Turkey Meatballs with Goat Cheese and Crushed Red Pepper

Did you know yesterday was National Meatball Day? I didn’t either. But, I’m glad we have such a day to celebrate all the wonder that lives in such a tiny (depending on how you make them, I guess) ball of meat. I’ve never been a fan of the word “meatball” but I really do enjoy eating them. There is a pizza place where I live that serves chicken meatball pizza. It is by far one of the most delicious things I’ve tasted.


All good meatballs need good mix-ins. To bind the meat with your other ingredients, you need an egg. I’m using just an egg white here. Minced garlic is always necessary.


Flavors like red chili pepper, herbs de Provence and dijon mustard make these meatballs unbeatable.

What a yummy, messy combination of ingredients! Light and dark turkey meat and herbed goat cheese. Dark meat has more fat, so your meatballs will be juicier than if you only used light meat.


It’s all about the assembly line when you’re working with raw meat.

P1030359Brown your balls before cooking through.



Wrap the browned meatballs in parchment paper to keep them tender while baking.


Double check they’re cooked through before digging in.



  • 1 egg white
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon red chili pepper
  • 1 heaping Teaspoon Herbs de Provence
  • 3 shakes cayenne pepper
  • freshly ground salt and pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 pound dark turkey meat
  • 1/4 pound light turkey meat
  • 3 oz herbed goat cheese (you can use plain and up the amount of herbs de Provence)
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs (I used whole wheat) plus more for rolling
  • Olive oil, for browning meatballs in skillet


  1. Crack egg, removing yolk from white. Leave egg white in a bowl.
  2. Mince garlic and add to bowl with egg white. Whip together briefly using a fork.
  3. Add red chili, herbs de Provence, cayenne, salt and pepper, and mustard and combine using fork.
  4. Add turkey meat and herbed goat cheese. Combine with hands.
  5. Add bread crumbs and mix to incorporate. Careful not to overmix.
  6. Set up an assembly line with your bowl of meat, a plate with bread crumbs, a skillet for browning and a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Heat a skillet with olive oil over medium-high heat.
  9. Meantime, roll your meat into balls and roll again in breadcrumbs.
  10. Once the skillet is hot, add the meatballs, turning frequently to brown evenly. They should cook for 2-3 minutes. Set on parchment paper.
  11. Once all the meatballs are browned, bake them wrapped in parchment paper on 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Start checking them after 15 minutes as cooking time will vary based on size of your meatballs and how long you cooked them in the skillet.
  12. Check they’re cooked through using a meat thermometer, or cutting a big one open to ensure the meat is no longer pink.

You can do a world of wonder with these meatballs! Enjoy on a sandwich with goat cheese, avocado and arugula. Throw on top of pasta with a lemon or tomato sauce. You can also add them to salads, or enjoy on their own.

Happy National Meatball Day!

– Paige

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