Around here meatballs are a wildly popular menu item. My kids love them, my husband loves them, and I love how easy it is to get them on the table after a long day. After years of devouring our favorite traditional meatballs I’ve been on the hunt for something a little different. Something with just a little bit of wow factor. When a friend told me about her recipe for bacon wrapped meatballs I was more than a little interested. (Thinking back, she was probably slightly concerned about my intense interest level.) Her version sounded incredible, but I know my kids. They’ve never been fond of bacon-wrapped anything. Since I’m not a fan of wasting food I needed to find a way to make the meatballs a little kid-friendlier for my crew. I found an amazing idea over at Always Order Dessert – put the bacon in the food processor. Sooo seriously genius. After giving the bacon a few whirls in the food processor it turns into exactly the same consistency as the ground turkey. They mix together beautifully and you end up with perfectly consistent flavor and none of the chunks.
I used ground turkey in this recipe to balance out the richness of the bacon and it was a match made in heaven. I buy Plainville Farms ground turkey, which is an all natural product humanely raised without any antibiotics or hormones. We try to eat beef in moderation so using ground turkey is a good way to get a little variety in our menu. I use it in my Cheesy Hamburger Skillet recipe sometimes too.
These Gluten Free Turkey and Bacon Meatballs are quick to make, and since the food processor does all the work there’s no need to even get out a knife. Just combined everything and shape them into balls. Bake them for about 20 minutes and dinner is served.
I like to serve these with a a jar of my Simple Marinara Sauce which I always have in the back of the freezer. You can’t believe how much better it tastes than most store bought sauce. These turkey and bacon meatballs freeze well too, so any leftovers that aren’t earmarked for lunch go into the freezer for another meal. Or save yourself loads of time by mixing up a double batch and freezing one for later. Meatballs are so versatile you can come up with plenty of different ways to serve them. My husband is nuts for Turkey and Bacon Meatball Sliders.
I’m planning on serving these during the holidays and at football get togethers as well. They make the perfect little party bite.
Gluten Free Turkey and Bacon Meatballs
- 1/2 pound nitrate/nitrite free bacon
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese, grated (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place bacon, onion, garlic, and parsley into the bowl of a food processor.
- Pulse for about 20 seconds, or until no large chunks are visible. Stop the food processor and scrape the sides of the bowl with as necessary.
- Combine bacon mixture with turkey, cheese, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
- Gently mix together using your hands until ingredients are well incorporated.
- Form mixture into 14-16 large balls, placing each one on the baking sheet as you go.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches a minimum of 160 degrees.
- Serve with your favorite all natural marinara sauce.
Recipe adapted from Always Order Dessert