Lemon Thyme Turkey Meatballs

Juicy inside with a meaty outer crust, each bite of these meatballs is heightened with citrus and the heavenly scent of thyme. Serve over whole-grain noodles, with cranberry sauce on the side.

Serves: 6Hands-on: 25 minutesTotal: 40 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 6


  • ¼ cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 medium onion, cut into chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Grated zest of 1 fresh lemon
  • 1½ tsp. dried thyme, divided
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • ¾ cup salt-free bread crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1¾ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1½ Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice


  • Place flour into a shallow bowl and set aside.
  • Place onion, garlic, zest, and 1 teaspoon thyme in a food processor and pulse briefly. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and mix in the turkey, crumbs, cheese, and pepper. Pinch off 2 tablespoons at a time and shape into meatballs. Roll the meatballs in the flour to lightly coat. Reserve the remaining flour.
  • Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add meatballs and cook, until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the meatballs from the pan and set aside.
  • Add wine to the pan, increase heat to medium-high, and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until almost evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and return the meatballs to the pan with the remaining thyme. Cover and cook about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the meatballs again and set aside. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high and cook until reduced to about 1 cup, roughly 5 minutes.
  • Add the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the flour into a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Add this flour mixture to the sauce and simmer, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, roughly 1–2 minutes. Remove from heat and add meatballs, swirling to coat. Serve immediately.