Veal (or Turkey) Meatballs with Basil Cream Sauce

Ready for a delicious dinner that is on the table in under half an hour? I have had this recipe ready to go for some time, but just haven’t had the time to get to it.  It is so good that I’ve made it several times already and My Sweet Babboo thinks it is a winner.  With only 15 minutes to prep, and 15 to cook, it comes together really fast.  I really like the delicate flavor of veal for these meatballs, but I know veal is expensive, and I don’t buy it unless it is a bargain.  I made it just a few days ago with ground turkey, and it was delicious with that too.   The choice of protein is better with a delicate flavor with this light sauce, rather than a strong one like beef or pork. I paired the turkey meatballs with rice.

Veal or Turkey Meatballs with Basil Cream Sauce at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

First, as usual for me, gather the ingredients and measure in a mis-en-place.

Veal or Turkey Meatballs with Basil Cream Sauce at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Combine breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons milk, mix then let sit until milk is absorbed – about 10 minutes.  This is the secret to moist meatballs, and works with meatloaf too. This mixture holds in moisture so the meat doesn’t dry out.

Veal or Turkey Meatballs with Basil Cream Sauce at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

While it sits, cut the fresh basil into chiffonade, and chop the parsley.  If you are using dried instead of fresh, use double the amounts given in the recipe.

Veal or Turkey Meatballs with Basil Cream Sauce at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Combine veal, garlic salt, lemon pepper, breadcrumb/milk mixture and egg, mix well.

Veal or Turkey Meatballs with Basil Cream Sauce at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Using a 2-tablespoon scoop, make meatballs.

Veal or Turkey Meatballs with Basil Cream Sauce at FromMyCarolinaHome.com
Veal or Turkey Meatballs with Basil Cream Sauce at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Place a large pan over medium heat, and add grapeseed oil.  Grapeseed oil is a neutral oil, and doesn’t add any flavor to the dish like olive oil would.   See my post on Flavored and Specialty Oils. When oil is shimmering, add meatballs.

Veal or Turkey Meatballs with Basil Cream Sauce at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Brown meatballs on all sides.

Veal or Turkey Meatballs with Basil Cream Sauce at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Remove to a plate. They will not be completely done at this stage.

Veal or Turkey Meatballs with Basil Cream Sauce at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

You should have about one tablespoon still, depending on how much fat is in the meat. Pour off excess if needed.  Add onions to oil remaining in pan and saute until softened.

Veal or Turkey Meatballs with Basil Cream Sauce at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Add mushrooms and saute briefly.

Veal or Turkey Meatballs with Basil Cream Sauce at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Add flour and saute for one minute stirring constantly.  If you need more oil, feel free to add a small dollop. All the flour should be incorporated into the oil.

Veal or Turkey Meatballs with Basil Cream Sauce at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Add milk, continuing to stir until mixture thickens, then add half and half.

Veal or Turkey Meatballs with Basil Cream Sauce at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Stir in basil and parsley.

Veal or Turkey Meatballs with Basil Cream Sauce at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Return meatballs to sauce.

Veal or Turkey Meatballs with Basil Cream Sauce at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until done. Meatballs are done when the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees for veal, or 160 degrees for poultry on a digital thermometer, or until no longer pink.

Veal or Turkey Meatballs with Basil Cream Sauce at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

If sauce is too thick, thin with additional half and half.

Veal or Turkey Meatballs with Basil Cream Sauce at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Serve over rice or noodles as desired.  I served the veal meatballs with wide egg noodles.

Veal or Turkey Meatballs with Basil Cream Sauce at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Veal (Turkey) Meatballs with Basil Cream Sauce

1/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons milk
1 lb ground veal (or ground chicken or turkey)
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
1 egg
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup sliced or quartered mushrooms (optional)
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup fat free half and half
6 large fresh basil leaves, cut in chiffonade
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Combine breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons milk, mix then let sit until milk is absorbed – about 10 minutes. Combine veal, garlic salt, lemon pepper. Add breadcrumb/milk mixture and egg, mix well. Using a 2-tablespoon scoop, make meatballs. Place a large pan over medium heat, and add grapeseed oil. When oil is shimmering, add meatballs and brown on all sides. Remove to a plate. They will not be completely done at this stage. Add onions to oil remaining in pan and saute until softened. Add mushrooms and saute briefly.  Add flour and saute for one minute stirring constantly. Add milk, continuing to stir until mixture thickens, then add half and half.  Stir in basil and parsley. Return meatballs to sauce, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until done. Meatballs are done when the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees on a thermometer for veal or 160 for poultry, or until no longer pink.  If sauce is too thick, thin with additional half and half. Serve over rice or noodles as desired.

Veal or Turkey Meatballs with Basil Cream Sauce at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Served with a side salad, you have dinner in less than 30 minutes.  Leave the mushrooms out if you don’t like them.

Veal or Turkey Meatballs with Basil Cream Sauce at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Yum!  These don’t last long at our house, dinner one night then lunch the next day and they are gone. Download the pdf recipe – Veal Meatballs in Basil Cream Sauce

Veal or Turkey Meatballs with Basil Cream Sauce at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Special enough for a holiday meal, perhaps the night before Thanksgiving, but easy enough for everyday.  Have you made your own meatballs before?

Sharing Happiness is Homemade

11 thoughts on “Veal (or Turkey) Meatballs with Basil Cream Sauce

  1. These look delicious! We love meatballs, but don’t have them as often as we should. I do make them from scratch because I haven’t found frozen ones that we like. Sometimes I make a bunch and put some in the freezer for later.

  2. That looks delicious, perfect for a ladies lunch! (DH doesn’t like turkey🙄) It also inspires me to make meatballs some time soon. I forget how easy it is to make them ahead and freeze. Those types of dinners are so helpful on Tuesdays and Wednesdays!

  3. Joan Sheppard

    You had me at Meatball! How yummy and I learned so many things. Chiffonade for one. Wet the breadcrumbs! Great idea. We do make a meatball similar to these but sub in Mushrooms and Walnuts for a vegan “meatball”. And Kathy thanks for reminding us we can freeze these – if there was EVER a leftover.
    Thanks Carole. It’s 10 am and now I want dinner!

  4. bonniecoleman

    This looks so delicious!  I usually make Sweet & Sour meatballs for Christmas Dinner, when all the kids are here.  I make my own meatballs of either beef or venison, add cranberry sauce, lots of Worchester sauce & ketchup….cook slowly in the crockpot.  They never fail to please everybody.  Another Christmas tradition here is Curried Shrimp & Duck with Dressing.  My grandson gets me the ducks..  Not everybody likes the dense rich flavor of wood duck but when combined with my Moms family cornbread dressing, it is wonderful!  Also, I add some chicken & broth so its not too ‘wild game’ flavored.  Bonnie in South GA

  5. Naomie Moore

    Love meatballs of any type! Veal, however, fell out of favor decades ago an not readily available, not to mention the price. Only a few places that offer it and hovering around $25 – $30+ a pound, it is a “save your big pennies” treat. We used to have it once a year on Christmas when my dad was still alive. Back in the day, the grocery stores used to sell a “meatball or meatloaf” pack of fresh ground beef, pork and veal. Now I am craving veal piccata! Thanks for a fantastic and quick recipe!

  6. Looks absolutely delicious! I never, ever see veal in my local markets…but I will try this with ground turkey. Even though I like rice (especially saffron rice) I think I will use the wide egg noodles I have on hand. Thanks for another winning recipe! Keep experimenting….Please!!!

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