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Homemade baked Turkey Meatballs give you the satisfying comfort of your favorite meatball recipe, done lighter with ground turkey. They’re moist and juicy (no dry meatballs allowed here!), use pantry ingredients, and are right at home atop a big bowl of spaghetti. Mangia!

a plate of homemade turkey meatballs

Why You’ll Love These Baked Turkey Meatballs

  • Easy. Like all of my 30-minute meals, these turkey meatballs come together fast, making them a hero on busy evenings. Baking makes them hands-free!
  • Juicy and Moist. Burned by bland (or, gasp!, dry) turkey meatballs in the past? Me too! That’s why with all of my ground turkey recipes from Turkey Burgers to Turkey Chili, I made sure the meat is tender and moist.
  • Simple 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.
  • Pure Comfort. It’s hard to get more intrinsically satisfying than good ol’ spaghetti and meatballs! No matter the day, pasta recipes always seem to hit the spot.
  • Makes Plenty. 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 larger quantity of turkey meatballs for a crowd, you can check out my Crock Pot Turkey Meatballs.
a close up photo of juicy baked turkey meatballs with herbs

5 Star Review

“Best recipe ever! As soon as there were done and cooled I had 10 of them!!! I was doing a happy dance when I ate them!!!”

— Ruby —

How to Make Turkey Meatballs

The 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. For a taste most similar to a classic meatball, try a mix of ground pork and ground turkey or ground beef and ground turkey.
  • Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs + Egg. These bind the meat and keep the meatballs moist. I do not recommend panko breadcrumbs for this recipe, as they are more dry and will not bind the meatballs 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.

The Directions

combining turkey for meatballs
  1. Start the Recipe. Add the spices, Parmesan, and ground turkey to a big bowl.
turkey and breadcrumbs for turkey meatballs
  1. Add the Egg. Be gentle when combining.
a baking sheet of healthy turkey meatballs
  1. Shape into Meatballs. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
brushing turkey meatballs on baking sheet
  1. Brush the Meatballs with Olive Oil. These helps them crisp outside and stay moist.
  2. Bake. Cook the turkey Meatballs at 375 degrees F for 15 Mmnutes 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.
turkey meatballs with a bite revealing a juicy inside

Recipe Variations

  • Air Fryer. If you want to know how to make turkey meatballs, follow my Air Fryer Meatballs recipe.
  • Without Breadcrumbs. Those looking for turkey meatballs without breadcrumbs can check out my paleo Whole30 Meatballs, which use almond flour instead.
  • Gluten-Free. Swap the Italian breadcrumbs in this recipe for your favorite Italian gluten free breadcrumbs. You also could experiment with making the meatballs with oats that are lightly ground in the food processor (add additional seasoning to the oats, such as salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning).

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate meatballs in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days (either with or separately from the sauce).
  • To Reheat. Reheat leftovers gently on the stovetop, in the oven at 350 degrees F, or in the microwave (with or without the sauce).
  • To Freeze. Turkey meatballs can be frozen cooked or raw. Place meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer frozen meatballs to an airtight freezer-safe storage container or ziptop bag for up to 3 months.

Meal Prep Tip

Having pre-shaped, ready-to-cook meatballs in the freezer is ideal for meal prep.

  • Shape the meatballs as directed and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Freeze until firm, then transfer to an airtight container or ziptop bag for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to cook, let thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Brush with oil and bake as directed.
spaghetti and turkey meatballs with tomato sauce

Serving Suggestions

  • Marinara Sauce. Turkey meatballs in tomato sauce are pure comfort! You can warm the sauce in a small pot on the stove, then serve the turkey meatballs in sauce, or take our favorite approach: warm the sauce in a large skillet, then simmer the meatballs at the end to heat them through.
  • Pesto Sauce. Serve these meatballs with Basil Pesto and Pesto Pasta.
  • Creamy Sauce. Serve your meatballs with a creamy Penne Alla Vodka, or swap your favorite alfredo sauce.
  • With Pasta. Cook up your favorite dried pasta, or for a low-carb option, add your meatballs to Zucchini Pasta or Crockpot Spaghetti Squash.
  • Over Polenta. Serve meatballs with Creamy Polenta for a rustic, hearty dinner.
  • On a Sandwich. Grab a hoagie bun and cheese and turn these meatballs into a meatball sub!
  • As an Appetizer. Place the meatballs on a plate with toothpicks and enjoy as an appetizer with a side of sauce for dipping.
  • With Vegetables. For a complete meal, pair meatballs with Sauteed Zucchini Recipe, Air Fryer Broccoli, or Roasted Mushrooms.
a plate of homemade turkey meatballs with spaghetti pasta and sauce

Recipe Tips & Tricks

  • Don’t Overwork the Meat. Overworking will make the meatballs tough; handle it lightly and you’ll have tender, juicy turkey meatballs every time. If your turkey meatballs are hard or rubbery, you likely overworked the meat or compacted them too tightly.
  • Trust and Believe: Baking Is Best. It’s fast, has easy clean up, and as long as you brush the meatballs with olive oil, you’ll get juicy results. Arrange the turkey meatballs on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil (or parchment paper if you prefer) for easy cleanup. Then brush with olive oil to ensure 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).
  • Use a Meat Thermometer. 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.
  • Add Herbs if You’ve Got ‘Em. No matter how you are serving meatballs, if you have fresh basil or other herbs on hand, it makes a nice addition.

Turkey Meatballs

4.92 from 182 votes
For a quick, delicious dinner, you can't beat this homemade baked turkey meatballs recipe! Juicy, moist, and made with simple ingredients.

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes

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°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°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, rice, etc.). Serve the meatballs hot, topped with the sauce, cheese, herbs, and any other additions.

Video

Notes

  • Adapted from my Crock Pot Turkey Meatballs.
  • TO STORE: 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.
  • TO FREEZE: 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: 26mgPotassium: 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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403 Comments

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  1. These are so much better than any recipe I’ve tried before for meatballs. My family raves about them every time. Thank you!5 stars

  2. I made these tonite and they will be my go to meatball recipe from now on! I just changed it up with fresh parsley and garlic. Delicious!3 stars

  3. I’ve started to make these every weekend. I double the recipe and they just don’t last because they’re soooo good. I add a tsp of dried basil and a handful of fresh parsley, and I reduced the salt after the first time.5 stars

  4. These are great meatballs- I do cook them a little longer. They are super easy to adapt- don’t want Italian seasoning? Just go with plain breadcrumbs and leave out Italian herbs- – want a more Swedish profile- add some nutmeg and allspice. I have them plain for lunch at work as I’m trying to avoid lunch meat, or with any sauce/pasta/mash/polenta combination. And it makes a ton- enough for 3 meals for 4 people – or for about 7-10 lunch serving- (I like them w just a bit of BBQ sauce or Dijon mustard), a serving being 4 per person for me.5 stars

  5. These are the best meatballs; they are so much lighter than beef meatballs. Will be making these from now on.
    Thank your for the recipe!5 stars

  6. Love these meatballs!!! As do my family and they usually aren’t the biggest fan of ground turkey:) I didn’t have onion powder so I added fresh onion. We had it with spaghetti and red sauce but I also can just eat it alone. Very satisfying! Thank you THANK YOU5 stars

  7. This recipe is our go-to recipe for meatballs. They are light and airy and oh so good! My husband loved them. Served them with pasta sauce and a big Italian salad. Try this, you won’t be disappointed. I also learned a big take-away here…brushing with a little olive oil on the meatballs before baking keeps them moist and prevents drying out. Thank you so much for a great recipe!5 stars

  8. ABSOLUTEL delicious!! followed recipe as instructed…easy, tasty ingredients, juicy, perfectly baked meatballs @ 350 deg for 15 minutes! I love a recipe that’s easy to follow with good instructions. We’re Italian and never thought I’d be making ground turkey meatballs, but by adding lots of smashed garlic (lol) along with ingredients as written, the turkey flavor actually came through deliciously, tender and juicy! Thank you so much for opening my mind to a healthier choice!5 stars

  9. This was so tasty I felt compelled to leave a review. Even my picky toddler ate some! Husband went back for seconds, or was it thirds? Made exactly 20 meatballs. Despite the simple ingredients they were so tasty! I used fresh basil and parsley and decided to be a little generous with the seasonings. Of course the timing of things is not quite right because it takes forever to prep herbs. Served with pasta, tomato basil raos and a kale Caesar salad. Yum!!!5 stars

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