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Fried Italian Turkey & Cheese Meatballs


Fried meatballs are a Florentine specialty; this version can be made with any cooked meat, from roast or boiled beef to chicken and pork.

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  • 1 pound medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
  • 1 pound cooked turkey, shredded or chopped
  • 1/2 cup freshly Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup parsley, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 cups plain breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


Servings 2
Preparation time 60mins
Cooking time 135mins
Adapted from


Step 1

In a saucepan, cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Cook over high heat until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let cool for 5 minutes, then mash.

In a food processor, pulse the turkey until finely chopped. Add the potatoes, cheese, parsley, garlic, nutmeg and half of the beaten eggs. Season with salt and pepper and pulse until well mixed. Scrape the mixture into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

On a lightly floured work surface, knead the turkey mixture into a ball. Cut the ball in half, then roll each half into a 17-inch-long rope, about 1 inch thick. Cut the ropes into 11/2-inch pieces and roll each piece into a ball.

Put the 1 cup of flour in a shallow bowl, the remaining beaten eggs in a second bowl and the breadcrumbs in a third bowl. Dredge each turkey meatball in the flour, then dip in the egg and coat with the breadcrumbs. Arrange the coated meatballs on a baking sheet.

In a large, deep skillet, heat 1 inch of oil to 375°. Working in 2 batches, fry the meatballs, turning, until golden and cooked through, about 4 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meatballs to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt; serve with lemon.

Recipe source: Food and Wine | June 2015

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