Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sweet & Sour Turkey Meatballs

For those mornings when you have just enough time to throw something in the crockpot before work/ school/ appointment/ kids waking up... this is for you.  For those evenings when you need to get dinner on the table quickly and all in one pot... this is for you.  For those days when you are scouring the pantry/freezer for an easy meal idea... this is for you.  For those "I dread leftovers for lunch because it's never as good reheated" types... this is for you.

It's true, this recipe has it all.  It can be thrown in a crockpot and not touched again til dinner.  It can be mixed up on the stove and after a 15-20 minute simmer, ready to serve.  It has simple ingredients that can be kept on hand as a go-to meal (even the meatballs can be kept frozen and thrown right into the sauce, you just have to cook it a little longer).  Plus, it makes amazing leftovers!  It may even induce labor - it was the last meal I had (as leftovers at work) just before my water broke - but I doubt that theory would hold up in a study... or that anyone would take the time to study the effects of sweet and sour turkey meatballs on labor induction.  Nonetheless, this recipe will always have a special place in my heart as the last meal before they starved me through the night and then I met my little Peanut.  (Don't worry, I'm not going to go into Annalyn's entire birth story right before a recipe... seems a little counterproductive.  But if you would like to read it, the hospital asked me to write a post about our experience and you can read it on the Monogram Maternity site.)

I originally found this recipe on Food Network while exercising on an elliptical at the gym.  It's inspired by a recipe by Food Network chef Robin Miller.  This time I used the slow cooker so I could throw it together before work.  I really like the idea that I can work 13 hours and still make dinner for my family, plus have leftovers for lunch the next day. 

Sweet & Sour Turkey Meatballs
-2 packages of Italian style turkey meatballs
-1 (29 oz.) can tomato sauce
-1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
-1/2 c. chicken stock
-1/4 c. brown sugar
-1 T. dried thyme
-2 T. chili powder

1.  Mix sauce ingredients (last 5 ingredients) in slow cooker or stock pot.

2.  Add meatballs, gently stir to coat. 

3.  Slow cook on low for 4-6 hours or bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes on the stove.
next day leftovers never looked so good!


  1. Quick Question: How big are your "packages" of meatballs? I am trying to figure out if I have enough or if I should half the sauce... I don't want to drown the turkey :)

  2. The ones I buy come with 12 meatballs per pkg. We like to make a lot so we have plenty for leftovers. Same goes with the sauce, you want to have enough to put in with the leftovers to keep them moist. Michael really likes to dip bread in it, too.

  3. Ok, I have plenty then. The package I found has like 30 slightly smaller ones. I figured we may freeze some. That's a great idea-fresh bread with them. The only nesting I've been doing is wanting to bake and use my stand mixer, so this would be a great time to try out my dough hook.

  4. I love the dough hook on my mixer! The first time I used it to make pizza dough, I think my jaw physically dropped lol. And I've never looked back! Sounds like productive nesting to me - I did a lot of bake ahead and freeze type meals before Annalyn was born and we were really glad I did. I also made up a bunch of taco meat and froze it in quart sized bags - you can do a lot with that on short notice... tacos, salads, nachos, soup, and so on. Wish you guys lived closer so we could just bring over a meal or two once little man gets here!