotta Meatballs
Julia Turshen, The Kitchn
In my world, ground turkey has exactly one purpose, and that is for making Julia Turshen’s turkey ricotta meatballs. For the most part, I avoid turkey, because it tends to get dry and crumbly. To avoid this, Turshen recommends using dark meat, but even if you’re stuck with ground white meat, ricotta and parmesan folded into the mixture will give your balls the needed moisture to come out juicy and delicious. While a simple tomato sauce is simmering on the stovetop, the recipe has you brown the meatballs in the oven which, while less exciting than searing them, is quicker and makes for much less cleanup. Once the balls are browned and the sauce is simmered, all that’s left to do is combine the two, and you’re good to go. A very good case for eating more turkey. — Elazar Sontag, Eater staff writer
Korean Barbecue-Style Meatballs
Kay Chun, NYT Cooking
I’m not sure what makes these inherently “Korean barbecue-style,” but these are a great baseline meatball: the Ritz crackers are a delightfully retro ingredient that keeps them moist and light in the middle. To this basic recipe I usually add regular soy sauce (instead of the light soy sauce and added salt the recipe calls for), a couple inches’ worth of diced ginger, a splash of sesame oil, and a heaping tablespoon of sambal oelek for spice. They bake beautifully in the oven, developing a nice crust in the outside that gives way perfectly when you stab them with a fork. — Erin DeJesus, Eater.com lead editor
Greek Chicken Meatballs in Lemon Cream Sauce
Little Spice Jar
The algorithm got me on this one: I saw a photo of these meatballs on my Instagram Explore page and had to have them immediately. If you love an absurd amount of lemon like I do, this will be the recipe of your dreams. Little Spice Jar’s chicken meatballs were ridiculously easy to make — as most meatballs are, I’d say — but the addition of feta to the mixture really kept them from getting dry and crumbly. The sauce process is a little bit more involved but still manageable — just heed the author’s advice about keeping an eye on its thickness as it sets a bit more with time. Mine certainly did, but I whisked in a little chicken stock at the end and thinned it back out to a pourable consistency. I paired ‘em with buttered orzo and the leftovers held up perfectly for days.