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Zesty lemon turkey meatballs on a bed of wilted rocket

06 July 2022

A low-carb lunch or dinner of zesty lemon turkey meatballs on a bed of wilted vitamin-packed rocket.

Turkey meatballs on a bed of rocket
Turkey meatballs on a bed of rocket

Preparation time

30 minutes

Cooking time

20 minutes




  • 2 pitta breads
  • 500g turkey thigh mince
  • 85g finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano DOP
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • About 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 120g wild rocket


Soak the pitta in water to soften a few minutes, then squeeze dry and crumble into small bits. Mix with the turkey mince, the Parmigiano, egg, lemon zest, 1 spring onion; season to taste. Roll into 20 small meatballs.

Heat a heavy saute/frying pan (non stick preferable) and add a tablespoon (or more as needed) of the olive oil. Add the turkey meatballs gently to the hot pan, keeping the heat around medium, enough to brown the meatballs gently, and to cook them through.

When the bottoms are browned, gently turn each meatball over onto one side, then a few minutes to another, cooking on 3 sides. If you turn them too often in an effort to cook too many sides they could fall apart (though are still delicious).

Cook for about 20 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through and lightly browned. Remove from heat and drizzle with about half the lemon juice. Set aside a moment while you prepare the rocket spring onion salad.

Combine the remaining spring onion with the rocket leaves, toss with remaining olive oil and lemon juice. Season to taste.

Arrange the hot turkey meatballs on top of the salad, and pour any pan juices over the salad and meatballs as well.

Cook's tip

Leftovers are great served with homemade tomato sauce and stuffed into a crusty French roll/baguette with or without mozzarella to melt in.

Instead of turkey, you can make these with beef, in which case you could add a handful of pinenuts and another of raisins for a taste of Sicily and Naples.

Our thanks to I Love Fruit & Veg from Europe for providing this recipe

Try one of our other turkey recipes, or try our recipe for Italian-spiced meatballs or pork meatballs with chilli dipping sauce


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.