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Sweet and Sour Turkey Meatballs with Polenta

Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Lindsey Lower


Serves 4 (serving size: 1/2 cup polenta, 5 meatballs, and about 2 tablespoons sauce)

This Asian twist on an Italian-style favorite just plain works. The four sauce ingredients create an instant, incredibly balanced barbecue-type lacquer, full of vinegar and chile punch, caramel notes, and umami richness.


  • 3 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup stone-ground polenta
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 pounds 93% lean ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup unsalted ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha (hot chile sauce)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Nutrition Information

  • calories 428
  • fat 19.2 g
  • satfat 5.3 g
  • monofat 6.7 g
  • polyfat 5.8 g
  • protein 34 g
  • carbohydrate 30 g
  • fiber 2 g
  • cholesterol 89 mg
  • iron 4 mg
  • sodium 673 mg
  • calcium 20 mg
  • sugars 5 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 3 g

How to Make It

  1. Bring stock and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually add polenta, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and polenta is thickened. Add butter, stirring until melted.

  2. Combine turkey and sesame oil in a medium bowl. Divide and shape turkey mixture into 20 meatballs. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add meatballs to pan; cook 6 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove meatballs from pan. Add 1/4 cup water and remaining ingredients to pan, stirring with a whisk; bring to a boil. Return meatballs to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until meatballs are done. Serve over polenta.