I've had meal-planning ADD lately. I sit down to plan my menu, write it all out, make my grocery list, then decide I hate everything on it and start over. I'm pretty certain that last week I created three separate menus before finally settling on the final version. And I have to say, I'm glad I floundered the way I did, because last week's meals were pretty spectacular! I must do my best work under pressure.
Leading the way was this last-minute addition, and ironically, it was just kind of thrown together on a whim. I didn't have it in me to drag all the kids to the grocery store that day, so I needed to figure something out based on what was in the fridge.
The meatballs are an adaptation of my BBQ chicken burgers, and they were a smash hit. Everyone in my family just devoured these. To keep this dinner on the light side, I threw together a grilled corn and cheddar quinoa salad, and the pairing of the meatballs with the quinoa was just fantastic (though I think the meatballs would be fabulous over cheesy grits as well). These would be a great addition to a party spread or tailgate as well, just served as-is. Or topped with melted cheese and turned into a bbq meatball sub. Um, yes please.
This was a filling and satisfying summer meal, but it was nice and light as well. The perfect balance between my desire for healthy dinners, and wanting to serve something hearty and filling for the kids. It's a winner all-around.
BBQ Turkey Meatballs over Cheddar-Corn Quinoa
BBQ Turkey Meatballs
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 scallion, minced
- 1 Tbs minced fresh cilantro
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- pinch cayenne
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 5 Tbs bbq sauce, divided
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, and spray lightly with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the turkey, panko, scallion, cilantro, paprika, garlic, mustard, salt, cayenne, brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the bbq sauce. Lightly but thoroughly mix with your hands to incorporate all the ingredients. Using an ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measuring cup, form the mixture into balls, and arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of bbq sauce to a small bowl.
Bake the meatballs 11 to 12 minutes, then brush with the reserved bbq sauce. Return to the oven and bake an additional 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are cooked through (160 in the center).
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2-3 ears of corn, grilled, roasted, or boiled, kernels cut from cobs
- 1/2 medium red onion, sliced into thin rings and rinsed under cold water
- 3 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 scallion, minced
- 3/4 cup freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
Bring the quinoa, broth, and a big pinch of salt to a boil in medium saucepan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked through.
Remove the quinoa from heat, and add to a medium mixing bowl. Stir in the corn, onion, cilantro, scallion, and cheese.
In small bowl, whisk together the oil, pepper flakes, garlic, and vinegar. Pour over the quinoa and gently mix to combine. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
Serve the meatballs over the quinoa.