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.

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!
4.99 from 85 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 7 servings
Calories: 283kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

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 1/2 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.

Video

Notes

Adapted from my Crockpot Meatballs recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 283kcal
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  1. Veronica

    I made this a little too early, can I keep it in the crockpot until serving time?

  2. Jessica

    So tender and delicious! I omitted the olive oil and put teriyaki sauce on them and baked. So delicious!!!!5 stars

  3. Maggie

    I cooked these for 25 minutes at 400° and they would not Brown except on the bottom?

    1. Mirah

      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.

  4. Noemi

    Delicious result! I will stick to this recipe. Thanks.5 stars

  5. Cathy Collett

    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

  6. Loretta

    Can you used leftover turkey to make these?

    1. sunny smiles

      yes use a meat grinder

    2. meggan

      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

  7. Brian De

    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

  8. Tanya

    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

  9. Christine

    Love this recipe! I was a little nervous about the spice measurements, but they were perfect!5 stars

    1. Meggan

      So happy to hear Christine! -Meggan

  10. Sylvia

    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

  11. Jessica

    I make these all the time. We love them! Questuon though. How long do they last as leftovers? Three days? TIA!5 stars

    1. meggan

      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

  12. Terri Anderson

    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

  13. A

    Tasted pretty good. I used gluten free bread crumbs.4 stars

  14. Brad

    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

    1. Sundrop Henderson

      Try using garlic salt and some smoked paprika

  15. Shelley

    Very nice recipe. I would kick up the seasoning a bit more & add a little tomato paste.5 stars

  16. Amy T

    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

  17. Nova

    Average. A little bit bland, even with fresh herbs. Be sure to brown them in a pan first if you are baking them.

  18. Sam

    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. Meggan

      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

  19. Emily

    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. Meggan

      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

  20. Nicole

    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. Anastasia

      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

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