If you told me this time last year that I would be creating and posting a recipe for Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs, I would have laughed. Seriously. Like laughed so hard I’d be choking. You see, gluten-filled food and I go waaaaaaaaaaaaay back.
Fast forward to the present time where I find myself in a new position. As I mentioned in my last post for Restaurant Style Pineapple Salsa, I have been experimenting with some new recipes due to Greg’s recent dietary restrictions. Since he has been diagnosed with IBS, his doctor has recommended he follow a low FODMAP diet. “A FOD what?” Yup, that’s what I thought when I heard it too. It turns out it’s an acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. Apparently, foods containing these substances cause gastrointestinal symptoms in people with IBS. So how do you know what foods contain these substances? Well, there is a wealth of information online to help guide you through the process of determining what to eat. It also helped that Greg came home from his doctor’s appointment with a sample list of foods containing FODMAPS.
I think I gasped a little when I saw the dairy restrictions. Luckily, I noticed that not all dairy was banned, just dairy containing high amounts of lactose. Thankfully, some cheeses were on the “allowed” list, such as my all-time favorite, Pecorino Romano. I think I probably would have hit the floor if I had to eliminate all cheeses from my recipes.
But dairy was just the beginning. I got to the grains column and that’s when I realized this is a predominantly gluten-free diet since wheat, barley and rye are high FODMAP foods that just happen to contain gluten.
The first two weeks of the diet were rough. Greg began by eliminating all high FODMAP foods and then was able to slowly reintroduce certain items to determine their effect on his body. Two of the foods we reintroduced were onions and garlic. Thankfully, he seems to be OK with these so far, but we don’t overdo it. He did notice; however, through the elimination process, that it appeared the foods containing gluten did seem to negatively affect him. So, we stuck with the gluten-free diet. OK, fine, I cheated a little…maybe more than a little…but this isn’t about me, so let’s move on.
My new mission is finding gluten-free substitutions for our favorite foods that are still delicious. I’ve been noticing that many popular brands are now carrying gluten-free products, including 4C.
The day I found the gluten-free 4C products, I was walking through the grocery store aisle with my list. I had written gluten-free breadcrumbs on the list but wasn’t quite sure I’d find a brand I could trust. I had tried gluten-free breadcrumbs before, only to be disappointed when they blew up in my turkey burger like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
So when I glanced over at the breadcrumbs and saw the words “gluten-free” under a well-known brand name, 4C, I was ecstatic. “This is the best day ever,” I announced loudly in Aisle 9.
This time I was not disappointed.
To make these Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs, combine ground turkey with one egg, gluten-free “crumbs”, Pecorino Romano cheese, garlic and fresh parsley.
After rolling into meatballs, bake for 20 minutes on 400° F.
Enjoy with your favorite sauce over gluten-free pasta or on a gluten-free hoagie roll (we found a delicious gluten-free loaf at our favorite local Italian specialties shop).
If you are following a gluten-free diet, you will love these Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs not only because they are incredibly delicious, but also because they are super easy to make. Also, since they are baked, not fried, they are healthier than their fried counterparts. If you’re not following a gluten-free diet, you will still love them. In fact, our daughter (who is not on a gluten-free diet) never tried a meatball she liked until the night she tried these. She even asked for seconds and then leftovers the next day. Try them tonight!
- 1 1lb. ground turkey (93-94% lean)
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons "Gluten Free, Seasoned 4C Crumbs"
- ¼ cup Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well distributed.
- Roll mixture into balls, approximately 1¼ inches to 1½ inches in diameter until you have rolled 12 meatballs.
- Place each meatball on the lined cookie sheet, approximately 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until internal temperature has reached 165° F.
- Remove any excess fat drippings from each meatball.
- Add meatballs to your favorite sauce and enjoy!