When thinking of fall, two things come to mind. Well maybe more than two actually… Food wise, I think of pumpkin spice everything (sorry not sorry) and also Thanksgiving! It is that special holiday where friends and family are brought together to celebrate food and the Pilgrims’ first harvest. Also, the concept of Thanksgiving began in New England- just like my intense love for cooking!
With that said, I combined two important ingredients that are fall feast approved. The turkey from your Thanksgiving dinner is now combined with the flavors of your favorite pumpkin pie to make a healthier alternative (or just an excuse to eat more)!
Continue below to learn how to make Turkey Pumpkin Meatballs in a Coconut Curry sauce!
- 1 lb 94% lean Ground Turkey
- 1 cup 100% canned pumpkin
- 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1 ¼ Tsp Cinnamon
- ½ Tsp Pepper
- 1 Tsp Himalayan Sea Salt
- ¼ Tsp Ground Ginger
- ¼ tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/8 Cup Gluten Free Panko Crumbs (optional)
- 1 ½ Tbsp Rosemary
- 1 Large Egg
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together well using a fork. (Bread crumbs are not needed, but they do help firm the meatballs faster!)
- Refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes or until mixture is firm enough to form the meatballs.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
4. Form turkey pumpkin mixture into 1.5 inch meatballs. (I ended up with 20 because I wanted them all to fit on the same baking sheet) Do not fret if the meatballs aren’t in perfect spheres, you’re learning to be imbeccable, not impeccable, remember?!
5. Bake meatballs for about 15 minutes on each side, so that means around 30 minutes total. Each oven is different so you be the judge! I like them browned, but this is turkey we are eating here, so don’t expect them to be dark in color like ground beef meatballs!
Sautéed Spinach over Brown Rice and Quinoa:
I purchased this quinoa and rice mixture while grocery shopping online and did not know that it was already premade! All you have to do is microwave it for 90 seconds or throw it into a pan with a little bit of water if you are against microwaving like I am. The package says two servings so you can save the other half for another time or eat it all at once if you’re feeling frisky.
Also, I wanted to experiment with spinach since I have a love for green veggies and include them in whatever recipe I can. Spinach is super easy to sauté and the best part is that you don’t have to worry about not cooking it long enough! The worst you can do is burn it but I still like my veggies crisp! Get yourself a pound of fresh spinach and throw it in a pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil, 2 tbsp of chopped garlic, and 2 tsp of salt. The only downfall of this healthy substance is that a pound of spinach only makes for a small portion cooked.
Last but not least- the sauce! Again, I didn’t want to be traditional and make a tomato based sauce, but you totally can! Because of personal preference, I created a thinner soup-like sauce. However, you can play around with the pumpkin and coconut milk portions to get your favored consistency.
My ingredients are:
- 1 cup of 100% canned pumpkin
- 1 can of 12oz coconut milk
- 2 tsp basil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp Rosemary
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 2 tsp ginger
- Salt and pepper to taste
The first picture is sauce-less to show the end the end result of the cooking process. The meatballs are placed on a bed of spinach and rice and quinoa.
I like to put my sauce on last so that I can taste it without the sauce first to see what else I can add for the best flavor. You can also simmer your finished meatballs in the sauce prior to plating them if desired.
I finished the dish off with more rosemary and ground pepper! I chose the rosemary as my main spice since it goes so well with turkey.
If your preferences lead you to make a tomato-based sauce, basil would be a great topper as well!
This is my first recipe that came completely from my head and I wash extremely pleased with how everything worked together.
Thanks for reading! Please let me know your thoughts and if you try this recipe with your own twist 🙂