Mexican Turkey Meatballs

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So I’ve been really obsessed lately with organic ground turkey, since it’s now available at Costco. Oh, and it’s DELICIOUS. I usually make Italian-style meatballs, or even just turkey burger patties, but today as I was gazing out into the gloomy sky and closing the kitchen window against the chill I had a yen for chicken soup. Also, I was craving Mexican food. Put ‘em together and what do you get?! Albondigas! Albondigas is the Spanish word for meatballs, and normally they are made with beef, but Albondigas is also the name of the lovely meatball soup with chicken broth and vegetables that is so comforting on a chilly day. Confusing, I know. Anyhow let’s start with the meatballs… err, turkey balls…

Mexican Turkey Meatballs


  • 1 package ground turkey (little less than a pound)
  • ½ onion, cut into chunks (white or yellow, red if that’s what you got)
  • 1 clove of garlic, halved
  • A handful of fresh cilantro
  • A big handful of corn tortilla chips
  • A 4 oz hunk of Cotija cheese (aged white crumbly cheese – sub parmesan if you must)
  • 1.5 teaspoons of taco seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil


1. Start by prepping all the ingredients.

2. Put your ground turkey in a mixing bowl that’s big enough to handle mixing all the stuff together without it spilling over the sides.

3. Using the large pitcher with the flat blade – grind the tortilla chips into fine ‘bread’crumbs, pulsing for about a minute. You do not need the mesh sieve for this, and you could use the large cup – I used the pitcher because tortilla chips are bulky.

4. Add the tortilla chip crumbs to the mixing bowl with the turkey, then throw the cheese in the pitcher – no need to clean it out first – it’s all going in the meatballs! Process the cotija cheese into a fine crumb texture as well, then add to mixing bowl.

Next pulse your onion and garlic, and then cilantro until finely chopped. I switched to a clean cup for this, with the cross blade.

Now you have all your ingredients ready to mix!

Add the taco seasoning, and mix it all together – clean hands work best!

NOTE – if your taco seasoning is salt-free you may want to add about a half teaspoon.

Pinch off portions, about 2 tablespoons at a time, and roll you meatballs. You can do them any size really – but large ones will take longer to cook all the way through. Smaller ones are great for little kids!

Now get a pan hot – leave it over low heat for a good 5 minutes. Low heat – not high heat! When you’re ready, raise the heat to medium and add about a tablespoon of canola oil and swirl the pan to coat, then add your meatballs gently – don’t crowd the pan! I cooked the meatballs in 2 batches.

After about a minute, give the pan a shake so the meatballs roll. Use a pair of tongs to flip them if they need help. Brown evenly on all sides, for about 5 minutes until done.

Mmmmm… yummy Mexican Meatballs (with turkey!). Now you could just eat them like this – or wrap inside a tortilla to make tacos, or even skewer them and serve at a party with spicy chipotle tomato sauce on the side, or put them in your kids lunch…

I made Albondigas soup – but that another recipe…

To be continued!


Chef Cordelia