These oven-baked turkey beet meatballs are quick and easy to prepare, healthy, and most importantly baby and toddler approved! Be sure to double or triple the recipe so you can freeze some and pull them out for quick snacks or meals in the future.
Lately, I’ve been really intentional about actually sticking to our grocery budget, which I always set but had been doing an excellent job at going over month after month. And one of the biggest wallet breakers for us is meat. So what does a mama on a mission to save do when the ground turkey is on sale for $2 off at her local store? Stock up and freeze!
Needless to say, we’ve been eating a lot of ground turkey lately, and thankfully, I haven’t been hearing many complaints from my boys, bless their hearts. Probably because I’ve been developing all sorts of unique recipes using this super affordable, convenient, and versatile cut of meat.
Today, I want to introduce you to these turkey beet meatballs! They are juicy, super flavorful, and chock-full of all those critical nutrients that your baby or toddler needs!
Beets are nutritional powerhouses. They’re great sources of fiber, potassium, folate, iron, and vitamin C. And did you know that the red pigment is also a powerful antioxidant called betalains? They’re essential for many cell functions and protect our cells against oxidative stress, which can damage cells. Perhaps knowing this will keep you from cursing as you behold their uncanny ability to stain everything!
Speaking of, if you’ve ever given your baby/toddler plain cooked beets, I commend you. As you can see in the picture, this is what I had to do to keep my sanity. Beets are what really helped ease his constipation during the early days so I say it was all worth it!
But if your little one or anyone in your family cannot stand beets, give these turkey beet meatballs a try!
This will be a great way to get those essential iron and zinc into your little one. Always strive to offer an iron-rich source at every meal! Here’s more info on how to build a well-balanced plate. Oh, and let’s not forget. You’ll also appreciate the fact that they won’t be covered in red.
How to cook beets
For this recipe, you can use either raw or cooked beets. I tend to gravitate towards the latter because they are much more flavorful and makes the meatballs more tender and moist.
My favorite way to cook beets is by roasting. It truly brings out their natural sweetness. And while I personally like to roast them after peeling the skin and slicing for a crispier texture, it’s very difficult for babies to eat.
Here’s how to achieve the perfectly silky and tender beets that your baby will gobble up in seconds.
- Keep the skin on while roasting. Give them a good scrub and pat dry.
- Place the beets in a single layer in a greased baking/casserole dish and cover with a lid. Alternatively, you can coat the beet skins with oil and wrap loosely in foil (wrap big ones individually)
- Roast in the oven at 400F for 45-50 min. You can check the doneness by piercing it with a knife. It should cut through like butter
- Once cooled, peel and enjoy!
While it’s simple to do, as you can see, it does take a long time for the beets to get softened. Now that I’m a proud owner of the Instant Pot, I’m going to give this a try!
And be sure to cook a huge batch while you’re at it! Use some for these meatballs and enjoy the rest throughout the week. Throw them into oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies, sauces, dips, salads, stir-frys, pancakes….delish!
But if you’re pressed for time, the pre-cooked beets from Love Beets will definitely come to your rescue!
Kid-friendly Turkey Beet Meatballs
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 3 medium cooked beets, shred on large holes of box grater (about 3/4 cups), squeeze out excess liquid
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat and cook onion and mushrooms until softened, 3-5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Mix using your hands being careful not to overwork the meat.
- Shape into small-sized balls. Place on a greased or lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway.