Fork-tender, filling, and layered with Italian spices and herbs, these healthy turkey meatballs want to be your mealtime cheerleader.
- They are easy to make and won’t make you hunt through the grocery store for ingredients.
- Once you have your ground turkey and Parmesan in the fridge, you’re likely to already have everything else in your pantry to make this simple turkey meatballs recipe.
The end result is so intrinsically satisfying, you’ll feel like a true dinner hero.
- The recipe yields about 20 meatballs, so it covers a few dinners for our leftover-loving household of two, or it feeds a small dinner group.
- If you need a large quantity of turkey meatballs for a crowd, you can check out my Crock Pot Turkey Meatballs.
- If you enjoy your meatballs with a hint of a crispy outside with the same juicy inside, try these Air Fryer Meatballs.
The Best Juicy Turkey Meatballs
Burned by bland (or, gasp!, dry) turkey meatballs in the past?
That’s why I made sure we’d be adding plenty of other great flavors to make these turkey meatballs juicy and tasty.
Add the fact that turkey meatballs are healthy since turkey is a lean source of protein and that they cook in the oven hands-free, and you have a true dinner staple.
- Ground Turkey. While traditional meatball recipes usually call for a mix of different meats (sometimes up to 3!), this turkey meatball recipe keeps it straightforward with ground turkey only. Turkey is lean and mild.
You can also make these meatballs with lean ground beef.
Or, for a taste most similar to a classic meatball that is still on the healthy side, try a mix of ground pork and ground turkey or ground beef and ground turkey.
- Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs. Along with an egg, you need bread crumbs in meatballs to bind the meat and to keep the meatballs moist. I like Italian seasoned ones because they build in extra flavor without any extra effort.
If you can find them, use whole wheat Italian breadcrumbs for a slight boost of fiber.
I do not recommend panko breadcrumbs for this recipe, as they are more dry and will not bind the meatball as effectively.
- Lazy Girl Basic Spices. Garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, red pepper flakes. Because sometimes I am hungry and I want to eat meatballs…without having to grate an onion or mince garlic cloves for them.
- Parmesan. Because meatballs are better with cheese. It’s true. Parmesan also helps to ensure the meatballs are moist.
Annnnnd that’s pretty much it.
This is basic at its very best, no apologies necessary.
Easy Meatball Cooking Method
Whereas most meatball recipes require that the meatballs be browned in a pan on the stove—undoubtedly delicious but also messy and a bit of a pain—this streamlined version skips the stove altogether.
- Instead of browning the meatballs in oil on the stove, arrange them on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil (or parchment paper if you prefer) for easy cleanup.
- Brushing with olive oil ensures the meatballs become nicely golden on the outside and juicy on the inside, no messy frying required.
Save the stovetop method for when you’re looking to prepare a meatball recipe for a slow evening or special occasion (as with this Mozzarella Meatball Casserole).
For fast, less-fuss weeknights, baked meatballs are the move.
How to Make Juicy Turkey Meatballs in the Oven
Be careful not to overwork the meat and don’t skip the egg and breadcrumbs, and you’ll have tender, juicy turkey meatballs every time.
- In a large bowl, combine the spices, Parmesan, and ground turkey.
- Add the egg and stir very gently to combine.
- Shape into meatballs and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Brush the meatballs with olive oil.
- Bake turkey meatballs at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes for a 1 1/2-inch meatball, or until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F on a meat thermometer. When you cut into a meatball, it should be cooked through.
Your meatballs can still be a little pink inside and be cooked safely. The best way to know if they are done without drying them out is to use a meat thermometer.
How to Serve Meatballs
While the turkey meatballs bake, you can prep anything you’d like to serve with them.
- Sauce. Good-quality store bought marinara sauce is one of my more adored pantry staples. You can warm the sauce in a small pot on the stove, then spoon it over the cooked meatballs, or take our favorite approach: warm the sauce in a large skillet, then simmer the meatballs at the end to heat them through.
- Pasta. Whole wheat dry pasta is perfect for healthy dinners. You can use your favorite pasta shape, though when we’re feeling ultra traditional, I like to do the baked turkey Meatballs and spaghetti.
- Zucchini Noodles. A low carb and more keto-friendly option that sneaks in extra veggies. Try a blend of zoodles and spaghetti for a happy balance. Or add meatballs to Zucchini Pasta.
- Hoagie Bun. Perfect for a meatball sub!
- Appetizer Style. Place the meatballs on a plate with toothpicks and enjoy as an appetizer with a side of sauce for dipping.
- Fresh Basil. No matter how you are serving meatballs, if you have fresh basil or other herbs on hand, it makes a nice addition.
Turkey meatballs can be frozen cooked or raw.
Make a double batch of this easy turkey meatballs recipe and store the second in the freezer. Future you says, thank you!
- To Freeze Baked or Unbaked Meatballs. Shape as directed and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze until firm, then transfer to an airtight container or ziptop bag.
- To Cook Frozen Meatballs. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Brush with oil and bake as directed (for uncooked meatballs); for cooked meatballs, reheat gently on the stove or in the oven or microwave.
These baked turkey meatballs are my keeper for when I’m craving simple comfort food that won’t lock me to my stove.
I hope you love them too! As always, if you try this recipe, please leave a comment below. It means so much to hear from you.