Good Morning America Recipes

Alex Guarnaschelli's Turkey Meatballs

Enjoy This Easy Weekend Meal

Nate Appleman, Alex Guarnaschelli help "GMA" anchors make meatballs and poach eggs.
Difficulty: Easy
Cook Time: min

Try Alex Guarnaschelli's recipe for turkey meatballs and sauce. It's the perfect dish to enjoy this weekend.


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and minced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus extra for seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • ¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped curly parsley
  • ¼ cup Canola oil
  • ½ cup coarse cornmeal
  • For the sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled, halved and cut into thin slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and "pressed" or micro planed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • One 28-ounce can of whole San Marzano Plum tomatoes
  • ½ to 1cup water (optional)
  • Cooking Directions

    Make the meatball mixture: Heat a medium skillet and add the olive oil. When the oil begins to smoke lightly, add the onions, garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook the onions over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until they soften and become translucent, 5-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

    In a large bowl, spread the ground turkey out and season with the 2 teaspoons salt and chili flakes. Mix with your hands to blend. Add the egg, milk, Parmesan, breadcrumbs and parsley. Add in the onions, garlic and cooking juices and mix thoroughly to combine all of the ingredients. Roll one meatball (about 11/2 inches in diameter) and roll in some of the cornmeal to lightly coat the exterior.

    Heat some of the canola oil in a small skillet over high heat. When the oil begins to smoke lightly, shut off the heat (to avoid splattering) add the meatball. Brown on all sides and cook for a few minutes until cooked but still pink in the middle. Taste for seasoning and texture. If too "wet", add some more breadcrumbs. If too dry, add another beaten egg or a splash water. Adjust the seasoning, if needed, as well. Roll the remaining meat into balls. Roll them lightly in the cornmeal. Heat a large skillet, heat the remaining canola oil until it smokes lightly and brown the meatballs over medium heat. Serve as is, with your own sauce or the tomato sauce suggested below.

    For the sauce:

    In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and season with salt and the red pepper flakes. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the onions become translucent. Add the sugar and the canned tomatoes. Use a wooden spoon to break up some of the whole tomatoes and cook 10-15 minutes over medium heat, stirring from time to time. Taste for seasoning, The tomatoes should be fairly broken down and the flavors coming together. Cook for another few minutes if the tomatoes still taste like they need a little more time to break down.

    Set aside to cool.

    Recipe courtesy Alex Guarnaschelli.

    This recipe was styled by chef Karen Pickus for Good Morning America.

    Recipe Summary

    Main Ingredients: red pepper, olive oil, sugar, san marzano tomatoes

    Course: Main Course

    More Info: Kids Friendly

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