A hearty and healthy dinner that serves the turkey in a rich and flavorful guilt-free sauce.  By puréeing half of the sauce, it adds great texture and consistency to serve the meatballs.  I had leftover brown rice to serve, but you could also choose your favorite pasta if you prefer.

For the turkey meatballs:

  • 2 lbs  ground turkey
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro about one bunch), plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 teaspoons sweet curry powder (I love Penzey’s) or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the sauce:

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 sweet  onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 diced red pepper, diced
  • 2 cans (each 15 oz.) chickpeas, drained
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 10 ounces roughly chopped kale (or other favorite greens), thick stems and ribs removed


for meatballs: Preheat an oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a food processor, place the scallions, garlic and cilantro together and pulse until finely chopped.  To make the meatballs, in a bowl, combine the turkey, scallion mixture and remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper and mix with your hands to combine all ingredients. Roll about 2 tablespoons of mixture in your hands to form meatballs.  Place on prepared baking sheet, at least 1/2 an inch apart  on the prepared baking sheet. Roast until the meatballs are cooked through, about 30 minutes. Set aside.

for sauce:In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil and butter. Add the onion, red pepper  and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste, cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas, and season with salt and pepper and smoked paprika. Add the stock,  and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Let cool slightly.  Purée about half of half of the mixture in a food processor or blender. Return to the pot and stir to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper. Place over medium-low heat and add the meatballs.  Cook meatballs in sauce for about 10 minutes, turning to coat with sauce.  A few minutes before serving add chopped kale until wilted (2 or 3 minutes).  Serve meatballs and sauce over rice or pasta and garnish with additional cilantro if desired.