Turkey meatballs in tomato & fennel sauce

Turkey meatballs in tomato & fennel sauce

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(45 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 25 mins

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Serves 4

This quick, tasty and economical supper is a healthy way of getting the family fed

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

kcalories
216
protein
26g
carbs
12g
fat
8g
saturates
1g
fibre
2g
sugar
6g
salt
0.46g

Ingredients

  • 400g turkey mince
  • 25g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400g spaghetti, cooked, to serve

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Method

  1. Put the mince in a mixing bowl with the breadcrumbs and half the garlic. Season and mix well to combine. Using your hands, shape the mixture into 12 balls, then chill for 10 mins.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the onion, carrot and remaining garlic. Cook for 5-6 mins until softened. Add the fennel seeds and cook for a few secs. Tip in the tomatoes with half a can of water, then stir in the tomato purée. Season and simmer for 15 mins until thickened. Using an electric hand blender, whizz until roughly smooth.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the meatballs for 8-10 mins until cooked through. Transfer to the sauce and simmer until piping hot. Serve with spaghetti.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, March 2010

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Comments

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sbristow's picture
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Just read the comments about the calorie count - I did wonder as it seemed to good to be true and was just about to add all the calories together to check for myself. It would help if recipes stated the calories for everything that was included in the ingredients

sbristow's picture
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Really nice. I put more garlic in the turkey than the recipe said and also some spring onions (just found them in the fridge lying around). I put oregano, basil and mixed herbs in the meatballs as some of the comments had indicated the turkey could be a bit bland. My sauce ended up a bit thick (more like paste) so next time I will put two tins of tomatoes in.

laurabuttrick's picture
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Inexcusably terrible, will not be making this again

Auntie Ellen's picture
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Made this for the OH and myself and our two kids aged 5 & 3 - went down a storm! Added onion, dried thyme (as had no fresh) and some grated apple to the meatballs and it worked well. Will def be making this again - good way to get the kids eating more healthily. And it's easy - what's not to like!

dillyfrost's picture

made this last night, but used ready made Asda turkey meatballs, it turned out well, also added a pinch of suagr and a drop of red wine to the sauce, will definatley make it again.

rjolly's picture
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The meatballs needed more herbs and seasoning next time i'll leave out the fennel,

WeeScot's picture
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A really nice healthy recipe. After reading others' comments I added smoked paprika, extra garlic, parsley and some crushed chilli to the meatball mix to add extra flavour and they tasted great - obviously not as juicy as beef or pork meatballs due to the reduced fat content. Also added a courgette to the sauce for extra veg and used less oil - a great recipe if your looking for a healthy but tasty meal.

emmamac78's picture
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Instead of using the fennel in the sauce, I ground them up a bit and added it to the meatballs. Also, didn't have pasta so served with couscous. Recipe was lovely and a big hit with my husband (who normally hates turkey as he thinks it's tasteless) and, miraculously, my 2 year old daughter who gobbled them up! Will definitely be making again.

cafren23's picture
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This was delicious! My hubby and I thought it was lovely, really tasty. I added some celery to the veg. My kids turned their noses up at it though. Think the fennel threw them a bit as I wouldn't usually use it.

rjolly's picture
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I added parsley to the meatballs and made lots of small ones rather than 12 big ones. I found these were fine but the fennel in the sauce was over powering and unnecessary. Not sure aniseed works in this kind of dish. Honestly, I probably won't amke this again.

rbarton22's picture
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Turkey meatballs were bland; will add a little something to them next time.

spottedsparrow's picture
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While somewhat mediocre if you follow the recipe exactly it can really shine with a few modifications. Add parsley and double garlic to the meatballs. Add 1-2 pinches of red pepper flakes to the oil when making the sauce, then some oregano after adding the tomatoes.

For those watching their waistlines, it seems the calories listed don't include the pasta. A 90g (dry) serving is about 300 calories by itself.

abwerner's picture
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It's OK, but I think it could taste better if use different mince and without fennel.

abwerner's picture
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It's OK, but I think it could taste better if use different mince and without fennel.

megarrr's picture
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The first time I made this I thought it was a bit bland. Added some chilli flakes to the meatballs and a few extra fennel seeds plus a fresh chilli to the sauce and it was a huge improvement.

nwindle's picture
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First comment didn't save! Good dish and a healthy alternative to beef/pork meatballs. I added mixed herbs to the sauce, but wish I had left out the fennel. I also soaked the breadcrumbs in some skimmed milk for 10 mins before adding to the meat. It made the meatballs incredibly moist! Also added some chilli flakes for that extra kick. Thought the blitzing of the sauce worked well - will definitely be doing that again.

nwindle's picture
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Oh...also wanted to ask...I assume that the 216 calories per serving does NOT include the pasta??

angelica30's picture
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I too absolutely adore this simple,tasty dish and so boes my 10year old son,i did however added garlic to the meatballs and half teaspoon of chilli powder to the source and a pinch of sugar and lastly a chicken oxo cube to the sauce,delicious,delicious,delicious,will make this time and time again,thanks g.f.

drfabio's picture
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The meatballs were mediocre (despite following advice and adding parsley, extra garlic and smoked paprika) which was a shame. It really needed a lot of help from extra flavours. The tomato sauce was great though, so I'll be keeping this in my binder for that alone. I added a little sugar to it too - I usually add a bit to my tomato sauces.

hayleyjj's picture
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This is excellent! I have made it many times now and it works just as well with pork. I usually add some garlic & parsley to the meatballs :)

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