Florentine Meatballs

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I love finding any excuse to get spinach into my diet. I absolutely hate salads so I always lean towards dishes that highlight healthy vegetables, such as spinach. I do the same with sweet potato, red bell pepper, broccoli, etc. This dish is extra healthy since it uses ground turkey for the meatballs. If you decide to make the meatballs with a red sauce versus the cheese sauce in the recipe than you have an especially healthy dinner on your hands! And who doesn’t love meatballs? Well, these Florentine Meatballs are an extra special treat! Plus, they are a Rachel Ray recipe, so technically you should be able to get them done in 30 minutes haha

I don’t make a lot of Rachel Ray’s recipes because I feel like she is always trying to take a normal dish and make it into something else. For example, sloppy joes- sloppy joe mac ‘n cheese, sloppy joe spaghetti sauce, sloppy joe panini, sloppy joe bruschetta. Haha you get the idea, and all you Rachel Ray fans know what I am talking about! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not busting on her, I like her. And I enjoy a lot of her recipes, like this one. I just don’t make a lot of her stuff, that’s all I am sayin’.

As far as these meatballs are concerned though, I think she did a great job. I found the cheese sauce especially delicious on top of the meatballs. I’ve never had just meatballs with cheese sauce before so it was an interesting meal for me. I would definitely recommend using some pasta to make the meal more complete. But, that’s just an alternate serving suggestion, they work great on their own.

I will mention adding all the ingredients together before adding the breadcrumbs. I didn’t need as many bread crumbs as suggested. There was only 1/4 cup of liquid added to the mixture so it really wasn’t that wet. I guess that depends on how much liquid you squeeze out of the defrosted spinach though. I always wring mine pretty dry (the trick is to sacrifice a kitchen towel and wring it out in that). Just use your best judgment.

Florentine Meatballs


  • 1 (10 oz) box frozen spinach, defrosted, cooked, and squeezed dry
  • 2 packages (2 to 2 3/4 lb) ground turkey breast
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tb butter
  • 2 Tb flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 1 (10 oz) sack shredded provolone cheese or blend of Italian cheeses


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat a medium saute pan with 1 Tb olive oil over med heat. Add all but 3 Tb onions and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Take off heat and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, stir together the egg, 1/4 cup of the milk, bread crumbs, cheese, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Combine spinach and cooled onion mixture with bread crumb mixture. Add ground turkey and fluff all ingredients together with your hands or two forks, careful to mix lightly.

Form desired sized meatballs and place on a sheet pan lined with sprayed aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes.

While meatballs are in the oven, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and butter. When butter has melted, add the reserved 3 Tb chopped onions and cook for 3 minutes or until tender. Whisk in the flour and cook 1 minutes, then whisk in the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk and the cup of stock. Bring to a boil and allow to thicken on medium heat. Once thick, remove from heat then stir in cheese until melted. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and nutmeg/ Serve over meatballs.

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