Steamed Turkey Balls with Scarlet Sauce

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Marvellous Meals with Mince

Marvellous Meals with Mince

By Josceline Dimbleby

Published 2012

  • About

Perfect for those who want to cut down on their consumption of red meat, these meatballs (which can be made with chicken) provide an excellent and delicious alternative. And they have the added health bonus of being steamed rather than fried. Lightly spiced with nutmeg and flavoured with rosemary and Parmesan, they are wonderful covered with the red pepper and tomato sauce.


  • 675 g skinless turkey or chicken breast fillets
  • 25 g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 2–3 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
  • ¼ whole nutmeg, grated
  • 3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
  • 25 g soft unsalted butter
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • a handful of basil leaves


Blitz the turkey in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, rosemary, nutmeg, Parmesan, butter and egg and mix thoroughly using a wooden spoon. Using damp hands, form the mixture into ping-pong sized balls and lay in the top of a steamer over gently simmering water. Cover and leave to steam for 20–25 minutes, or until opaque in colour.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Cut the pepper in half, discard the seeds and stem and place in a food processor. Chop as finely as possible. Heat the butter and olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the garlic and the pepper and its juices and stir for a minute or so. Stir in the fresh tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until mushy. Add in the tinned tomatoes and tomato purée. Cover the pan and simmer gently for about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and season to taste with crushed sea salt and chilli powder.

To serve, pile the turkey balls onto a warmed serving dish and cover with the scarlet sauce. Roughly tear the basil leaves and scatter over the dish.