Turkey and apple polpette (meatballs)

These are so savoury yet sweet and tasty, much healthier than other types of meatballs as turkey is so low in fat. The apple combination is perfect, you wouldn’t know it was there but it works so well. I recently made these as part of a “finger food” selection at a party, hence the large portion, I had enough for the party and part cooked some and popped them in freezer bags for another day.  Dipped in tzatziki they are delicious, I think it’s the meat + fruit + mint combination. So good!

I’ve adopted some elements from how my mom-in-law makes her polpette in Italy, she uses more eggs than you would think are necessary and also quite a lot more milk, her meatballs are always tender and juicy.

The below makes about 60 or so small to medium sized meatballs, cut the portions in half (although you should use at least 2 eggs) to make less (remember that the ones I made were “finger food” so you can just make the meatballs bigger and make fewer of them).

  • 750g turkey mince, I’ve used thigh but they’re just just as good with breast mince
  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled and grated with the juice squeezed out
  • 200g breadcrumbs
  • 100g grated parmesan
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons of salt (as you prefer)
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Lots of fresh or dried herbs to taste – I love mint, oregano and coriander, not necessarily altogether but if possible yes!
  • 4 medium or 3 large eggs, seems like a lot but it works!
  • 100ml milk
  1. Add the chopped onion and garlic to a small saucepan with the butter and oil, add them before you turn on the heat and sauté on low until the onion is translucent (I prefer to do this or the meat balls just taste like raw onion, the butter also adds a really mellow flavour). Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly
  2. Peel and grate the apple and squeeze out all the juice
  3. Beat the eggs and add the milk
  4. Then combine all the ingredients and with your hands (or a spoon) and work them together
  5. Once the mix is evenly distributed, leave to rest for at least 20 – 30 minutes in the fridge
  6. Preheat your oven to 200°C (180°C fan)
  7. Then, wet your hands with water (good trick) and roll your meatballs
  8. Place onto a greased baking tray
  9. Bake in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown
  10. If you prefer, fry gently with a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan until golden brown
  11. Serve with flat breads or pitas, salad and tzatziki and / or sweet chilli sauce.

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