Turkey meatball casserole with cauliflower baked in a creamy white sauce, a hearty and delicious bake served with potatoes.
Hearty turkey cauliflower casserole with meatballs. Some white sauce and cheese, and you will have a filling dish for any time of the week.
What do you need?
- I often make this bake with ground turkey breast or thighs.
- But don't worry if you cannot get any ground turkey. Pork, beef, or a mixture of pork and beef ground meat will be perfectly fine.
- Either fresh or frozen and defrosted.
- I used some herbs in today's casserole as well. They are not the main ingredient in this dish, but still lots of parsley, some thyme, and even a couple of sage leaves in there.
- And in case you would like more recipe ideas for the herbs that are so abundant now, you could have a look at some of these recipes: Herb Garlic Paste, Herb Garlic Baguette, Orange Salmon with Dill or Herb Garlic Butter.
- You can use dried herbs instead of fresh ones.
How to make turkey cauliflower casserole?
There are several steps involved, but they are all super easy!
- Start with the cauliflower: cook it in salted water until al dente. Drain but reserve the cooking liquid. Dissolve some chicken cubes or powder in the hot liquid; it will intensify the flavor of the dish.
- Make the meatballs: mix ground meat with all the other meatball ingredients. Form about 20 rather large balls, about the size of a golf ball. Cook in a pan until almost done, about 10 minutes per batch.
- Make the sauce: cook the finely chopped onion in the butter. Sprinkle with flour and let it get golden. Start adding the cooking liquid while whisking all the time. Let bubble gently for a few minutes until thickened.
- Bake the turkey meatball casserole: mix together the cauliflower florets, meatballs, and salt. Add grated cheese. Pour the mixture into a buttered casserole dish. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden.
How to serve?
- It is best to serve the turkey cauliflower casserole immediately.
- However, leftovers can be easily reheated in the hot oven for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.
- I always serve it with boiled potatoes.
- Serve with a green salad with yogurt dressing, cucumber salad with vinaigrette, or cabbage salad.
More meatballs with sauce
Turkey Meatball Casserole (with Cauliflower)
Cauliflower and meatballs:
- 750 g/ 1.7 lbs cauliflower
- 2 teaspoons chicken stock powder or 1 chicken stock cube
- 500 g/ 1 lb turkey ground meat
- 1 potato about 80-100 g/ 2.8-3.5 oz
- 3 tablespoons dried bread crumbs
- 1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 small onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 2 sprigs thyme or ¼ dried thyme
- 2 sage leaves or ¼ dried sage, optional
- 1 egg
- fine sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
- 1 small onion
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 level tablespoons flour
- 100 g/ 3.5 oz freshly grated cheese Gouda or cheddar
- more parsley to sprinkle on top
- Clean the cauliflower and divide it into florets, cut the stem into small cubes. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add some salt and the cauliflower. Bring to a boil again and cook the cauliflower for 5 minutes or until al dente. Drain but reserve the cooking liquid. Measure 500 ml/ 2 ¼ cups of it in a jug. Stir in the stock powder or cube while the cooking water is still hot.
- In a large bowl mix together the turkey ground meat, finely grated potato, breadcrumbs, mustard, finely chopped onion, grated garlic cloves, finely chopped parsley, thyme, and sage, lightly beaten egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and some pepper. Form about 20 meatballs, about the size of a golf ball.
- Heat the oil in a non-stick or cast-iron pan and brown the meatballs on all sides, working in batches. It should take about 10 minutes per batch. They should be nicely browned and almost cooked through. They will finish cooking in the oven.
- In the meantime preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit and make the white sauce.
- Chop the onion very finely. Melt the butter in a saucepan and cook the onion until golden. Sprinkle the flour on top and stir for a couple of minutes until the flour starts getting a bit golden as well.
- Slowly start pouring the reserved cooking water while whisking continuously. Bring to a simmer and let cook for about 3-4 minutes while stirring very often. Add the cheese and let melt in the sauce. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper.
- Lightly butter a casserole dish. Mix the cauliflower, turkey meatballs, and sauce together and add them to the prepared dish. You can top the casserole with more cheese if you wish, I didn't.
- Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with salad.