Skinny Buffalo Turkey Meatball Subs. I feel like these words are all fighting against each other. HA! Like skinny + turkey? — normal. But meatball subs and anything buffalo? These used to register for me as HEAVY and something I should avoid on all menus! Times have CHANGED. Meatballs are a go-to protein source over here. In ALL their forms. And this is definitely a new FAVORITE.
Our typical go-to have been these skinny turkey zucchini meatballs— which my whole family loves. But these particular turkey meatballs are made lighter than EVER by adding in some extra lean ground turkey (just enough to lean them out but not enough to make them dry and bouncy) AND steamed cauliflower for volume. The perfect sneaky addition to so many things just to give you more bang for your buck. Not to mention: more veggies for the kids!
Meatballs can seem daunting since it takes some work and ingredients to get them all pulled together. But really, a few veggies and seasonings just need a quick blitz in a food processor or blender, and then you mix all of that in to your meat, scoop ’em onto a baking sheet with a cookie scoop (no need to spend all day rolling them in your hands) and bake!
Feel free to dice instead of blend, I just like the ease of pushing a button, AND not worrying that my 7-year old might detect a piece of cauliflower.
The best thing about these meatballs is that they’re SO tasty all on their own, BUUUUUT— they’re not fully committed to any one flavor profile. They’re still playing the field. Open to offers. So they’re ready to be tossed in marinara for a traditional meatball sub, thrown into these Greek Pitas in place of the pork, or swapped in for some chicken in a rice bowl like this one.
OR —- and my current favorite option– pan fried (without oil of course), tossed in hot sauce, and sprinkled with blue cheese, slaw and ranch to make these EASY mouth-watering (is it just me?) buffalo turkey meatball subs.Print
Skinny Turkey Cauliflower Meatballs
Such a great meal prep protein! This recipe makes a ton, you can freeze them for later and use them in a ton of different ways!
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 10-12
- Category: Protein
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Meatballs
- 75-150 g (I used 75) old bread (I use the scraps from my bolillo rolls or any white bread.)
- 200 g (1 medium) chopped red bell pepper
- 200 g (1 small) chopped onion
- 8 cloves garlic or frozen dorot cubes (always for me!)
- 550 g cauliflower- steamed, then squeezed of excess moisture in a cheesecloth or thick layered paper towels. You can use a head or microwavable bags.
- 1/4 fresh parsley (*optional)
- 1 tbs kosher salt
- 2 tsp pepper
- 1.6 lb 93/7 ground turkey (730 g- I use one pack of the Foster Farms from Costco)
- 1 lb extra lean (99% fat free) ground turkey (430 g- I use Jenny O.)
- 1 egg – lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, foil, or spray with oil
- Add the bread to a food processor or the bottom of a blender. Pulse until bread crumbs are formed. Remove and set aside.
- Add to that same food processor or blender, the bell pepper, onion garlic, cauliflower (steamed and squeezed), parsley, salt, and pepper. Pulse until pretty smooth. Chunks are fine if you don’t mind! I knew my kids were more likely to love them if they weren’t too chunky.
- In a large bowl, combine both meats with the egg. Pour the blended mixture over it, add bread crumbs and mix until combined. ( I prefer to use my hands.)
- Using a 1 oz cookie scoop, scoop mixture and line up meatballs on the pan. They can be pretty close but not touching. No need to roll them by hand unless you want them to be a more perfect ball. I let the bottoms stay flat.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes. Don’t be too scared if they ooze how poultry does in the oven!
- Now they’re ready to eat right out of the oven, OR my preferred method is to give them a quick pan-fry before dinner to add some texture and browning to the outside.
- These can be tossed in Marinara, buffalo sauce, even a hoisin, peanut or terriyaki sauce. A mild enough base to take whatever direction you want.
- If you count macros, to log these: follow the recipe (even if you halved or doubled it would work fine), search “Lillie Eats and Tells Skinny Turkey Cauliflower Meatballs” you’ll be able to log however many grams of BAKED meatballs you eat!
- Serving Size: 6 meatballs (150 g)
- Calories: 186
- Fat: 6
- Saturated Fat: 1.8
- Carbohydrates: 9
- Protein: 24.6
Skinny Buffalo Turkey Meatball Subs
Such a quick and easy week-night meal with your prepped meatballs! Definitely one of our favorite ways to use them.
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 5
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 1
- Category: Sandwich
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- 6 turkey cauliflower meatballs (from above recipe*)
- Franks Red Hot sauce
- 1 tsp reduced fat blue cheese
- 2 Hawaiian Hot dog buns (obviously any bun will work but I loved how the sweet bun complimented the spicy hot sauce– and I love how they’re split on top.)
- Bagged coleslaw or shredded cabbage
- 1/2 tbs (15g) Bolthouse ranch
- Chopped green onions
- Fire up your broiler for step 4.
- Heat a pan over medium high heat on your stove-top with some cooking spray.
- Add meatballs and let sit 30 seconds to a minute on each side to get some nice color.
- Now place your buns on a baking sheet (trying to open them up) with a fine mist of olive oil or other cooking spray. Sprinkle lightly with garlic salt. Broil for a few minutes ’till golden brown.
- Remove meatballs from pan once browned, and toss in a bowl of Franks Hot Sauce
- Put back in the pan, sprinkle with blue cheese, and cover for a minute to let melt a bit.
- Line up three meatballs per bun, add some slaw, a pinch of green onions, and a drizzle of ranch. Enjoy!
If you make these subs the same as I did, you can search My Fitness Pal for “Lillie Eats and Tells (Lillie Loves Macros) Skinny Buffalo Turkey Meatball Subs”- or you can type fewer of the words but find that one- Ha!
- Serving Size: 2 Subs with 150 grams of meatballs
- Calories: 472
- Fat: 13.5
- Saturated Fat: 6.4
- Carbohydrates: 55.1
- Protein: 33.7