Looking for a protein-packed snack that will keep you full and nourish you with healthy fats? These stuffed turkey meatballs are it!
Holidays and holiday parties are right around the corner, and meatballs are an essential party dish. These stuffed turkey meatballs will take your party hors d’oeuvres to the next level. Most stuffed meatball recipes include some type of cheese in the middle, but I went with a lighter, more colorful option: avocados! I also kept these meatballs egg-free, opting for collagen-rich Beef Gelatin instead. These stuffed turkey meatballs are not only great for parties, but also for healthy lunches or snacks on the go. Made up of lean protein, vegetables, healthy fats and gelatin, these bites will give you the energy to power through the afternoon.
Now, let’s talk a little bit about what makes these meatballs so special. Gelatin is a great substitute for eggs, as it helps bind the meatballs together. If you or someone you know is sensitive to eggs, this is a good option to substitute. Gelatin helps with the building of cartilage and connective tissues (hello, beautiful skin!) and also with maintaining a healthy gut (1) (2).
Avocados are at the center of these stuffed meatballs. Avocados, in addition to being delicious, are full of healthy fats essential to human health. They contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats as well as fiber and protein. And eating avocados with other vegetables and herbs helps our bodies better absorb those nutrients and antioxidants (3).
Now that we are well on our way into fall and approaching the holiday season, consider making these stuffed turkey meatballs a part of your holiday party menu. Your guests will be delighted by the surprise in the center!
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- ½ red onion, minced
- 2-3 sprigs fresh parsley, minced
- 2 scoops Beef Gelatin in ½ cup of boiling water
- 1 avocado, flesh cut into cubes
- ½ lime, squeezed
- Sea salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, place ground turkey inside.
- In a separate bowl, mix together sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, coconut flour, minced onion and minced parsley until there’s a crumbly mixture. Add mixture into mixing bowl with ground turkey and work with your hands to combine it all.
- Whisk the gelatin and the boiling water until it is dissolved and let cool for a few minutes.
- Pour gelatin mixture into the ground turkey mixture and use your hands again to mix it again.
- In a separate bowl, toss avocado cubes with lime juice and sea salt.
- Take a tablespoon or more of the meatball mixture and flatten with your hands. Take one avocado cube and place in the middle, then work the meat around the avocado until it’s completely covered.
- Place meatballs on the baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes and golden brown on the outside. Makes 12-15 meatballs.
Sarah Anderson is a freelance recipe writer, personal chef, and Certified Holistic Health Coach. She focuses primarily on healthy gluten-free and Paleo recipes. You can find her recipes and personal work on Instagram and Facebook @whitestripekitchen.
(1) Oesser S, Adam M, Babel W, Seifert J. Oral administration of (14)C labeled gelatin hydrolysate leads to an accumulation of radioactivity in cartilage of mice (C57/BL). The Journal of nutrition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10498764. Published October 1999.
(2) Frasca G, Cardile V, Puglia C, Bonina C, Bonina F. Gelatin tannate reduces the proinflammatory effects of lipopolysaccharide in human intestinal epithelial cells. Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3358810/. Published 2012.
(3) Unlu NZ, Bohn T, Clinton SK, Schwartz SJ. Carotenoid absorption from salad and salsa by humans is enhanced by the addition of avocado or avocado oil. The Journal of nutrition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15735074. Published March 2005.