Turkey, Chickpea and Spinach Meatballs

Who doesn’t like pasta and meatballs? For years I’ve been using Nigella Lawson’s recipe from How to Eat and they’re pretty good. I had people coming for dinner and minced turkey in the fridge but not enough to make enough meatballs for three people. I was in the mood to experiment and Jack Monroe, used white beans to pad hers out a bit in A Girl Called Jack, these became bung it all in meatballs! They got a thumbs up from my guests so here they are.IMG_2793




For the meatballs

1 onion finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, mince

Olive oil

450g turkey mince

1 can chickpeas (if you don’t use cans 140g cooked chickpeas)

1 egg

4 defrosted blocks of spinach (squeeze as much water out as you can)

70g feta

2 teaspoons mixed herbs (I have a mix of oregano, parsley and basil but use just one if that’s what you have)

plain flour (I’m guessing that I used about 1/4 of a cup, you’re going to coat the meatballs in it so you may use more or less.)

for the sauce

2 14oz tins plum tomatoes (or one 28oz tin if that’s how you work)

500g passata

1 tablespoon


1) Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan and over a low heat, gently fry the onion and garlic until cooked but not coloured, about 5 minutes.

2) Put the flour on a plate and set aside.

3) Add the cooked onions and garlic, turkey, chickpeas, egg, spinach, feta and herbs to a large bowl and mix together. (I use my hands)IMG_2791-0

4) Roll the mixture into walnut sized balls and roll them in the flour.

5) Add about a tablespoon of oil to a large pan, and in batches, brown the meatballs. Adding more oil as you go if required.IMG_27906) Put all the browned meatballs back in the pan and add the tomatoes, passata and balsamic vinegar.

7) Stir and leave to simmer over a medium to low heat until the sauce has thickened up and the meatballs are cooked through (and your hob is pretty much covered in tomato sauce and needs a really good clean!). At least an hour although you can go longer at 2 hours, the meatballs will start to break up but that’s not necessarily a bad thing!

8) Serve with the pasta of your choice.


About nicdempsey

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