A bowl filled with creamy orzo surrounded with several meatballs

Roasted Turkey Meatballs in Creamy Orzo and Spinach

Roasted Turkey Meatballs in Creamy Orzo and Spinach

A bowl filled with creamy orzo surrounded with several meatballs
A simple “what’s for dinner” recipe – when you don’t feel like cooking.

Looking for something to do with leftover or ground turkey? Try this hearty dish that fills the hungriest tummies.

Why this recipe works:

  • Roasting meatballs is so much less messy than pan frying.
  • This is a great way to use up leftovers in your pantry- stale bread, spinach & herbs that are not “pretty” enough for a salad
  • Cooking the orzo in the pan means less to clean up and it is creamy- like risotto
  • Dark turkey is packed with flavor
  • Leftovers are even better- make a big batch
a sheet pan lined with a zone turkey meatballs
Turkey meatballs roasted is SO much easier

I’ll keep it short- take bread- soak it in milk, add in ground turkey and shallots, a bunch of garlic and herbs you sauté in a pan. Throw in an egg. Pulse it all in a food processor or just mix by hand. Roll this mixture into balls and roast for about 20 minutes until browned. For the love of God- line you tray with parchment paper. Practically no clean up. Here’s the kind I use. Easy so far.

While the meatballs are roasting, heat up some olive oil in a large skillet or pan. Add garlic and orzo and coat until toasty. Pour in white wine, chicken bouillon, heavy cream and water. Pile in a bunch of fresh spinach. Add in the meatballs. Cover and cook on a low simmer for 10 minutes. Throw in some parmesan. Serve it all up in deep bowls and top with some sage or other chopped herbs and more cheese. It’s even better the next day. Make a lot of these. They will be devoured.


ground turkey and spices in a food processor
A quick pulse in the food processor is all it takes to have this recipe come together

Roasted Turkey Meatballs in Creamy Orzo and Spinach

4 from 1 vote
Recipe by Meggen Arthur Wilson Course: UncategorizedCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





This is a quick weeknight recipe that will have a satisfying dinner on the table in under an hour using affordable ground dark turkey and day old bread.


  • 1 lb 1 dark turkey meat

  • 3 slices 3 day old bread

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 milk

  • 1 1 egg

  • 1 tsp 1 salt

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 pepper

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 chopped flat leaf parsley

  • 8-9 8-9 sage leaves, chopped

  • 4-5 4-5 sage leaves for garnish

  • 2 2 shallots, chopped , divided

  • 3 cloves 3 garlic, minced fine and divided

  • 1/4 tsp 1/4 old bay seasoning

  • 2 tbsp 2 butter

  • 2 tbsp 2 olive oil, divided

  • 1 cup 1 uncooked orzo

  • 1 tsp 1 better than bouillon ( chicken flavour)

  • 1 cup 1 dry white wine

  • 1 1/2 cups 1 1/2 water

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 heavy cream

  • 4 cups 4 fresh spinach, stems removed

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 grated Parmesan cheese


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place bread in a small bowl with milk. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  • In a large skillet, melt butter, sauté on medium high heat 1 of the shallots, sage, 1 clove of garlic, flat leaf parsley, old bay, salt & pepper for 1 minute until shallots are softened. Do not clean pan. Set aside. Place shallot mixture in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade. Add milk soaked bread, egg and turkey to the food processor. Pulse until ingredients just come together. Using a medium size scoop, shape mixture in balls and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with 1 TBSP of olive oil. Roast at 400 degrees for 15 minutes until just browned. (The inside may still be undercooked. )
  • While the meatballs are roasting, heat remaining olive oil in the skillet. Add remaining garlic and 1 cup orzo and sauté for 1 minute on low heat until the garlic is fragrant. Stir in the bouillon & coat the orzo well. Stir in the wine & water. Bring to a simmer stirring constantly so the orzo does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Stir in the cream, spinach and Parmesan. Nestle the meatballs in the orzo, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add more water if needed.


  • Be sure not to overcook your meatballs in the oven. They will cook through while covered in the pan.
  • If you do not have a food processor, you can mix this by hand in a large bowl.
  • Most savory herbs will work in this recipe- I just love thyme, sage and flat leaf parsley because they compliment poultry. Avoid cilantro or coriander or dill. They will overpower the cream sauce.
  • Try mixing in other veggies like sun dried tomatoes, artichokes or even green olives.
a pan of herb and garlic sautéing in butter
A quick chop of herbs and garlic, salute and mix into the meat
a pan of cream sauce and fresh spinach in a pan
Fresh spinach cooks up quickly in this creamy sauce
roasted meatballs in a pan of creamy sauce
place the roasted meatballs in a pan , cover and simmer on low

My photography is not the best in the picture below.

Sometimes I’m cooking in real time for dinner and not thinking about adding a recipe to my blog. This recipe is inspired by The Original Dish.

a bowl filled with creamy orzo and meatballs
serve with chopped herbs

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *