Albóndigas de Pavo en Salsa Verde (Turkey Meatballs with Tomatillos and Cilantro) Recipe

Photo of Albóndigas de Pavo en Salsa Verde (Turkey Meatballs with Tomatillos and Cilantro)

Albóndigas de Pavo en Salsa Verde (Turkey Meatballs with Tomatillos and Cilantro)

Serves 6

In traditional albondigas with salsa verde, all the salsa ingredients are pureed together. Then the meatballs are fried and cooked in the sauce. Our version adds most of the salsa ingredients to the meatball mixture itself, enhancing the flavor and texture from within. Not only is this dish easy to make, but it freezes well. Make a big batch and save it for a busy day.


  • 1 1/4 pounds tomatillos (about 12), husked and quartered
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided use
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 serrano pepper, minced
  • 1/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) or ground oats
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • cooked rice
  • 1 large egg (See Cook's Tip)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Oil a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  2. Place tomatillo quarters in baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, add 2 teaspoons salt. Stir in onion, garlic, serrano, and panko. Add turkey and mix until blended. (For firmer meatballs, see Cook's Tip.)
  4. Form into meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter. Spread chopped cilantro on a plate. Roll meatballs in cilantro and nestle in baking dish between tomatillos. Cover with lid or oiled foil.
  5. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through (centers are no longer pink).
  6. Serve warm, with rice.
  7. Cook's Tip:
  8. For firmer meatballs, whisk an egg with the salt in step 3. Leave it out for more delicate meatballs.


Amount Per Serving (based on 6 servings)
Calories: 290
Fat: 16 g
Saturated Fat: 3.5 g
Cholesterol: 100 mg
Sodium: 470 mg
Carbohydrates: 5 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sugar: 1 g
Protein: 31 g
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Ratings and Reviews

“Delicious—whole family loves it! no tomatillos at the store i went to (not met market) so i used a tomatillo-heavy salsa as the baking sauce. yum!”

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