There are nights when I want to feel adventurous in the kitchen, and then there are nights when I want my dinner to come up, give me a hug, and tell me that, yes, I am doing a good job. Those are the nights I make Baked Turkey Meatballs.

A plate of Baked Turkey Meatballs served with whole wheat pasta and tomato sauce

Fork-tender, filling, and layered with Italian spices and herbs, these healthy turkey meatballs want to be your mealtime cheerleader.

Baked Turkey Meatballs are easy to make and won’t make you hunt through the grocery store for ingredients—in fact, once you have your ground turkey and Parmesan in the fridge, you’re likely to already have everything else in your pantry—and the end result is so intrinsically satisfying, you’ll feel like a true dinner hero.

If you need a large quantity of turkey meatballs for a crowd, you can check out my Crock Pot Turkey Meatballs. For regular weeknight dinners, however, this Baked Turkey Meatball recipe is the one I turn to first.

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.

In addition to being quick and fuss-free to prepare, Baked Turkey Meatballs are fundamentally delicious. They offer that special, soul-touching comfort that belongs uniquely to Italian food.

A plate of Baked Turkey Meatballs with pasta and red sauce

How to Make Baked Turkey Meatballs

These Baked Turkey Meatballs have a few qualities that make them the kind of dinner recipe staple that you will always be grateful to have in your corner.

ONE: Simple Ingredients

  • 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.

Burned by bland (or, gasp!, dry) turkey meatballs in the past? Me too! That’s why I made sure we’d be adding plenty of other great flavors to make these turkey meatballs tender and tasty.

  • 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.

Those looking for turkey meatballs without breadcrumbs can check out my Whole30 Meatballs, which use almond flour instead. <—this meatball recipe is Paleo too.

  • 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 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.

Those looking for a meatball recipe with a more unique twist can check out my Cranberry Turkey Meatballs, Moroccan Meatballs, or Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs.

Craving something in between? For turkey meatballs with spinach, swap turkey for the chicken in these Baked Chicken Meatballs.

A sheet pan of turkey meatballs ready to be baked

TWO: 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.
  • Lightly brush the meatballs with olive oil. This will ensure they become nicely golden on the outside and juicy on the inside.
  • Bake the meatballs at 375 degrees F for about 15 minutes for a 1 ½-inch meatball.
  • The turkey meatballs are done when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165 degrees F and a meatball in the center of the baking sheet is fully cooked through when cut in half.

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.

A plate of Baked Turkey Meatballs with whole wheat spaghetti and tomato sauce

What to Serve with Meatballs

While the turkey meatballs bake, you can prep anything you’d like to serve with them.

  • Sauce. Good-quality store bought pasta 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 larger, wider pan, then toss the Baked Turkey Meatballs in the sauce at the end.
  • Pasta. Whole wheat dry pasta is perfect for healthy dinners. You can use any shape you like, though when we’re feeling ultra traditional, I like to do the Baked Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti.
  • Zucchini Noodles. A skinny option that sneaks in extra veggies. Try a blend of zoodles and spaghetti for a happy balance.
  • Hoagie Bun. Perfect for a meatball sub!

Baked turkey meatballs and spaghetti with sauce on a plate

Writing this post made me realize just how many meatball recipes I have (most are now linked in this post), and honestly, I love them all for different reasons.

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.

Recommended Tools to Make Baked Turkey Meatballs

  • Scoop. For easy, uniform portioning. I use mine for cookie dough too!
  • Instant-read thermometer. The easiest, best way to see if the meatballs are cooked all the way through.
  • Rimmed baking sheet. I use these for everything, from meatballs to veggies to sheet pan suppers.
Baked turkey meatballs and spaghetti with sauce on a plate

Baked Turkey Meatballs

4.95 from 68 votes
Baked Turkey Meatballs. Easy to make, tender, and absolutely delicious! Serve with spaghetti, buns, or over zucchini noodles.

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins

Servings: 20 meatballs

Ingredients
  

For the Baked Turkey Meatballs:

  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
  • 1/3 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs whole wheat if possible
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs basil, parsley, or chives a combo, plus additional for serving
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey keep in your refrigerator until the last possible second
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more as needed

For serving:

  • Prepared pasta sauce
  • Cooked whole wheat pasta or zucchini noodles
  • Creamy Polenta
  • Split and toasted hoagie buns
  • Prepared brown rice

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with nonstick spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the cheese, bread crumbs, herbs, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, pepper, and red pepper flakes and stir well to combine. Add the turkey. In a small bowl, beat the egg, then add it to the meat mixture. With a fork or your fingers, mix just until combined, being careful not to compact the meat.
  • With a scoop or spoon, scoop the meat and shape into 1 1/2-inch meatballs. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet. You will have about 20 meatballs total. Brush the tops of the meatballs with the olive oil.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, or until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. As an alternate way to check, a meatball in the center of the baking sheet should be fully cooked through when cut in half.
  • While the meatballs cook, warm the sauce and any other items you’d like to serve them with (pasta, hoagie buns, 1rice, etc.). Serve the meatballs hot, topped with the sauce, cheese, herbs, and any other additions.

Notes

  • Adapted from my Crock Pot Turkey Meatballs
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days (either with or separately from the sauce). Rewarm gently with the sauce on the stove.
  • Cooked meatballs can be frozen baked or unbaked for up to 3 months. See detailed notes in the post above for a step-by-step.

Nutrition

Serving: 1meatballCalories: 62kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 5gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 188mgPotassium: 58mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 55IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 0.4mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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153 Comments

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      1. I didn’t have breadcrumbs, and I’m gluten free, so improvised with crushed cheerios (multi-grain), and these turned out great! Honestly I didn’t think it would work, but I had to have some meatballs tonight 😄5 stars

    1. Hi Erin
      Made these meatballs the other night. They were fantastic. My husband is a believer that meatballs are made of beef. So i made with half beef and half Turkey. He could not tell the difference. I followed the rest of the recipe as you wrote it. They were great tasting.
      Thanks for great recipes that you create
      You are doing a great job for people like me, that have idea how to create a great tasting recipes. Thanks again5 stars

  1. Another winning recipe from Well Plated! After being sick all week, I finally got my sense of taste back and was craving something homey and classic. These were perfect, easy to make and tasted amazing over a bed of zoodles and some tomato sauce. Will definitely be adding these to my regular rotation!5 stars

    1. Melanie, I am so so soooo happy to hear this. Thank you for sharing your feedback and taking time to leave this wonderful review!

    1. Never made these before and they were very tasty with plenty left over to freeze. But I could not find any details on how to reheat from frozen, or do I defrost first, what temperature, how long for etc. Please help, I am a novice cook!5 stars

      1. Hi Annie, I’m so pleased that you enjoyed this recipe! Let the frozen meatballs thaw overnight in the refrigerator first, then you can reheat them with the sauce in a large skillet on the stove over medium-low heat until warmed through. I hope this helps!

  2. Hi Erin!!

    These were AMAZING and my husband (Kenneth ;)) LOVED them. I added dill and parsley for ther herbs because it’s what I had on hand and it was so yummy. Will be making these again!!5 stars

      1. So delicious! I love most of your recipes but these are my new favorite. I eat them as appetizers with sweet chili sauce, perfection! 5 stars

    1. This is the most moist and juicy turkey meat balls I have ever tried! This recipe is definitely a keeper! Si delicious!! Thank you!5 stars

  3. Super easy to make. Great recipe!  I doubled the red pepper flakes and added chopped poblano pepper to spice them up, works good with zoodles which need some spicing up for our tastes. 5 stars

    1. Hi Rose! If you look under the title at the top of the page or under the nutrition info at the bottom, there will be a button that pops up with the Pinterest logo. If you click that button, it will pull up everything you need to save this to any of your boards. Additionally, this is a link directly to this recipe on Pinterest, so you could follow the URL and Pin from there as well. I hope this helps!

  4. I have been making these probably every other week and they are absolutely perfect!

    Would you be able to prep the meatballs the night before and store in fridge to be cooked the following evening? What amount of time would be safe for this?

    Can’t wait for your cookbook!
    :)5 stars

    1. I’m so happy you’ve enjoyed these meatballs, Dana! I have not tried to make the recipe this way, but from what I can find online, you should be able to prepare them the night before as long as they are stored in the refrigerator immediately. I hope this helps!

    1. Elizabeth, I am so so pleased to hear this, THANK YOU! And thank you for taking time to leave this review and rating. It means so much to me and is really helpful for others considering the recipes too!

  5. I use ice cream dishes, different sizes to portion the meat mix. I have a full set from 3/4 oz – 4oz depending on what I am am=making. They make for VERY uniform meatballs…

  6. Wow these are good! I did follow the recipe, had fresh herbs but not exactly the ones listed. Reheat very well. I did a very basic sauce since there’s so much flavor in these (diced onion roux, turkey stock, salt pepper, and heavy cream that was it). My husband said “you could put this sauce on poo and it would taste good” but it wasn’t the sauce, it was the meatballs. THANK YOU!5 stars

  7. No kidding, the best turkey meatball recipe. Seems wrong to put any sauce on them, they are soo delicious on their own. I didn’t change a thing. It’s in our nature to put our own spin on everything, but trust me, just follow the recipe, you won’t be sorry!5 stars

  8. Erin, how do you think these would do without the Parmesan? Any ideas for a sub? I’m (very sadly) dairy free at the moment. 

    1. Erin, try nutritional yeast! I’d do maybe 1/4 cup instead of 1/3 cup since it’s dryer than parm and add a bit of olive oil to the meatballs if they don’t seem to be holding together. I hope that helps (and that you can dive back into dairy soon!).

  9. We had these for dinner last night. I have made many turkey meatball recipes, but this one has been my favorite so far. I did not have fresh herbs in the house, so just added some extra dried. 5 stars

  10. Not sure why I even made the sauce and spaghetti! My boys (7 & 15 mos) gobbled them up before the rest of dinner was done. These are tender, moist and oh so yummy. For the spices I used a left over Tuscan Heat Spice packet from my Hello Fresh meals and it worked perfect.5 stars

  11. Made these smaller (3/4 of an inch) and baking them now. Plan to add them to a chicken tortilla soup to kinda-sorta make a hybrid Italian Wedding Soup. I think it will work out well!5 stars

  12. I have found that it takes longer than 15 minutes at 375.  It should probably be 400 or 450.  It’s taking a while to get the internal temp to 165.

    1. Hi Susan! Do you have an oven thermometer? You’d be surprised how many ovens may not actually reach the temperature they’re set to. Regardless, I truly appreciate you sharing the cooking specifics that have worked for you, as this could be very helpful for other readers!

  13. I love this recipe! So easy to make and delicious! I didn’t have Italian bread crumbs so I just added 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning and the flavour is amazing!5 stars

  14. Fantastic!!! It smelled so good even when I was making the meatballs, I knew it would be amazing! I had over spaghetti squash and gave to kids over thin spaghetti. Rave reviews all around! 5 stars

  15. I’ve been looking for tasty recipes that are low in calories and today I found your Baked Turkey Meatballs recipe. I made them, a nice marinara, and zoodles and they we’re a Huge hit! My son is autistic and a very picky eater and he actually asked for more! These meatballs are so delicious and will become a staple in this house. Thank you!!!5 stars

  16. These were amazing. I blanched 2 oz of baby kale and chopped finely. I added fresh 1/4 onion and 2 cloves of garlic and a sprig of rosemary and minced. I decreased the garlic powder and did no onion powder because I used fresh. I added a few shakes of dried parsley and dried basil. Followed the recipe besides that. They came out amazing! Perfectly done after 15 mins. 5 stars

  17. We LOVE these meatballs! I always add extra parmesan and I love how quick they are to throw together but still healthy. We make them all the time, and we so appreciate you sharing this recipe!
    5 stars

  18. I left a review for 4 stars because I couldn’t find the hyperlink to go straight to the recipe at the top and (of course) I found it right after leaving my review! Goodness me.
    Thank you again for this amazing recipe!5 stars

  19. Our first time making meatballs ever. We just made these last night, unsure if it would taste good. I. Was. Completely. Wrong. They were AWESOME! The only recommendation would be to add a little bit of olive oil, but other than that, fantastic!5 stars

  20. I made this recipe.  The meatballs turned out better than I was expecting.  I used two pounds of ground turkey in  the recipe.  I served them with Classico Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce and Parmesan cheese.  The meatballs are juicy, full of flavor,  and so easy to make.  I will serve these at least twice a month.5 stars

    1. Hi Kara! I’ve only tried freezing them after they’re cooked, but it should work fine. You may want to try freezing the meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet before moving them to a storage container so they don’t stick together. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  21. Wonderful! We love turkey meatballs in soups and pastas but I always make way more than the two of us can eat. Now I don’t need to worry!5 stars

  22. These were great. Added chopped sautéed onions because I didn’t have onion powder. (Which is on my list for the next time on put on protective gear and head to the grocery store). Thanks!5 stars

  23. Hi Erin,
    I can’t use the parmesan cheese with the turkey. (I don’t mix meat and dairy), what ca I use instead of the cheese? or will this recipe just not work for me?  
    Thanks

    1. Hi Shelley! You could try nutritional yeast instead. I’d do maybe 1/4 cup instead of 1/3 cup since it’s more dry than Parmesan, and add a bit of olive oil to the meatballs if they don’t seem to be holding together. I hope that helps!

  24. Love this quick simple easy recipe! I’m not much of a chef but I have been recently trying out a lot of new dishes with foods I’m used to preparing and this was a HIT. I tried the meatballs style “Lazy Girl Basic Spices” and it was so easy and good! It’s already how I usually season my ground turkey pretty much. Then made it with wheat spaghetti and tomato sauce 👌🏽 
    Took me about 30 mins total to prep and make all foods. Can’t beat it! 5 stars

  25. I made these for a family dinner last week and they were a huge hit.  Everyone liked them even the beef eaters in the family. My 8 year old  granddaughter loved them.  I served them with Trader Joes marinara  sauce(I add spices to the sauce) and over pasta.  Make extra because they will be gobbled up. 5 stars

  26. I added a teaspoon of soy sauce, lemon juice and a few dashes of hot sauce, along with some Italian seasoning and rosemary. These meatballs were the tastiest ones I’ve ever tried! So moist and flavorful! My hunnie couldn’t believe these were turkey and were so good. They were gone in an instant!5 stars

  27. So pleased I tried this very simple and delicious recipe.  I used panko instead of seasoned bread crumbs.  I also added extra thyme and a teaspoon of herbs de Provence.  Since I didn’t have onion powder I added two level teaspoons from a dried onion soup mix.   I made the diameter a bit bigger so the recipe yielded 15 meatballs.  Cooking time was 20 minutes at 375 degrees.  I also used stick proof aluminum foil on the baking sheet for easy cleanup.   What an easy, flavorful recipe!  Thank you.5 stars

    1. I’m so pleased that you enjoyed the recipe, Jan! Thank you for sharing this kind review and your adaptations!

  28. Thank you for the yummy recipe! I skipped the cheese and egg and added freshly chopped garlic. They turned out fine! Didn’t come apart at all. Stayed in perfect shape. 5 stars

  29. Easy and delicious! I used Jennie-O Italian seasoned ground turkey and plain bread crumbs. I will definitely make again!5 stars

  30. Hi
    Looking to make some meatballs and came across yours , I have everything that’s on the list except for herbs . will the dry herbs be ok ??
    Thanks 

    1. Hi Leslie! While I haven’t made this recipe with dried herbs, other readers have done so with success. I hope you enjoy the recipe if you try it!

  31. Hey Erin, I was wondering if these can be made a few hours ahead of time and then kept in the fridge until I am ready to cook them. Thanks!5 stars

    1. Absolutely Maggie! I think you could leave them for a whole day if you needed to. I hope you all love them!

  32. I’m making these now but I’m using 1lb of ground turkey and 1ld of mild chicken sausage because I couldn’t find turkey sausage. I sautéed some mushrooms, onions and chopped garlic in a little evoo then I added Italian seasoning garlic powder black pepper red pepper flakes the parm cheese bread crumbs and two eggs because I had small ones. I put them in the oven for 10 mins then I turned them and put them back in for a few more mins. Getting ready to take them out and put in the sauce they smell so good. Thank you for the help.
    Kim

  33. Thank you – this recipe is a keeper! They turned out great : ) 
    I look forward to trying other recipes of yours! 5 stars

  34. Really easy and tasty.This is definitely going into my keep file. They are very very light and would go with almost any sides. 5 stars

  35. These are terrific. We like a lot of flavor so I was a little heavy handed with the spices and herbs. I made a second batch to freeze for lunches and snacking. :)5 stars

    1. Emerald, the Parm does help hold them together, so yes that’s what happened. If you try it again with the Parm per the recipe, I think you’ll love them!

  36. I have made these meatballs a handful of times for my family and they are always a hit, even with my two kiddos! My 7 yo is gluten free, so I use GF Italian seasoned Breadcrumbs, but keep everything else the same. We love them with pasta, but my family’s favorite way to eat them is served with mashed potatoes and gravy and a green veggie of some kind. Thank you for all of your great recipes!  :)  5 stars

  37. Great meal! Served it with bowtie pasta, marinara, and green beans. Next time I will half the salt and pepper, it was way too much.5 stars

  38. I made these for my son’s birthday last night. They were a big hit. Will definitely make them again and try other recipes from well plated also.5 stars

  39. Very good and very easy to make! I added minced garlic and shallots instead of garlic and onion powder and baked for 20 mins. My family loved them. We had homemade garlic mashed potatoes but next time will enjoy with pasta. Thank you!5 stars

  40. Made this recipe for dinner tonight. These meatballs are moist and flavorful and I will definitely make them again. Thanks Erin!5 stars

  41. Super quick, easy, and delicious! I hadn’t planned on making meatballs, so I didn’t have any fresh herbs or breadcrumbs. Instead, I used dried herbs and I crushed up what was left of a bag of Olive Garden Garlic and Romano croutons. So good!5 stars

  42. I should probably review this since it’s the only turkey meatball recipe I make! This recipe is wonderful. It seems like such a simple recipe but produces the best turkey meatballs EVER! Seriously. The timer is going off right now because they’re about to come out of the oven! Happy Meatballing!5 stars