Super-Size Turkey Meatballs with Spinach and Cheese

Rach honors her brother, Emmanuel “Manny” Ray, with this Florentine version of meatballs with a cheesy white sauce.


  • 1 box frozen chopped spinach (10 ounces), thawed
  • 2 1/2-2 2/3 pounds ground turkey breast
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cups milk, divided
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs (3 handfuls)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup shredded provolone cheese or Italian cheese blend (8 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (eyeball it)
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley (a handful), chopped


Pre-heat the oven to 400°.

Wring the spinach dry in a clean kitchen towel. Place the ground turkey in a large bowl and make a well in the middle of the turkey. Add the spinach, half of the onion, garlic, egg, 1/4 cup milk, breadcrumbs and the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and season with salt and pepper. Mix until combined, then form the turkey mixture into 12 large balls. Arrange on a nonstick baking sheet and drizzle with EVOO. Roast for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add a drizzle of EVOO and the butter to the pan. Melt the butter, add the remaining onion and cook for 2 minutes, then whisk in the flour. Cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk and the stock. Bring the liquid to a boil, then stir in the provolone. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Place three turkey meatballs on each of four dinner plates and drizzle with the sauce; garnish with the parsley and serve.

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