Slim Palate’s Chipotle Dijon Turkey Meatballs

Like most of the Paleo world, I caught wind of Joshua at Slim Palate a few months back when he revealed that not only is he a teenager, but he lost over 100 lbs during his journey to find health and fitness. Incredible story aside, I immediately respected his photography and sense of style (I can’t imagine what my sense of “style” was at age 17!); he’s got an elegant eye that shows up in his pictures.

After a bit of chatting, I offered to do a recipe swap, where we recreate one of each other’s recipes, with allowance for tweaks. I chose to do one of his earlier recipes, Chipotle Dijon Turkey Meatballs, while he made a stunning rendition of my Rogan Josh recipe. My take on his original recipe is pretty faithful, but I added a creamy sauce on the side, modeled after the cream sauce typically found in traditional-style fish tacos.

Serves four

for the meatballs:
1 lb ground turkey
1 tsp chipotle powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp dried cilantro
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
juice of 1/2 lime (1 tbsp)
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper

for the sauce:
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tbsp heavy cream
1/2 tsp each cumin, cayenne pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
juice of 1/2 lime (1 tbsp)

First things first, combine your sauce ingredients and let the sauce sit in the fridge while you cook the meatballs, at least 30 mins, to allow the flavors to marry.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Combine the turkey with its ingredients and form into small meatballs, about 1″ in size. You should be able to make about 20 meatballs. Pan-fry on medium heat, in batches, using 1 tbsp of your favorite oil; we used refined coconut oil and it worked perfectly. Joshua used avocado oil, which I’m sure was just as tasty.

Turn every couple of minutes until browned on all sides (turn down the heat a bit if they start to burn), then place in the oven to keep warm as you finish the rest of the meatballs. Should take about eight minutes per batch.

Serve with leafy green lettuce, chopped tomatoes, cilantro and lime wedges. Some of us opted to eat the meatballs like in a salad, while others used the lettuce to wrap them into tortilla-less tacos. They were equally delicious. The portion sizes of this dish are a little on the small side, which makes them a perfect lunch meal.

17 thoughts on “Slim Palate’s Chipotle Dijon Turkey Meatballs

  1. This looks like a perfect warm weather healthy meal. My wife and I meet for “picnic” lunches by her office on days that I’m not guiding on Lake St Clair, and I will be sure to bring these along.


  2. How spicy do these end up being from the teaspoon of chipotle? I’d need an opinion from someone who can’t stand too much spiciness at all – I can tolerate (and like!) a LOT of heat, but my kids can’t stand much.


    1. Kent, my four-year-old wasn’t a fan, but when dipped in the sour cream sauce he was fine with it. I would say the heat level was equal to that of Chipotle’s chicken. 1 tbsp sounds like a lot but I think the parmesan cheese cut into it a bit. 1/2 tbsp would probably be only slightly noticeable.


  3. Hi –
    Wondering if you could provide some dairy free ideas to your recipes. These look great. I use walnuts in place of parmesean cheese in the pesto I make for example.


  4. That sauces sounds like a perfect addition–and something that would be good for any number of dishes. I’m trying to get my kids off of the standard ranch dressing they want with everything and I think this might do it. Oh, and the meatballs look pretty fantastic.


  5. I have made these twice already. I sub almond flour for the cheese and omit the cilantro ( I am not a fan at all). I use greek yogurt and no cream for the sauce and they are delicious!! Easy and filling; I paired with zucchini “noodles” marinara, fantastic!


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