Okay y’all. It’s official! Crusting everything with PECANS is where it’s at! Their rich, buttery texture is absolutely delicious and so complex. This dish here is so extremely easy to whip up and I know you will just LOVE this dish as much as I did. I’ve taken the pecans, chopped them up, and crusted these Asian-inspired turkey meatballs. I kind of like to think of the pecans as a nutrient-rich substitute, whole30 rendition of Japanese-style panko breadcrumbs in this dish. Pop them in the oven and bake them until they are golden brown, drizzle with a delicious Asian glaze, and serve them in crisp lettuce cups for the ultimate weeknight meal! Dinner will be on the table in just 35 minutes!
Now–let’s talk Pecans, shall we? Don’t let that rich, buttery texture fool you. Pecans are not just delicious, but they are very nutritious as well. Pecans are amongst the highest in good monounsaturated fats, and contain plant protein! They are also a good source of filling dietary fiber, and compared to other tree nuts, pecans are among the lowest in carbs (4 grams) and highest in dietary fiber (3 grams) per serving. So yeah, of course they are great in pecan pie and for snacking but they are also super versatile to cook with in savory dishes like I did here!
To keep this dish light and summery, I served these delicious meatballs in lettuce wraps and drizzled them with a fantastic whole30 approved quick-and-easy Asian glaze. The freshness from the crisp lettuce and carrot sticks combined with the savory pecan-crusted meatballs? Oh my, out of this world fantastic! The recipe makes lots of meatballs and since they are oven baked, they are perfect for meal-prep. You can also change up how you serve them too: serve them on top of a bed of greens for a delicious and satisfying salad, over zucchini noodles for a warm dinner, or even by themselves with the Asian-glaze as the dip for a nutritious party appetizer! The possibilities are endless!
For more delicious Pecan inspired recipes, check out American Pecans.
- 1.5 pounds ground turkey thigh
- 1/3 cup chopped green onions (about 2 stalks)
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1 cup crushed pecans
- 1 sheet of parchment paper, for baking
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos*
- 1/2 teaspoon arrowroot flour*
- 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 head of Butter lettuce leaves
- 1/2 cup Matchstick carrots
- chopped scallions, optional
- cilantro leaves, optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, green onions, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, garlic, powdered ginger. Use your hand to combine until mixed.
- In a food processor, pulse pecans until coarsely ground. They should be about the same consistency as panko bread crumbs.
- Scoop 1 tablespoon of the meat mixture at a time and roll into meatballs. Place the pecan crumbs on a plate then, roll the meatballs in crushed pecans until evenly coated.
- Place the pecan-crusted meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet. Continue until all meatballs are formed and coated with pecans.
- Place meatballs in oven and bake at 375 for approximately 20 minutes. Flip after 15 minutes.
- For the sauce, combine the coconut aminos, arrowroot flour, fish sauce and sesame oil in a bowl. Heat a small sauce pan over medium heat and add the sauce. Continue to stir until sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool until ready to serve.
- To serve, sprinkle the lettuce cups with the shredded carrots. Then, place the meatballs on top and drizzle with sauce. Garnish (optional) with scallions and cilantro.
- *note: if you aren't sticking to a whole30 diet, you can sub the coconut aminos for Soy Sauce and the Arrowroot Flour for Cornstarch!