Gouda Turkey Meatballs with Cheesy Polenta

6 to 8 servings
Zucchini shreds keep these turkey meatballs moist while buttery, rich Gouda intensifies the flavor.

By: Sarah Menanix, Snixy Kitchen


  • For the Meatballs:
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 cup fine dry breadcrumbs*
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup (3 ounces) Roth Gouda cheese, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sundried tomatoes
  • 1 zucchini, shredded
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 6 to 8 cups (2, 28-oz jars) of your favorite marinara sauce (or use the recipe below)
  • For the Cheesy Baked Polenta:
  • 3 3/4 cups (30 ounces) whole milk
  • 3 3/4 cups (30 ounces) water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cup polenta or grits
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Roth Grand Cru® cheese
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus additional for buttering the pan
  • For the Easy Marinara:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (28-oz) cans Italian crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper


For the Meatballs:

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients. Gently mix with your hands or a wooden spoon until completely combined. Do not overmix or the meatballs will be tough.
  3. Using your hands, roll the meatballs into 1 to 1 1/2-inch balls. Place 1-inch apart on a large parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate.

For the Polenta:

    1. Butter 9- x 12-inch baking dish.
    2. In a large pot, heat milk, water, and salt over medium, stirring occasionally, until just simmering. Reduce heat to low. Slowly pour in polenta while whisking constantly. Continue whisking until polenta thickens to a thin porridge consistency, about 5 to 8 minutes.
    3. Remove from heat and stir in grated Grand Cru® cheese and butter. Pour polenta into prepared baking dish, smoothing the top.
    4. Place polenta on a rack positioned at the top of the oven. Place reserved meatballs on a lower rack in the oven. Bake both dishes for 15 to 18 minutes. Remove meatballs when cooked through and reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Lower polenta to the center oven rack, and bake an additional 25 minutes.
    5. Meanwhile, warm your marinara sauce. Add baked meatballs.
    6. Remove polenta from oven. Place meatballs and marinara sauce over spoonfuls of baked polenta. Serve immediately. Polenta will thicken as it cools a bit.

For the Easy Marinara:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until it softens, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for an additional minute.
  2. Add tomatoes, basil, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Note: Make your own breadcrumbs by drying out a chopped-up loaf of sandwich bread in the oven and pulsing in the food processor until fine.