Turkey-and-Rice Meatballs


Make an extra batch or two, because these family-friendly meatballs are at home in lots of dishes.

Turkey-and-Rice Meatballs Recipe
Photo: Caitlin Bensel
Hands On Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
4 serves

These meatballs come together quickly—just turkey, cooked white rice, olive oil, and seasoning—and taste great with our crunchy kale-and-apple salad. The creamy texture of its lemony tahini dressing is a winner, adding welcome richness to the plate.

Pro tip: A freezer that's stocked with these turkey-and-rice meatballs is your friend. Instead of our kale salad, serve them stirred into a brothy soup, twirled into pasta, or beneath a blanket of melted cheese atop a garlic-rubbed roll.



  • 1 pound ground turkey

  • 1 ¼ cups cooked long-grain white rice, cooled

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for baking sheet

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Kale-and-Apple Salad

  • ½ cup well-stirred tahini

  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (2 lemons)

  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 10 ounces (1 bunch) curly kale, stemmed and torn into bite-size pieces

  • 1 red apple, thinly sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat it with oil.

  2. Combine turkey, rice, pepper, 3 tablespoons oil, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl until combined. Shape mixture into 12 (2-inch) balls and place on the baking sheet.

  3. Bake until light golden, about 10 minutes. Set oven to broil and broil meatballs until golden brown and a thermometer inserted in the center of a meatball registers 165°F, about 5 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, whisk tahini, lemon juice, maple syrup, 2 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons oil, and ½ teaspoon salt in a small bowl until smooth.

  5. Place kale in a large bowl, drizzle with ½ cup tahini dressing, and massage it into leaves with your hands. Toss in apple.

  6. Serve meatballs drizzled with remaining tahini dressing alongside the kale salad.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

619 Calories
42g Fat
35g Carbs
31g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Calories 619
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 42g 54%
Cholesterol 78mg 26%
Sodium 816mg 35%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 31g

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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