Turkey and Hemp Crock Pot Meatballs

Turkey Hemp Crock Pot Meatballs
Clearly the COOK-TIME for these is not 20 minutes (in case you were wondering why it falls under the 20 Minute Dinners category), but the prep-time is stellar. A bit less than 20 minutes if you’re on your game. So. Onwards with this toddler-friendly, paleo-ISH (100% paleo if you leave out the shredded, cheese) quick-prep week-night worthy meal. The crock-pot is my friend and during the busy days of back-to-school, it should be yours too. Eating healthy doesn’t always have to be time-consuming.

Turkey and Hemp Crock Pot Meatballs
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 (approx 36 meatballs)
What You'll Need
  • For The Meatballs:

  • 2 lbs. lean, ground turkey breast
  • ¼ cup hulled hemp (I like Manitoba Hemp Hearts)
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup of red pepper, puréed
  • 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese or Asiago, grated
  • ½ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 4 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp each of sea salt + fresh pepper

  • For the sauce:

  • 2 tsp coconut or avocado oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 vidalia onion, minced
  • 2 x 28 oz cans diced tomatoes, 1 left diced, 1 puréed (I like Kirkland)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 cup fresh chopped basil
  • red wine for de-glazing and sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
How You Do
  1. The Balls: Combine ground turkey, hemp, sesame seeds, red pepper purée, egg, parsley, garlic and cheese in a big mixing bowl. Mix all of the ingredients together with your (clean, obvs.) hands and form small meatballs, about 1 tbsp. each, set aside. Make 'em big if you want, these beauties are going in the slow cooker and will fully cook after 4 hours on low. Feel free to let them go for 6 and all will be fine.
  2. The Sauce: Splash oil into a cast iron pan and sautée onions until translucent. Sprinkle in a pinch of sea salt. Add in the garlic and allow to brown and caramelize up, de-glazing the pan a few times with some cheap red wine. I don't have to tell you that you should be sipping some (not so cheap) red wine too, right? Add in the bay leaves, oregano and fresh basil.
  3. Pour diced and puréed tomatoes over that heavenly smelling base, an *almost* mirepoix (the base of anything grand saucy type thing you'd want to put in your mouth - if you have the time, go ahead and mince a bit of celery and carrots to add to the mix). Stir and pour the sauce into crock pot. Drop the balls into the sauce, cover and set on low to cook for 4-6 hours. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve over regular pasta if you're not a paleo convert like me, or over zoodles (zuchinni noodles) or roasted spaghetti squash. Top with a wee bit of fresh ricotta or reserved parm or asiago, as I like to cheat and will do, paleo or not. It's not small amounts of dairy that makes my blood sugar spike, so. I've been loving simple arugula tossed in olive oil and fresh lemon juice with sea salt and fresh ground pepper as a side to this dish. YUM.


IMG_5253 IMG_5261 IMG_5272 IMG_5273 IMG_5275 IMG_5309 IMG_5302 With Spaghetti Squash

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