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Top Chef’s Gail Simmons Knows What Kids Like: Try Out This Delicious Recipe!

Turkey meatballs with spinach.
Turkey meatballs with spinach.

The ultimate foodie! She’s a culinary expert, a food writer and a judge on Top Chef — you may say Gail Simmons really knows cuisine. The Canadian cook presented family-friendly dishes on Hollywood Today Live. Try out this delicious recipe for turkey meatballs!

Turkey Meatballs with Spinach

Serves 4

Related: PHOTOS: What Celeb Kids Eat



2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided

5 oz fresh baby spinach (1 bag)

1 1/4 tsp kosher salt, divided

1 lb lean ground turkey

1 large egg

1/2 small onion, finely chopped

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, plus more for garnish

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp finely grated lemon zest

Freshly ground black pepper

Gail Simmons
Gail Simmons

Tomato Sauce

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 small onion, finely chopped

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 28-oz can crushed San Marzano tomatoes

2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 dried bay leaf

2 tbsp fresh basil, roughly chopped for garnish (optional)

Related: PHOTOS: Celeb Moms' Favorite Healthy Snacks

1. Set a large sauté pan to medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil. When oil is hot, add spinach, tossing gently until wilted. Season with 1/4 tsp salt. Allow to cool slightly and remove to a cutting board lined with a paper towel. Squeeze out liquid, discard paper towel and finely chop spinach. Wipe out sauté pan.

2. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, egg, onion, garlic powder, cheese and spinach. Stir in oregano and lemon zest, season with remaining tsp salt and a few turns of black pepper. Mix well, then form into approximately 16 small, round meatballs. Set on a tray in the fridge while you prepare tomato sauce.

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3. In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Add onion. Cook until tender and lightly browned, approximately five minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper and pour in tomatoes. Add dried oregano, garlic powder and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.

4. Set the sauté pan back over high heat and add remaining tbsp of vegetable oil. When pan is hot, add meatballs in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan, and brown them all over, about 2 minutes per side. Use a slotted spoon to transfer meatballs to Dutch oven and nestle them in sauce. Partially cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes until tender and cooked through. Serve meatballs sprinkled in basil and extra cheese, over pasta or in a shallow bowl with rustic bread for sopping up the sauce.

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