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turkey meatballs in tomato sauce

Turkey Meatballs Recipe

Turkey Meatballs is a lighter version of the classic Italian dinner staple! Pile several over spaghetti and serve!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Turkey Meatballs
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
Calories 497 kcal
Author Catalina Castravet


  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese more for serving
  • 1/2 cup plain dried bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup very finely chopped basil
  • 4 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 1/2 pound ground turkey very cold from the fridge
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil more as needed
  • 3 cups marinara sauce or more


  1. In a large bowl, combine the ingredients starting with the cheese and up to (including) red pepper flakes, and mix well.
  2. Add turkey meat, egg Worcestershire sauce, and blend with your hands until well mixed.
  3. For the perfect texture, if you have time, cover the meat mixture and chill for an hour or up to 24 hours. It's easiest to form the meatballs when they are very cold.
  4. When ready to cook for the meatballs, I usually use a one to two tablespoons cookie scoop to measure the meat mixture and roll it into balls.
  5. Place a large saute pan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of the oil. When the oil is hot, add the meatballs just enough to fit in the pan without crowding them.
  6. Brown the meatballs on all sides, 5 to 8 minutes, and then transfer to a plate, add more oil if needed, and cook the rest of the meatballs.
  7. Once done cooking the meatballs, add the marinara sauce to the pan and bring it to a simmer. Make sure to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon. Taste the sauce and adjust for salt and pepper. Once hot, add the meatballs and their juices to the pan, gently toss to cover the meatballs with sauce and lower the heat. Cover the pan and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, for 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. Serve hot, drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with parsley and grated parmesan cheese.
Nutrition Facts
Turkey Meatballs Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 497 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Fat 23g35%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 145mg48%
Sodium 2273mg99%
Potassium 1228mg35%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 51g102%
Vitamin A 1245IU25%
Vitamin C 15mg18%
Calcium 219mg22%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.