Skillet Turkey Meatballs with Rice

A simple kid friendly meal with freezable leftovers
1 hour 5 minutes Total Time
25 minutes to prep
15 minutes to rest
20 minutes to cook
5 minutes to cool
4 servings
Cook's Country magazine had a turkey meatball recipe that was very promising but not quite right for me and my picky eater. I made the recipe easier by removing the lemon flavors we didn't love. I also reduced the amount of rice in the dish. Using 1½ cups of rice made the meal hard to fit in my 12" pan, and it felt like more rice than meatballs. Reducing the rice to 1 cup works better and still makes 4 decent sized servings.
Adapted From: Cook's Country
If you don't have sandwich bread, you could use dried breadcrumbs, but fresh makes a lighter meatball. Resting the meatballs in the refrigerator makes them easier to brown, so that step is important. I usually make them the night before to make dinner easier the next night. The amounts of garlic and scallion amounts can be adjusted to your tastes. The original recipe had lemon zest and parsley in the recipes, so those can be added if you want. As written, this is more of a kid-friendly meal.


Ingredients with an * are listed more than once.


  • Gather and prep ingredients. If you are making the meatballs the night before, wait to finish chopping the scallions and shredding the cheese until you are cooking.
    Step 0
  • Make fresh bread crumbs by pulsing the bread into fine pieces in a food processor. Transfer crumbs to a large bowl.
    Step 1
  • Chop the white and light green part of the scallions finely. Put half of the minced scallions into bowl with bread crumbs. Save the other half for when cooking the rice. If you are making the meatballs the day before, wrap these tightly to save for cooking. Save the scallion greens for a garnish.
    Step 2
  • Add ground turkey, egg, salt and pepper to the large bowl. Mix gently with your hands or carefully with a large fork until everything is combined.
    Step 3
  • Form mixture into approximately 20 meatballs. The meatballs will be less than 2" in diameter. Store on a plate and refrigerate at least 15 minutes, or overnight. If saving overnight, cover with plastic.
    Step 4
  • Heat oil in a 12" non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook the meatballs until browned on all or most sides, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer the meatballs to a plate.
    Step 5
  • Add the rice to the skillet and toast for 1 minute, stirring frequently. There should be some fat left in the pan from the meatballs.
    Step 6
  • Add the reserved minced scallions, salt, and garlic to the pan. Cook 1 minute stirring frequently.
    Step 7
  • Add broth to the skillet and bring to a boil.
    Step 8
  • Move the meatballs to the skillet. Cover and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, until rice is tender.
    Step 9
  • Remove from heat. Keep covered and let cool for 5 minutes.
    Step 10
  • Thinly slice the scallion greens. Garnish the meatballs and rice with Parmesan cheese and minced greens. Serve.
    Step 11
  • Leftovers can be saved in refrigerator for a few days or longer in the freezer. The leftovers freeze very well.
    Step 12

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