Guys. I did it. I made the best meatballs ever. Like seriously. My husband took one bite and said, “wow,” but I didn’t really take his word for it until I tried it myself. Let me tell you, these Tuscan meatballs with sun-dried tomatoes are the most tender and flavorful meatballs I have ever created. The sauce is a twist on traditional tomato sauce with sun-dried tomatoes, fresh herbs, and a splash of red wine and the meatballs are basic turkey meatballs. But, and this is a big but, the way they are cooked results in the fall apart, melt in your mouth meatballs. It’s just so good (did I not make that clear yet?).

tuscan meatballs

tuscan meatballs

 

Serves 2-3 servings

Tuscan Meatballs with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Yields 10-12 meatballs

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Ingredients

    Turkey meatballs
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, grated
  • Sun-dried tomato sauce
  • 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • grated parmesan for finishing
  • fresh basil and oregano for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Combine 1 lb ground turkey with 1 tsp minced garlic, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 egg, 1/2 cup panko, and 1/4 cup grated parmesan until well combined. Form 10-12 meatballs and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until crisp but not cooked inside.
  3. Reduce oven to 325 degrees F.
  4. Make the sun-dried tomato sauce. Add 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes with 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, 1/4 cup red wine, 2 garlic cloves, fresh oregano, basil, parsley, and 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes in a medium saucepot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
  5. Place the meatballs in an oven-safe baking dish and pour the sauce on top. Cover the dish and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish the meatballs with parmesan, fresh basil, and fresh oregano. Serve hot.
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**Helpful tips and common mistakes

If you glanced over the recipe and wondered, but what makes these Tuscan meatballs with sun-dried tomatoes so great? It’s all about the method. First, season the meatballs and bake them until crisp and browned on the side but not fully cooked inside. I used turkey but I imagine you can get the same results with pork or chicken. Beef, on the other hand, might not result in meatballs that are as tender especially if you use lean ground beef. I would suggest combining ground beef with ground pork to get better results.

turkey meatballs

While the meatballs are baking, make the sauce. Simmer all of the ingredients to cook out the alcohol and create one cohesive sauce. If you don’t have fresh herbs, substitute with 1 teaspoon dried for every 1 tablespoon. Season the sauce with salt and pepper before adding it to the meatballs to ensure that you have the best sauce possible. Now pour the sun-dried tomato sauce over the meatballs, cover the pan, and bake at a low temperature. Slow-baking the meatballs will let it soak in the sauce and prevent it from drying out. The results? The most tender meatballs ever.

If you want to have one less dish to wash, make the sauce in an oven-safe pan like a dutch oven, and add the meatballs directly to the pot.

mise en place for the sauce

Finish the Tuscan meatballs with fresh basil, oregano, and, of course, more cheese. Because you can’t forget the cheese. Now get ready for the most amazing texture. Good, right? I served these beauties with a delicious bacon and egg flatbread for the ultimate feast.

tuscan meatballs

 

Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.

 

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