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Recipes   /   Turkey Meatballs on a Bed of Leeks

Turkey Meatballs on a Bed of Leeks

Sep 13, 2010 by Gabriele Corcos


This is the perfect comfort food. This dish makes Debi very happy, she says that this sauce is probably the closest thing that I prepare that actually deserves to be called gravy. This is what the girls demand when they’re sick or overly tired. It’s quick and makes great leftovers (if I have leftovers, both my daughters expect it in their lunchbox the next day.) We don’t make them gigantic, we make meatballs that are about walnut- sized. We serve them over couscous, rice, and they work well with every side vegetable so they’re versatile. We like making them with turkey because they’re slightly softer and the flavor is a little milder and they stay more moist. Turkey meatballs are a favorite.

Serves: 6 Prep time:  15 minutesCook time: 25 minutes


  • 2 leeks
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 handful fresh parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup warm chicken or vegetable broth

1Clean the leeks: cut off the green top parts and slice them lengthwise, separate each leaf and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Dry the leeks well and then roughly chop them.

2Using a wooden spoon, saute the leeks in a large skillet with about 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat, for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat once completely softened and the leeks begin to turn a golden blonde.

3While the leeks are cooking, start the meatballs:

4In a large bowl, mix together the ground meat, shallot (or onion), chopped parsley, 2 tablespoons bread crumbs, grated Parmesan, and egg yolk. Season the mixture lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper.

5Pour the bread crumbs in a pasta bowl and roll in the meatballs as you are preparing them. Set the meat aside on a large plate, do not make a pile; use 2 plates, if necessary.

6Return the pan with the leeks to a medium-high heat, add the meatballs and saute gently flipping them once or twice.

7Once they are browned, lower the heat and add the broth a few tablespoons at a time. Season with a light sprinkle of salt and some ground pepper, lower the heat to medium-low and cook for about 25 minutes, always making sure that the sauce does not dry up.

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