This recipe for Basil-Parmesan Turkey Meatballs with Stewed Rice and Tomatoes is an amazing dish–so flavorful and really healthy, you will love them!
If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you know I absolutely love a good meatball! This recipe for turkey meatballs with stewed tomatoes and rice is an absolutely incredible dinner option! It takes about an hour, but before you know it, you’re going to have a hearty and flavorful dinner. Best of all, it’s a perfect meal prep option!
I served these basil-parmesan turkey meatballs with wild rice, but you can serve with white rice or even cooked orzo! If you’re watching carbs, wilt arugula or spinach into the stewed tomatoes!
These turkey meatballs are so juicy and tender thanks to parmesan cheese and heavy cream in the mixture. Serving them on top of delicious stewed tomatoes and rice makes for the perfect hearty, filling dinner option! These might actually be my most favorite meatballs of all time!
If you made this recipe, please rate the recipe below and leave a comment to tell me how you liked it! If you take a picture of it, please tag me on Instagram so I can feature you in my feed!
Basil-Parmesan Turkey Meatballs with Stewed Tomatoes and Rice
Basil-Parmesan Turkey Meatballs:
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 5 ounces freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs plus more, if necessary
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- Salt pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil for frying
Stewed Tomatoes and Rice:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 yellow onion peeled and minced
- 2 red bell peppers trimmed, deseeded, and diced
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 and 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes or 2 14.5-ounce canes diced tomatoes
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup wild rice brown rice, or white rice (cook time will vary)
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper more or less to taste
- Water as needed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pinch of sugar if needed
- More parmesan cheese optional
- Thinly sliced basil leaves optional
Crush the Tomatoes (If using ripe tomatoes):
- Prepare an ice bath and set aside in the freezer until needed. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add the tomatoes. Once the skins split, transfer the tomatoes to the ice bath.
- Once the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skins and cores. Drain off all the water and return the tomatoes to the bowl and crush them with your hands. Set aside.
Prepare the Basil-Parmesan Turkey Meatballs
- Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs, except the cooking oil, in a bowl and use your hands to work the ingredients together. If the meatballs seem too wet, add a bit more bread crumbs. If they seem too dry, add a splash or two more of cream. Note: If desired, you can microwave or fry up a small piece of the meatballs to taste test them before cooking.
- Roll the meatballs into a 1” diameter balls and transfer to a plate. Note: Do not over-mix or over-roll the meatballs. It’s okay if they’re a little raggedy.
Cook the Basil-Parmesan Turkey Meatballs:
- In a wide sauté pan, heat the neutral cooking oil over medium heat until hot. Add the meatballs in an even layer, cooking in batches if needed, and fry for 2 minutes per side, until golden brown. The meatballs do not need to be cooked through. Transfer the meatballs to a bowl.
Prepare the Aromatics for the Stewed Rice and Tomatoes:
- Melt the butter in the same pan over medium heat. Once melted and frothy, add the diced onion and peppers and cook for 7-8 minutes or until they begin to soften.
- Add the garlic and cook for 45 seconds or until fragrant.
Simmer the Stewed Rice and Tomatoes:
- Pour in the chicken stock and the crushed tomatoes and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the thyme, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, and a pinch of sugar, if desired. Bring to a boil and then add the rice. Add the meatballs and then reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes (depending on rice variety). Add more water as necessary if the rice absorbs too much liquid.
- Once the rice is tender and cooked through, turn off the heat.
To Serve the Basil-Parmesan Turkey Meatballs:
- Divide the stewed rice and tomatoes between bowls and pile the basil-parmesan turkey meatballs on top. Garnish with sliced basil leaves and more parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!