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Turkey & ricotta meatballs from Small Victories: Recipes, Advice + Hundreds of Ideas for Home-Cooking Triumphs (page 168) by Julia Turshen

  • basil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • ricotta cheese
  • garlic
  • parsley
  • canned tomatoes
  • ground turkey

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Notes about this recipe

  • NJChicaa on April 01, 2018

    I've made these a few times and have been very happy with them. I do make meatballs often with ground turkey so it wasn't a huge flavor change for me.

  • mzgourmand on November 19, 2017

    This was voted a meh recipe at my dinner table, not worth doing again. I agree with the other reviewers who found the meatballs on the dry side, the whole milk ricotta didn't result in the tender meatballs the recipe promised & others describe. I thought the flavors were fine but ordinary - not hugely delicious, and given the time involved want more than just OK. Beyond that I actually found that I didn't love the turkey flavor here - and I use ground turkey to make kofte all the time. And I think the choice of meat/poultry did result in a drier meatball.

  • LMK on September 20, 2017

    We loved these, they had great flavor and texture. The basil and parsley really make them. The simple garlicky tomato sauce was a perfect compliment. One thing to note, the meatballs didn't brown at all (and never would have given how crowded and wet the sheet pan was) I took them out of the oven in the time given without waiting for color since they were going into sauce anyway.

  • clcorbi on September 11, 2017

    Well, we loved these. The sauce reminded me of the one from the Frankie's Spuntino cookbook, which I do prefer, but that one also requires like four hours of simmering. So, this one is a good tradeoff that's a lot faster and still tasty. We especially loved the meatballs--I did find that they were a bit hard to roll up, so they didn't look the prettiest, but their flavor was SO good because of all that basil. I also felt that this recipe was comparatively easier to throw together than most meatballs I've made, and still had a huge flavor payoff, so that's a win.

  • lizbot2000 on July 15, 2017

    My kids turn up their noses at everything I cook because it's "too weird" (i.e., not nuggets or the exact chili they get at daycare), but they ate this enthusiastically. Seriously chowed it and told me it was good - I almost cried with happiness, for real. I was worried the meatballs wouldn't be cooked enough, because they weren't brown at all when I threw them in the tomato sauce, but I just turned up the heat on the tomato sauce for a little longer and they were fine. I'll definitely make this again.

  • KaraCooks on May 31, 2017

    I halved this recipe as well, added lots more basil. I cooked them at 300 in the oven just to get firm enough to put in the sauce. (15 minutes). Simmered in the sauce for 20...added lots of red chili flakes to the sauce as well. I loved this dish!!

  • raybun on May 21, 2017

    I halved the recipe and there was enough for the three of us with leftovers. At 15 minutes I drained the liquid from the baking sheet and put them back in the oven for another 10 mins. I suspect my ricotta was not superior enough hence the excess liquid. The meatballs were perfectly cooked and were very moist and flavourful. I served them with the roasted cauliflower with anchovy breadcrumbs from the same book.

  • ksg518 on March 20, 2017

    My daughter and I liked these meatballs just fine, although we're not sure we'd make them again. Ours weren't dry at all, although I may have brushed them with more olive oil than the recipe calls for prior to putting them in the oven. Only some of ours browned in the oven, but we didn't want to keep roasting them and risk drying them out. I would have preferred a more traditional sauce with some onion.

  • jenmacgregor18 on March 14, 2017

    I had the same experience that Emily Hope did. Not a successful recipe for me. At the 15 minute mark in the oven, there was so much moisture in the pan, they were boiling. Then they were overcooked at the 25 min mark. I just don't think ground turkey works for me in this application. Maybe I'm doing something wrong; but I'm not sure that the ricotta is an effective sub for breadcrumbs. I'll stick to a more traditional meatball recipe.

  • southerncooker on March 10, 2017

    I opted for the option of using Italian Sausage instead of turkey and my son picked out spicy Italian Sausage. Big hit with daughter, son and I. I did only make a half recipe. Sauce was good too.

  • westminstr on March 08, 2017

    Unlike the previous reviewer, I found these meatballs tender and tasty, very good especially for turkey! I think it's the ample amount of basil and parsley that really set these apart. Ricotta is not any easier than bread crumbs and egg, but good to know about if you are cooking for someone with a gluten or egg allergy. I made a half recipe, would probably go ahead and make the full recipe next time and freeze half. I liked her sauce recipe as well (I omitted the water).

  • Emily Hope on September 14, 2016

    These were a disappointment--perhaps my fault for following the recipe too literally, but by the time the meatballs had any sort of browning on them in the oven, they were clearly overcooked and surrounded by moisture on the baking sheet. That problem, coupled with the leanness of ground turkey (even dark meat, which we used) meant that these were dry, hard little balls of sadness, albeit flavorful ones. I'm not convinced that ricotta is an effective substitute for bread crumbs and milk, although I like the idea in theory. I'm still going to try the variation with sausage, which I imagine would be more successful with the higher fat content of sausage.

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