Slow Cooker Morroccan Turkey Meatballs with Homemade Whole Wheat Naan
Tender turkey meatballs spiked with subtly exotic spices and simmered in the slow cooker with a tangy sweet sauce. Pairs perfectly with easy homemade whole wheat naan!
How’s your week going? Is it warming up for ya yet? We are finally getting some milder temperatures and I couldn’t be happier about it! My boys have missed more baseball practices than they’ve attended, with all the cold, rainy days of late. The ground is still pretty soggy at this point, but I know it’s just a matter of time before that works itself out. And, the upshot is, this:
So…. Things have been busy around here! Spring cleaning, and lots of fun projects going on behind the scenes here at Baking a Moment. It’s been so busy, in fact, that I felt the need to pry myself out of bed at 5 am yesterday morning, just to get on top of the laundry situation and have an extra 20 minutes in my day to work out. Whew! It was a tough time getting through the day, but I’m not sorry I did it! It feels good to get a better handle on things.
Today I’m bringing you another savory recipe! And this one’s a whole entire meal. I think you’re really going to love it! For one thing, it can be made in the slow cooker. For another: homemade bread. YES! I am not an experienced bread baker. Cakes I may know, but bread is uncharted territory for me, so you know that if I can do this, so can you 😉 That said, if you are having a crazy busy week like I am, this meal will taste just as good with store-bought naan, and the slow cooker will save you all sorts of time on top of that.
And did I mention the flavors? Oh, right, the flavors are amaaaazing!
The turkey meatballs are so soft and pillowy, spiked with a subtly exotic spice blend, and every now and then you get a pop of sweetness from the golden raisins. The sauce is a little tangy, a little spicy, and full of robust tomato.
The homemade whole wheat naan is easy enough. There’s a little bit of downtime, just waiting for it to rise, so I’d recommend starting it in the morning. About 20 minutes before you’re ready to eat, you can preheat your griddle and roll out the rounds. They only take a few seconds to cook on the stovetop!
I layered my whole wheat naan with a little fresh spinach, and then ladled the saucy meatballs on top. A dollop of creamy Greek yogurt and a little fresh mint are such a great counterpoint to all the earthy flavors!
Everything can be made ahead and kept warm- the meatballs in the slow cooker, and the naan wrapped in foil in the oven, so it’s perfect for those busy evenings when everyone’s coming and going.
I hope you enjoy, and have a great weekend! 😀
**This post was featured on the What’s Cookin’ Wednesday link party at Buns In My Oven**
Slow Cooker Morroccan Turkey Meatballs with Homemade Whole Wheat Naan
For the Moroccan Turkey Meatballs:
- 2 1/2 slices whole wheat bread
- 1/2 cup (118.29 ml) milk, (I used 1%)
- 1/2 sweet onion,, finely chopped and sautéed in olive oil until translucent
- 1/4 cup (36.25 g) golden raisins
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pound (453.59 g) ground turkey, (I used 93% lean)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste
For the Sauce:
- 28 ounces (793.79 ml) tomato puree
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 carrots,, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 cloves garlic,, finely minced
- 1/2- inch piece of fresh ginger,, peeled
- 2 1/2 tablespoons orange zest, (zest of one orange)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
For the Whole Wheat Naan:
- 1/4 cup (59.15 ml) warm milk
- 1/4 ounce (7.09 g) dry active yeast, (1 packet)
- 2 1/2 cups (300 g) whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup (62.5 g) all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 cup (200 g) Greek yogurt, (I used nonfat)
- 2 tablespoons oil, (I used extra virgin olive oil)
- Greens, (such as spinach, kale, chard, or broccolini, raw, steamed, or sautéed in garlic oil until wilted)
- Greek yogurt, (I used nonfat)
- Fresh mint
Make the Moroccan Turkey Meatballs:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, and lightly mist a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
- Place the bread and milk in a large bowl and squeeze the mixture together with your hands, breaking up the bread and combining it with the milk.
- Add the cooked onion, raisins, spices, and ground turkey. Stir to combine.
- Roll or scoop into 1-inch balls and place in the prepared baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden around the edges.
Make the Sauce:
- Place all of the sauce ingredients in the crock of a slow cooker, and stir to combine. Add the meatballs and set to "low," for 8 hours.
Make the Whole Wheat Naan:
- Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the warm milk and set aside to proof.
- Place the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- Make a well in the center, and add the milk/yeast, yogurt, and oil.
- Knead the dough (either by hand or on low speed, using the dough hook attachment), until soft and pliable. (If the dough seems too dry, add a little warm water to bring it together. It should come away from the sides of the bowl, and be soft but not sticky.)
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap, and set in a warm place to rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Preheat a cast iron griddle on medium-high heat.
- Punch down the dough and divide into balls about the size of a lime.
- Roll each ball with a rolling pin, to a thickness of about ¼ inch.
- Sprinkle the surface of the dough with water, and place on the hot pan.
- When the bottom is brown and there are lots of big bubbles on the surface, flip it and cook it on the other side. If desired, brown the surface over an open flame.
Thank you for this recipe! We’ve been enjoying it for a while. I do have a few questions, my meatballs always always always fall apart in the crock. I have even tried searing them in a pan first. We don’t care for presentation so the sloppy joe look is fine. Also, my sauce is waaaay more runny than yours. My questions are- how can I keep my meatballs together? And how can my sauce be thicker? the flavor leaves nothing to be desired though. This recipe is delicious!
I’m so happy you like the recipe Aubrey! Thanks so much for the sweet compliments. I think there are a few things you could try to keep your meatballs held together: 1) don’t stir much while cooking, 2) cut back on the bread crumbs a little bit, 3) add an extra egg or even just an egg white. As for the sauce, are you able to keep the lid off the slow cooker for some of the cook time? I notice with my appliance, it tends to really trap the steam sometimes, and then when I go to pull the lid off, all that water will drip down into the food and dilute it. If you could keep the lid off for part of the cook time (maybe towards the end?) then I think it would allow a lot of the water to evaporate off. I hope that helps!
I can’t get over how delicious this looks! This is right up my alley! Pin!
Oh, yay! I’m so happy you like it, Rachel! Thanks so much for pinning, hope you enjoy! <3
You won’t judge me for trying this with frozen meatballs, right?
Not for one second! You gotta take help wherever you can get it 😉
How on earth did I miss this last week? OMG, that looks amazing!! I still haven’t tried my hand at naan bread, but now I have to. 🙂 I can’t wait to try this Allie!!
Ha ha thank you Lisa! I’m so intimidated by bread baking, but this was easy and it came out great. Hope you’re having a fabulous week, dearie! 😀
This meal – this whole meal – looks mind bogglingly good. I am only sorry that I don’t have time to make it for dinner tonight because that’s how much I want to try it. The flavors are so inviting and I absolutely love Moroccan spices. Any idea how to make the sauce without a slow cooker? Maybe just simmer on low for awhile?
Oh ya, absolutely! Probably around a half hour or so should do it, but you know, these kinds of things are always better the longer they go. Thanks so much for the awesome feedback, Nora!
Found you from Moonlight & Mason Jars Link Party #50! Can’t wait to make these!!
Awesome! Thanks so much for stopping by, Jenn!
Wow, everything looks amazing Allie! I love love love moroccan food and that you made it in the slow cooker. Your naan looks perfect and so pro too – we always gobble up naan so quickly but I’ve never tried making it at home – I love this whole wheat version and can’t wait to give it a try -pinning – it looks delicious 🙂
Thanks for the pin, Kelly! The whole wheat naan was a snap to make and I actually had a lot of fun with it. I’m so happy you liked the post! Thanks so much for the great feedback. <3
wow! No words Allie, this looks absolutely amazing and totally up my alley, love moroccan food, love naan, meatballs, sauce.. yup.. everything! Gorgeous mouthwatering pictures. Pinned!
Thanks so much, Krista, for the awesome comment and for pinning too! I’m so happy you like this one! I enjoy taking my time with my dessert baking, but when it comes to dinner I like to keep it quick and easy 😉
Please come make dinner at my place thanks!! This looks delicious!! And I don’t know what you are talking about your bread baking skills coz you sure do look like you are a professional!! Love this meal. Can I come down and enjoy it with you please?
Haha thanks but I am truly a novice when it comes to bread making! I hope to get some good practice this year though. Come down any time and share a bite! ;D
Allie, you could’ve fooled me with that whole bread baking thing. Your naan looks totally pro! And the meatballs sound amazing. I love the Morroccan flavour twist and the fact that this is made in a slow cooker. I just got one so I can’t wait to try this! Your photos are stunning, as always. Only you could make meatballs in sauce look this beautiful!
Thanks, friend! Honestly the meatballs were surprisingly photogenic, lol! Lots of great colors and I guess I had good light that day 😉 I hope you enjoy and thanks for the great comment! xoxo