Turkey and Rice Meatballs (Albondigas) Recipe

"As these turkey and rice meatballs simmer in the sauce, the rice absorbs moisture, swell ups, and creates a relatively tender, moist meatball. I didn’t intend this recipe to be a Thanksgiving dinner alternative, but now that I think about it, these could actually work. These are delicious served over saffron basmati rice."


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  • 1 pound ground turkey thigh meat
  • 1 cup packed, cooked white long grain rice
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Sauce:
  • 2 1/2 cups prepared tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth, plus more as needed
  • 1/3 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Directions

  • Prep
  • Cook
  • Ready In
    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and oil the surface lightly.
    2. Mix ground turkey, cooked rice, garlic, parsley, egg, salt, paprika, cumin, pepper, oregano, cayenne, and olive together in a bowl using a fork. Portion mixture with a small scoop (between 1/4 and 1/3 cup) and place on prepared foil-lined baking sheet. Use your (wet) hands to form into round meatballs. Bake in preheated oven until browned, about 15 minutes.
    3. Pour chicken broth and prepared tomato sauce in a saucepan. Whisk in creme fraiche, sherry vinegar, and paprika. Transfer meatballs to tomato sauce. Set heat to medium high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until tender, 60 to 90 minutes. If sauce gets too thick, add a splash or 2 of broth or water. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley, salt, and pepper.


    • Chef’s Note:
    • You can also add cooked, softened chopped onion, chopped almonds, or currants to the turkey mixture.
    • Partner Tip
    • Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

    Nutrition Facts

    Per Serving: 258 calories;14.3 g fat;15.1 g carbohydrates;19.1 g protein;106 mg cholesterol;1423 mg sodium.Full nutrition
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