Have a little something for everyone at the party with these delicious Feta Spinach Turkey Meatballs! They’re a great gluten free holiday appetizer recipe you can even make in advance.
You know that feeling when you need an appetizer dish for a potluck and you have less than two hours until you need to be there? Also, you aren’t ready yet so a trip to the store is out of the question, and you don’t want to buy something. Of course, you also signed up to bring something hot and not chips and salsa. That’s how this recipe came to exist in our lives about seven years ago. I am the perpetual over-committer.
But we have really juicy, delicious meatballs that taste amazing, and are just a little different than your “usual” meatball recipe, so maybe in this situation a little over-commitment turned out for the best.
The recipe has varied slightly over the years, and the lemon dipping sauce is a new addition that I really love. I think it adds a nice bright contrast to the spinach feta meatballs, even though the meatballs are really incredible on their own.
Start by making the lemon dipping sauce. As with any other sauce, it tastes best with a little time for the flavors to blend. As little as an hour will do, but you can make it up to three days in advance.
I use ground turkey for these meatballs, usually one of the leaner grinds, 97 or 99% lean most of the time. You can use whatever you’d like and whatever you can find. I use the ground turkey to help reduce the fat and calories in at least one of the dishes on the party table. Even using a leaner meat, the meatballs are still moist. They have a great texture! You can thank the Godfather for that.
During my Whole30 at the beginning of this year, the Godfather figured out the secret to making really juicy meatballs breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs are a common filler in burger patties and meatballs because they add lightness and help retain moisture. But what if you aren’t currently eating breadcrumbs?
Swap in almond meal! Using almond meal results in meatballs that aren’t dense and retain just the right amount of moisture. And no one would even know! That being said, please be sure you let people know there are nuts in the meatballs just in case there are allergies. And if you want to make this recipe but have a nut allergy, swap in the bread crumbs (regular or gluten free) and you’re good! You can also skip them, but the texture won’t be quite the same. Still good, just different.
Feel free to shape the meatballs by hand, but I always use a medium cookie scoop. Measuring out meatballs so they’re all approximately the same size is good for a few reasons. They cook evenly, and then they look better on a platter. And most importantly, no one holds up the serving line hunting out the biggest meatball. There’s one of those guests at every gathering. 😉
I hope you enjoy this feta spinach turkey meatballs recipe, darlings!
Turkey Feta Spinach Meatballs
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 oz chopped spinach, fresh or frozen
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb ground turkey or chicken
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground pepper
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 c almond meal
- 4 oz crumbled feta cheese
Easy Lemon Dipping Sauce
- 1/3 c mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- tbsp zest from 1 lemon, about 1
- 1/4 tsp dill
- 1 tsp olive oil
- In a small mixing bowl, use a fork to whisk together the lemon dipping sauce ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until serving. This can be made up to a day or two in advance.
- Preheat your oven to 425 F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or a silicone baking mat.
- Place a skillet over medium heat and warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes or so until the garlic is fragrant, but doesn't burn. If you are using fresh spinach (I usually do), add the spinach to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently until wilted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool 3-5 minutes.
- Combine the turkey, egg, salt, pepper, almond meal, spinach, and garlic oil in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Stir in the crumbled feta.
- Use a 1 tbsp cookie scoop or measuring spoon to measure out even meatball portions and then roll into balls.
- Bake for about 12 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through. Remove from the heat and allow to rest 5 minutes before serving with the dipping sauce.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.