Turkey-Ricotta Meatballs

Turkey-Ricotta Meatballs

Julia Turshen, the author of the cookbook “Small Victories” (Chronicle Books, 2016), cracked the code on turkey meatballs: Ricotta adds milky creaminess and acts as a binder. Taking her lead, the first two steps of this recipe produce all-purpose turkey meatballs that are light in texture and rich in flavor, and the final step of basting the meatballs with an herb-and-garlic-infused butter turns them into a weekday luxury. Eat with mashed or roasted potatoes or other root vegetables, polenta, whole grains, or a mustardy salad. (For oven instructions, see Tip.)
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    In a medium bowl, mix together the turkey, ricotta, Parmesan, red-pepper flakes, garlic and ½ teaspoon salt. Using oiled hands, roll into 12 meatballs, a heaping 2 tablespoons each.
  2. Step 2

    In a large skillet, preferably cast-iron, heat the oil over medium. Add the meatballs and cook until browned on two sides, 4 to 6 minutes per side, lowering the heat as necessary if the meatballs are getting too dark. 
  3. Step 3

    Add the butter, sage and garlic. As the butter melts, tilt the skillet and baste the meatballs by spooning the butter over them. Flip the meatballs every so often and continue to baste until the butter is browned and nutty and the meatballs are cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Eat the meatballs with the butter spooned over top.