Leaner than beef, these Turkey Meatballs are healthy, packed with flavor, and incredibly moist on the inside. A combination of fresh and dried herbs give these meatballs an Italian flare while also providing a balance of flavors.

Try your ground turkey in my favorite turkey tacos or turkey chili! You might also enjoy my homemade rotisserie chicken recipe or copycat Chipotle Chicken, a long time reader favorite.

Turkey meatballs in a white bowl.

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Good and good for you, these meatballs freeze beautifully and can be reheated in no time.

To sauce or not to sauce, I leave that up to you!

What are the benefits of eating turkey?

Turkey is like the underrated protein powerhouse. It sure packs a nutritional punch by providing a high amount of protein, a low amount of fat, and a number of vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, and niacin, which are essential for the body’s energy production.

Turkey meatball ingredients in a bowl.

How long do you cook turkey meatballs?

The length of time varies based on the size of the meatball and cooking method. Just keep in mind turkey is poultry, so cook until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer. The carry-over cooking will bring it up to the required 165 degrees.

Two images of turkey meatballs on baking racks.

How do you keep the meatballs from falling apart?

Eggs. In the case of meatballs, the egg’s job is simply to act as a binder. For every pound of meat, one egg is the perfect amount.

What’s the best method to get equal portions?

The easiest method is to use a small ice cream scoop. Not only does this give you equal portions, but creates the round shape you’re looking for. If you would like an even more precise measurement, scoop and place on your kitchen scale. Your looking for a 1 ½ ounce measurement for each meatball.

Turkey meatballs in a white bowl.

How do you freeze and reheat the meatballs?

  1. Scoop, cook, cool, and line the meatballs in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  2. Place in the freezer for 1 hour, or until solid.
  3. Transfer to a freezer safe container, label, date, and keep for up to one month.

To reheat, place on a baking sheet, cover with foil, and bake in 300 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until heated through.

If you would like to reheat in your favorite sauce, simply place the meatballs in with the sauce and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, or until heated through.

Turkey meatballs on a silver platter.

Turkey meatballs in a white serving bowl.

Turkey Meatball Recipe

Leaner than beef, these Turkey Meatballs are healthy, packed with flavor, and incredibly moist on the inside. A combination of fresh and dried herbs give these meatballs an Italian flare while also providing a balance of flavors. Good and good for you, these meatballs freeze beautifully and can be reheated in no time. To sauce or not to sauce, I leave that up to you!
5 from 141 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 7 servings
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 283

Ingredients 

  • 2 pounds ground turkey 93% lean
  • 1 cup bread crumbs or panko or rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup onion minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Instructions 

To make the meatballs:

  • In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, bread crumbs, onion, parsley, eggs, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, basil, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. 
  • Using a strong spatula or your hands (I like to wear latex gloves), mix well. Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls (you should have around 48 total).

To bake the meatballs:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. Coat a wire rack with nonstick spray and set on prepared baking sheet.
  • Arrange meatballs on rack, brush with oil, and bake until browned with crispy edges, about 15 to 20 minutes (an internal thermometer should read 155 degrees for 15 seconds).

To fry the meatballs:

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the meatballs in batches until browned on all sides and the meatballs are cooked, about 5 to 7 minutes per batch (an internal thermometer should read 155 degrees for 15 seconds). Add more oil between batches if the skillet looks dry.

To freeze the meatballs:

  • Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet, not touching. Freeze until solid, about 1 hour, then transfer to a freezer-safe container and store up to 1 month.

Recipe Video

Notes

Adapted from my Crockpot Meatballs recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 283kcal
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Comments

  1. Made as recipe except used dried Italian seasoning for herbs(what I had) . Divided into burgers and had as turkey burgers,delicious! Topped with some blue cheese crumbles and franks hot sauce. Thank you for great recipe.5 stars

  2. SO EXCELLENT! I’ve tried a ton of turkey meatball recipes and these take the prize. I used rice flour instead of bread crumbs (give it good texture), and added shredded parmesan which also helps keep them moist. Thanks for recipe!5 stars

  3. This is a really great basic recipe! I added in a bit of grated Parmesan since turkey can be a bit on the bland side. Sometimes I’ll throw in half an avocado or some guacamole just to add in a healthy fat and some moisture. I usually skip the 1/4 cup olive oil and just spray my hands with cooking spray to shape or just spray the meatballs before baking…just enough to help brown. I also trade the parsley out for kale every now and then. I destem raw kale, pulse it in my food processor, and (voila) super food hidden in something my family eats. ;) I’m that mom, sigh. Thanks so much for the recipe!5 stars

  4. My family loves this recipe! It has become one of the favorites over the last year, thank you for sharing. In fact, it is so popular, that I use 3 lb of turkey and two large red onions, which add even more flavor. I opted for the oats from the start. I grind them the food processor first, after which I process the onions there and squeeze out the liquid. Finally, the parsley and garlic (sometimes fresh mint and basil too) also end up in the food processor. That way everything is much quicker to prep. I do have to get my hubby to help shaping the balls – we end up with two cookie sheets packed with them:)5 stars

  5. this was really easy midweek dinner. needed to use up some sauce, had ground turkey. just halved the recipe, basically. dried parsley instead of fresh because i didn’ t have any on hand, and added some grated pecorino romano cheese. i cooked the turkey meatballs which were a little larger than yours (per request) at 400 degrees f, for 35 minutes total at which time they registered 145 degrees F. they are yummy. thanks5 stars

  6. Love your Turkey meatball!!! My mini family is a bit mix Iam from the Dominican Republic and my life-partner is Peruvian , our two boys are US born. But like to always try new recipes of different native countries… Thank you for teaching new ways to cook such great recipes !!!

  7. Such a good recipe, loved everything about it.I used 1lb of turkey ground meat, and just did the ingredients in half and it still came out perfect ☺️5 stars

    1. I just did the same thing last night for my meatball recipe, and used 1lb of ground turkey and I substituted worcestershire sauce with liquid smoke and it was very good!

  8. Ive been looking for a good turkey meatball recipe. Many of the beef ones I have seen suggest mixing in some shredded parmesan cheese to the mixture. Would this work with this turkey recipe?

  9. There’s another recipe I’ve been using for years. I’ve been looking for another one. I am SO glad I found this. The turkey meatballs were fantastic. We loved them. This will be our recipe moving forward. Thank you so much!5 stars

  10. I mean I should have read through the instructions before just adding the ingredients list to the bowl, mixing and making the turkey meatballs, but I ended up forgetting the salt and pepper as a result and they taste kinda bland, nothing that hot sauce can’t fix though. Looking forward to making them again WITH the appropriate seasoning.

  11. I made these last night only one thing I added was seasoned salt. The recipe came out perfect! The meatballs were moist and flavorful. This is my new go to recipe for turkey meatballs. That’s for sharing!!

  12. Such a great recipe. I didn’t have eggs and it still turned out amazing. I made a sauce with Sauvignon Blanc to deglaze the pan; cooked it up and added pasta… oh my word, yummy!! Best turkey meatball recipe.5 stars

  13. This recipe is amazing!! I’ve been going back to it repeatedly for over a year now, they always turn out excellent!

  14. Tried this last night, and it was absolutley delicious! Moist, flavorful, lean and healthy!!!
    My family said it was the best meal I made in a while, and I am a pretty cood cook. I didnt’ have Worcestershire sauce so I substituted it with amino acids, and it was absolutley delicious.
    Thanks for this! Its fast and easy and I now have a new family favorite!5 stars

    1. Hi Victoria, thank you! Liquid aminos always tastes SO GOOD with ground turkey, I love it, it makes perfect sense that it worked for you here. Thank you for your comment! -Meggan

  15. I made these today and they were so easy! I use 99 percent lean turkey so I added 2 Tbls of light olive oil to the mix so they wouldnt be dry! Perfect! Thank you!5 stars

  16. Seasoning is spot on! Baked on foil lined cookie sheet. Used red onions and rolled oats because that’s what I had on-hand, but followed recipe verbatim otherwise. So flavorful!5 stars

  17. Really delicious. I didn’t have Pablo so I used day old rice, delicious. My only recommendation would be a bit more salt, but other than that I’m a fan favorite!

    Next time we are going to add feta cheese and make sliders, yum.5 stars

  18. Great recipe! Very flavorful! My Whole family loved it- even kids. I served it with mashed potatoes and asparagus, but think it would also be great in a sandwich, pasta, etc.
    I only had 1 lb of turkey, so cut it all in half, and it made 16 Golf ball sized meatballs. I cooked them on parchment paper in the toaster oven, but I think cast iron would give a nicer crisp if I wanted to use my big oven. I also grilled the onions before adding them so they wouldn’t be so crunchy for my kids and they didn’t notice them, but I still got the flavor! Finally, I used fresh herbs from the garden so doubled the amount.
    Will definitely make again5 stars

  19. If I don’t have a wire rack, will simply cooking them on a foil covered baking sheet work? They look delicious, can’t wait to try :)

    1. Hi Dee! This should work fine, just make sure that you spray with cooking spray first! :) -Meggan

  20. I used a big cast iron skillet and it put a great crust on a great meatball.
    Thanks for the recipe.
    Chuck5 stars

  21. These were great. I did modify just a bit. I added ½ lb Italian pork sausage to the mix for a bit more fat and flavor. I also grated rather than minced the onion so it would blend a little better. My husband doesn’t like garlic(gasp!) so I omitted that.
    Cooked on the bbq and then served over spiralized zucchini, chunked tomatoes and feta with a light vinaigrette. Really good- will be in the regular rotation!5 stars

    1. Hi Lainie, yes! Personally I have only seen 2 kinds of ground turkey, the 93% and the 99%. The 99% is the “ground turkey breast” which is fat free and very dry. Not recommended. If you can find ground turkey other than those two, and if it has a higher percentage of fat, it’s only going to improve the meatballs. Thanks! :) -Meggan

    1. Hi Karin – YES you absolutely can. I’m so sorry the post doesn’t say that. Obviously you can reheat them in the microwave. Microwaves tend to vary a lot so I don’t know what it would be exactly. But if you’re talking about one, I’d do 30 seconds. If you’re talking about 5, I’d probably do 1:30. But obviously see how it goes! And you can do at 50% power if you’re not sure. Thank you! I’ll fix this post up with that info. -Meggan

  22. Made these last month and fell in love with them. Now going to make 3 pounds worth so I have plenty for the freezer. Excellent recipe!!!!!5 stars

  23. The best turkey meatballs recipe ever!! Tasty, healthy, easy, great!
    I only got 39!! Will keep on trying with size!5 stars

  24. This is the second time I make this recipe. Absolutely love it! Its the best turkey meatball recipe I’ve tried!! Taste is amazing. Great ingredients and easy to make5 stars

  25. This recipe has become a staple In my house. Minimal prep and cook time. Delicious and easy.5 stars

  26. This recipe, just based off ingredients, is the first to get me to try turkey and, as a result, absolutely love it. This is one great recipe. will definitely make again! Thank-you!5 stars

  27. I made these meatballs for the first time a few days ago. I was making meatball sandwiches for dinner. They were delicious and quick and easy to make. The only change I made was I used dry minced onion instead of fresh. The seasoning gave them good flavor. I froze the leftover meatballs. Sometimes when I make pasta for dinner I have left over pasta but no meatballs or sausage. I usually pack the leftover pasta for work lunches. I can now add two or three turkey meatballs to the leftover pasta for a work lunch.5 stars

  28. Meggan, these were delicious. The whole family enjoyed them. They came together super quick and were the perfect weeknight meal with marinara for dipping. Even my 3 year old ask for seconds!5 stars

  29. These were excellent. I did add 1 Tblsp of 2% milk and some hot sauce. They were very very tasty. I reheated I a classic marinara. Delish. Will make again family loved them. Thank you!5 stars

  30. I made the meatballs and they were great. But wondering if you can use the same recipe and make a meatloaf out of it instead of meatballs?

    1. Hi Kelly, glad you liked the meatballs! I don’t know for sure about the meatloaf. Probably? I can’t think of why not? I just haven’t tried it. I’ll test it when I get a chance. I also have another turkey meatloaf on my site if you want something tested: https://www.culinaryhill.com/turkey-meatloaf/
      Thanks! -Meggan

  31. Ok call me crazy but I used half ground turkey and half ground sausage. I also added fresh grated Parmesan cheese, and 2 tbl spoons of Greek yogurt But wow moist and delicious; I’ll never use ground beef again.5 stars

  32. Moist and flavourful. We loved them! I substituted dry parsley, and since my husband has celiac disease I used gluten free bread crumbs and omitted the Worcestershire sauce. Ground turkey is a staple for us and this is my new “go to” recipe for meatballs.5 stars

    1. Hi Kelly, I’m not Mary Ellen but the normal conversion is, 1 tbsp dried = 1/4 cup fresh parsley. So it would be 2 tablespoons dried if you wanted to use the equivalent. But I haven’t made these with dried so I don’t know what she used. Hopefully Mary Ellen replies. Thanks. -Meggan

  33. I have generally disliked ground turkey, which we treated like ground beef, using it mainly with Hamburger Helper, but this recipe worked well for my wife and me. I substituted dry parsley for fresh, and soy sauce for Worcestershire sauce, and also cooked it for 25 minutes instead of 15-20.5 stars

  34. Made this last night and used gluten free matzo meal since I didn’t have bread crumbs on hand. Soo good! I served it with zoodles and the stroganoff sauce from #theroastedroot5 stars

    1. Delicious, thank you so much for this recipe. My husband loves this!As per some reviews, I also added parmesean, definitely a keeper!5 stars

    1. Hi Dane, this recipe should make about 48 1-inch meatballs. Of course, it all depends how big or small you make them. If you want to hit 48 exactly, I would recommend dividing the turkey mixture into 4 clumps that are roughly the same size. From there, make sure you get 12 balls out off each of those clumps. Hope you like them! -Meggan

    1. Try brushing a little bit of olive oil on the meatballs before you bake them. It will help brown the outsides all the way around.

  35. Was looking for a turkey meatball recipe I could make gluten free for family favorites like spaghetti sauce and soups. Have made this several times now and usually just freeze them, so they are on hand when I need them for recipes, or just to eat on their own. They are so much better than the store bought turkey meatballs!5 stars

    1. Hi Loretta, you could try. I don’t know how well it would hold together as a meatball. But if you feel like trying it, give it a shot! Sorry I can’t tell you for sure. Thanks – Meggan

  36. I am a young adult, and I look after my mother who suffers from Alzheimer. I cook often, and this recipe was awesome! I added chili flakes for spice and I boiled the meatball and then fried them over butter. My mom ate it all up! thanks!5 stars

  37. Yummo!I halved the entire recipe. Used 1 sliced of bread that I threw in my chopper then added 3 Tbsp milk. I browned the meatballs in olive oil then added them to my marinara and simmered away. Husband had no idea it was turkey.5 stars

  38. This is an excellent recipe. It will be my standard for turkey meatballs in the future. Because I was making spaghetti wand meatballs I left the onions and garlic out of the meatball and put them in the spaghetti sauce with green pepper. I tried to give it 5 starships.5 stars

    1. Hi Jessica, that’s great! Thank you! 4 days max. Like if you made them today, I would finish them up by the 4th day (Wednesday). I hope this helps. Thank you! Have a great Sunday! -Meggan

  39. These meatballs are delicious. I made them gluten free with gluten free plain bread crumbs. I omitted the garlic as I didn’t have any but added 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese. I used 4 tsp dried parsley instead of fresh without loosing any flavor. They are delicious and would highly recommend.5 stars

  40. Delicious, but I cut the meat and (Italian style) breadcrumbs in half but kept all spices/seasonings/flavorings the same. There’s still something missing, but delicious. First time making meatballs myself too! No more frozen for me!5 stars

  41. Made a batch for the first time tonight. Cut the recipe in half. Made 36 meatballs using a melon baller. Instead of brushing with olive oil before baking, I sprayed on the olive oil. Thank you for this great recipe and preparation notes.5 stars

  42. You list olive oil in the ingredients but don’t mention it when writing out what to combine. Is it a typo or is the olive oil only for a specific cooking method?

    1. Hi Sam, sorry that the recipe may be written confusing way. The oil isn’t used “to make the meatballs section,” it is in either the “to bake the meatballs” or “to fry the meatballs” sections. If you are baking the meatballs, they get brushed with oil before going into the oven. Hope this helps! -Meggan

  43. Great easy recipe! I made a few last night for dinner and froze the rest. Any recommendations on how to bake from frozen?5 stars

    1. Hi Emily! Here you go, sorry for the delay in my reply:
      Oven instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. 2. Place frozen meatballs in a single layer on a baking sheet (line the pan with foil for easy cleanup if you want). 3. Heat for 15-20 minutes or until hot. Microwave instructions (1000 watts): 1. Place 6 frozen meatballs on a microwave-safe dish. 2. Heat on high for 1 minute or until hot. 3. Remove and let stand for 1 minute. 4. For every 6 additional frozen meatballs add 1 minute of heat time, rotating meatballs every minute. Stovetop instructions: 1. Heat sauce or gravy in saucepan. 2. Add frozen meatballs. 3. Cover and heat on medium for approximately 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

      I hope this helps! Thanks! -Meggan

  44. We made these and put them in the freezer in preparation to have our first baby (after tasting a few, of course!! they are awesome!!) How do you recommend reheating them after frozen?5 stars

    1. First home cooked meal of 2020 and it was a success! I loved this recipe so much! I used fresh basil since I had some handy but dried parsley since I was all out of fresh. So delicious! Thanks so much for this recipe!5 stars

  45. Made these tonight and they were delicious! Whole family had seconds (with two kids 9 and 6)! My husband even liked them! I had with spaghetti squash and kids and hubby had with pasta. I pan seared then put in the crockpot so we could have ready when we came home from a baseball game.5 stars

  46. I did these and accidentally did 1 lb ground Turkey and the same amounts of all the rest! Whoops :) still very good. Also I added 3 tablespoons of blue cheese and did them with Frank’s red hot! So good5 stars

    1. Hi Meghan! Wow, that variation sounds AWESOME! I’m so glad you liked them! :D -Meggan

  47. Calorie question, maybe my math is wrong?? 2lbs of turkey, making 48-1.5oz meat balls would take 4.5 lbs of turkey. Please help. Thank you!!

    1. Hi Amy, sorry for the delay in my response. I wanted to get this right for you, but couldn’t feel great about it unless I retested the recipe. I finally had a chance today. Sorry if this is too much information, but I wanted to be specific for you. Below, I copied the recipe, and I put my notes in parentheses.

      2 pounds ground turkey
      1 cup bread crumb, panko or oats (I used 1 cup of panko which weighed 2.33 ounces)
      2/3 cup onion minced (This weighed 3 ounces)
      1/2 cup fresh parsley minced (This weighed .7 ounces)
      2 large eggs
      3 cloves garlic minced
      2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
      1/2 teaspoon dried basil
      1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
      Salt and freshly ground black pepper

      (I weighed everything when it was mixed, and it was 43 ounces. I made what I would consider very “standard sized” meatballs, and they weighed just over an ounce each. When all was said and done, I had 40 meatballs. So, I noticed our recipe card is a little off in saying that it will make 48 meatballs, which I am very sorry about. I will change that right away.)

      Does this answer your question? I hope so. Please let me know if you need more information, I will be more than happy to help!

    2. Thank you so much for helping me out!! Also your time, your meatballs rock! My family didn’t even realize they weren’t beef.5 stars

  48. The whole family loved them which is very rare.  For my son, I made them into a sub with some Parmesan and blended shredded cheese and the rest of us ate them with pasta.  They even tasted good without the sauce!5 stars

    1. How would you sauce them ? Beginner cook here and my family only eats things with sauce . I know pasta is one way but I was wonder if I was putting this with rice ?

    2. Hi Nicole! You could serve them in a quick tomato sauce like this one: https://www.culinaryhill.com/quick-tomato-sauce-recipe/ and serve with pasta, substitute them for the beef and pork meatballs in Swedish meatballs: https://www.culinaryhill.com/swedish-meatball-gravy/. Also, you can use them instead of beef meatballs for Slow Cooker Meatloaf Meatballs and serve them with rice if you like or mashed potatoes. Here’s the link: https://www.culinaryhill.com/slow-cooker-meatloaf-meatballs/. I hope this helps! – Meggan

  49. is there any preferred dipping sauce for this? I was thinking about trying a pizza sauce or marinara? what are your thoughts?

    1. Hi Michael, I made the recipe for just plain turkey meatballs in the hopes that you could use them with whatever sauce you made or bought. I do love them with marinara, or if you’re feeling crazy, Frank’s Red Hot is awesome on turkey meatballs (obviously depending on what you are doing with them; if I make them for meal prep, I do the hot sauce and add it in the moment). Also really great with alfredo sauce if that’s your thing. I hope this is helpful! If you need anything else, just let me know. -Meggan

    1. I am using three pounds of ground turkey would I need the tweak the ingredients measurements or no

    2. Hi Katie, yes, I would change the ingredient measurements for sure. I would increase like this:

      3 pounds ground turkey 93% lean
      1.5 cup bread crumbs or panko or rolled oats
      1 cup onion minced
      3/4 cup fresh parsley minced
      3 large eggs
      4 or 5 cloves garlic minced (4 if you like garlic, 5 if you LOVE garlic)
      1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
      3/4 teaspoon dried basil
      3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
      Salt and freshly ground black pepper
      1/4 cup olive oil (plus 1-2 tablespoons more if needed)