A white plate with spaghetti and meatballs on it.

Turkey Meatballs – Alison Mountford

By Alison Mountford – contributing chef




Notes – If you know a turkey meatball naysayer, I hope you cook these for them. They are poached in sauce, so you get a flavorful sauce and easy, no-splatter cooking all in one pot.


.5 red onion

4 clove garlic (divided)

3 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (divided)

1 bay leaf

.5 cup red wine (or white, optional)

2 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (or crushed, undrained)

1.5 cup breadcrumbs

2 eggs (large)

1 cup parmesan cheese (grated, plus more for serving)

.5 cup reduced-fat milk (2%)

1 Tablespoon dried Italian seasoning

2 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon onion powder

2 teaspoon kosher salt

1.5 teaspoon paprika

2 pound ground turkey


  1. MINCE

Finely dice or mince the red onion and garlic. Divide garlic in 2 piles.


Heat a wide heavy pot over medium heat. Add 3 Tablespoons olive oil, then add finely diced red onion and ½ of the garlic. Cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutes, or until tender but not browned. Add bay leaf and wine, then add the tomatoes.

Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, while you make the meatballs.


In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, egg, most of the parmesan, and milk. Stir together well and let sit for about 5 minutes.

Add the spices: 1 Tablespoon dried Italian seasoning, 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 ½ teaspoons paprika, and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Stir.

Add the turkey and gently mix until blended, we use clean hands for this. The mixture will be soft, which is ok because it makes moist meatballs.

  • ROLL

Roughly divide the mixture into 4s in the bowl. From each section of 4, roll about 14 – 18 meatballs slightly larger than a golf ball and place on a pan. When all are done, lower them one at a time into the simmer sauce. Very gently nudge them so they don’t stick to the bottom and help them settle into the sauce.


Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes.


Serve spaghetti with meatballs and more sauce. Top with more parmesan cheese!


Download and print the recipe, HERE:


Find other recipes from Alison, here:


Chef Alison Mountford is the founder of Ends+Stems – which is a meal planning membership and recipe website to reduce food waste. “Chef Alison” also hosts a series of online courses for easier weeknight meals and feeding picky eaters with less stress. Alison began in 2005 as a personal chef and caterer in San Francisco but she recently returned home to Rhode Island!

She is passionate about helping families eat well together, with less frustration. Alison is often hired as a speaker to share about household food waste, feeding busy families, and sustainability in the kitchen; she’s appeared many times on The Rhode Show and other podcasts and webinars.

Alison is also the Market Coordinator at Hope & Main – Rhode Island only culinary incubator – where she loves helping new food businesses expand their social media, brand, and increase sales at the farmer’s markets!