Baked Turkey and Spinach Meatballs with Orzo

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
Since ground turkey can be dry, we used a flavorful spinach and garlic paste here to help keep it moist. The paste does double duty and helps cut prep time, since it’s also used as the flavoring base for the orzo.



  1. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat to 425˚ F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine half of the spinach, the onion and garlic in a food processor; pulse to make a coarse paste. Transfer all but 1/4 cup of the paste to a large bowl.
  2. Add the turkey, panko, egg and 1/4 cup Parmesan to the bowl. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and mix to combine. Form into 12 meatballs and place on the baking sheet.
  3. Bake the meatballs until golden and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Switch the oven to broil and broil the meatballs until browned on top, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the orzo and artichokes and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the reserved 1/4 cup spinach paste, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper; stir to coat the orzo. Pour in the chicken broth, bring to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the broth is absorbed and the orzo is saucy but still al dente, about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water and the remaining spinach; bring to a simmer, uncovered. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach wilts but is still bright green, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  5. Divide the orzo among shallow bowls. Top with the meatballs.