Surprise surprise, I had not planned anything for dinner again and had to think fast. I seriously was not always like this – I used to be better at meal planning – but blogging nowadays is taking the cake and I just figure as long as I have some sort of meat and produce in my fridge then magical dinner ideas will be born and make it onto our plates. But really, not everything is magical, sometimes it’s just different enough to feel like something I haven’t had for a few days and that’s just fine by me too. We’re just trying to get by over here really.
Apples have been on my mind lately and so I decided to pair apples with ground turkey somehow. Meatballs just felt right since I figured ground meat is just more fun in ball form. And fun stuff gets eaten. That’s cooking truth #2. Cooking truth #1 is don’t use too much salt, which is completely irrelevant to what I’m saying but yet also maybe the most important thing in all cooking and relevant in every way. Too much salt in anything is a death sentence in my opinion. Yup, you heard me.
This meal is also one of those “it all goes in the oven meals” which is great because you don’t have to stand over the stove for 25 minutes. I respect that in a meal sometimes. Think of all you can do with that time. For instance, I flipped through instagram for 10 and twitter for 5 and then yelled at my kids for the remaining 10 minutes. Oh, and then I had to deal with a smoky bacon situation which I’ll warn you about in a minute. It was a fabulous little break.
SO this recipe involves putting bacon in the oven, which can be a really a great thing (no grease splatters in your eyes or clothing) or a really bad thing if the grease doesn’t stay in the darn pan or on the baking sheet. My oven is slighty slanted so the grease dripped a little since I used a baking sheet instead of a dish with some depth.
So here is my recommendation: If stuff tends to leak off your baking sheets, use a dish to roast the bacon and butternut! Your oven and smoke alarm will appreciate it.
For the Meatballs
- 1.5 lbs ground turkey, 85% lean (do not get super lean ground turkey)
- 1 egg
- 1 granny smith or pink lady apple, cored and chopped
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
For the Butternut
- 6 slices sugar free nitrate free bacon, cut into bite sized pieces
dash of salt if desired
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 baking dishes with parchment paper. Spread the butternut squash out evenly in one layer in the baking dishes and sprinkle the bacon evenly on top. Put the two dishes in the oven and cook for about 25-30 minutes, stirring once the bacon fat is rendered to coat the butternut squash. Once the squash is soft and browned and the bacon is crispy it’s done.
Remove everything from the oven and serve the meatballs over the butternut squash and bacon. I also served mine with sliced avocado on the side, so you can do that or serve with some cooked greens, because green stuff on a plate just LOOKS awesome and it usually tastes pretty good too.
Enjoy! Use any leftover meatballs in your breakfast with eggs, because, that’s what I do and it’s delicious and practical. What could be better? Don’t argue just do it 🙂