TJ’s Turkey Ricotta Meatballs

Two and a half years ago, Trader Joe’s opened in my neighborhood. My world changed. No longer was the store reserved as a “destination” shopping trip. No longer did I have to suffer the financial indignities of Whole Foods, appropriately nicknamed Whole Paycheck. I was in heaven!

I know that people flock to Trader Joe’s for their prepared foods, frozen, fresh and shelf stable. But now that it had become my local grocery store, I found so much fun and flexibility in the basics that it was easy to come up with my own recipes. 

Joy. Sheer joy…Watching my army of perfectly lined up meatballs


Baking these meatballs also ups their status on the healthful index! Plus, the turkey meatballs can be eaten immediately, stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen and defrosted when you’re ready to eat them. Of course this recipe can be recreated using other brand items, but if you happen to be in Trader Joe’s it will be a one stop shopping trip!

I frequently make the quantity that I describe below. It’s quite a lot and makes about 140 meatballs.  Feel free to freeze the cooked and cooled meatballs or go ahead and half the recipe!

Two packs of ground turkey… this is going to be enough to feed a small army!
Add the ricotta
Add two eggs
Add frozen basil cubes or 1/4 cup fresh basil finely chopped
(make sure you defrost them first… I was too anxious to take the picture here)
Add a cup of panko
Combine all ingredients.
I use an ice cream scoop to make even-sized meatballs
I fit 60 meatballs onto one baking sheet.
Place them close to each other, but don’t let them touch.
Baked turkey ricotta meatballs

TJ’s Turkey Ricotta Meatballs 

Makes approximately 60 meatballs (go ahead and make half of this recipe for an average family)

Ingredients

2 1/2 pounds ground turkey breast (two packs of ground turkey)
1 cup fat free ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
4 TJ’s frozen basil squares, defrosted (or 1/4 cup of fresh basil, finely chopped)
About 15 turns pepper grinder
1 teaspoon salt

Optional: Splash of seltzer/club soda/water

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1. Combine ground turkey breast with the other ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Optional: add a splash of seltzer water (about 1/4 cup). It will make the meatballs juicier.

3. Using a 1 ounce/1 Tablespoon ice cream scoop, place meatballs onto two large foil or parchment paper lined baking sheets. They can be tightly placed, but don’t let them touch.

4. Bake for 23-25 minutes, until juices run clear.

5. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Gently remove from baking sheet.

Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!

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