Baked Turkey Meatballs
Baked turkey meatballs are a great alternative to beef meatballs. Made with lean ground turkey and baked without any added oil, then simmered in your favorite sauce for a delicious meal any night of the week.
Meatballs are a staple in both our houses. We love classic varieties with ground beef but when I’m making my own I like to make these baked turkey meatballs. It’s a leaner version of an Italian classic using ground turkey and ground turkey sausage. It cuts some of the saturated fat but keeps flavor and moisture you know and love from the beef version.
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What You’ll Need
These baked meatballs brown up perfectly in the oven with only a few ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Meats – you’ll need both lean ground turkey and lean turkey sausage
- Panko Bread crumbs – we use panko breadcrumbs (try to avoid pre-seasoning breadcrumbs) but you can use other types of bread crumbs if you prefer. If you are eating low carb you can make these meatballs keto by simply substituting crushed pork rinds for the bread crumbs.
- Cheese – Parmesan cheese and Romano cheese both need to be finely grated. You can use either fresh versions you grate yourself or use pre-grated varieties.
- Herbs and spices – fresh basil, fresh Italian parsley, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder
- Eggs – helps hold everything together nicely
How to Make It
Here’s how to make these delicious meatballs:
Preheat. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In the time it takes your oven to preheat, you can get the meatballs ready to go in the oven.
Mix the spices and the meat. In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, cheeses, basil, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt until well combined. Once the spice and breadcrumbs are mixed, use your hands to combine the turkey meat and sausage in a large bowl. Mix until well combined.
Add the binders. Once the meat is thoroughly mixed, add the breadcrumb mixture and eggs to the meat. Use your hands to thoroughly mix the ingredients until the spices are evenly spread throughout the meat.
Form the meatballs. When the meat is ready, form large meatballs. We often use an ice cream scoop to help measure and keep the sizes consistent. It is more important to have uniform sizes than to worry about if the size is too big or too small. Just stay consistent and you can adjust bake time if needed!
Bake. As you form the meatballs, place them on a baking sheet leaving just a little bit of room between the balls. Bake them for about 15 to 20 minutes or until they are cooked through. Larger ones will need more time than smaller ones to cook, so adjust time as needed.
Tips on serving with sauce:
To add a little more flavor to your meatballs put them in a pot with your favorite sauce and simmer for 10-15 minutes to let them absorb some of that flavor.
If you’re short on time you can just toss them in the sauce and immediately serve over your preferred pasta, in a sandwich, or on their own. Top with more sauce and cheese and enjoy!
Are Turkey Meatballs Healthier Than Beef?
Turkey is a lean meat, which means it has fewer calories from saturated fat than many varieties of ground beef. It is also packed with protein, which means that it will help keep you fuller for longer and provide necessary nutrients.
But you do need to look for lean ground turkey if you are interested in cutting fat or calories. Some ground turkey options include leg and thigh meat which is fattier than turkey breast meat.
Are Breadcrumbs Necessary for Meatballs?
The breadcrumbs help keep the meatballs tender by retaining some of the juices that occur from cooking the meatballs. You often don’t need a lot of breadcrumbs, but if you skip them, you’ll end up with a tougher, dense ball of meat that is much less appetizing.
Can You Freeze Them?
Yes, you can freeze these meatballs after baking so you can make a quick dinner any night of the week.
Bake the meatballs according to the recipe then remove them from the oven and let them cool completely. Once cooled place into a freezer bag or freezer-safe storage dish. If you layer them on top of each other separate the layers with a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
To cook the frozen meatballs place them on a baking sheet and cook at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes OR place the frozen meatballs in a pot with your favorite sauce (make sure it is enough to cover the meatballs) cover with a lid, and let them cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until warmed through.
Looking for More Meatball Recipes?
- Banh Mi Meatball Sliders
- Easy Swedish Meatballs
- Mexican Keto Meatballs
- Pineapple Teriyaki Meatballs
- Low Carb Meatball and Vegetable Casserole
Baked Turkey Meatballs
- 1 pound Lean Ground Turkey
- 1 pound Lean Turkey Sausage
- 1/2 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
- 1/4 cup Romano Cheese, finely grated
- 2 tablespoons Fresh Basil, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons Fresh Italian Parsley, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons Salt
- 1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 1 tablespoon Onion Powder
- 2 Large Eggs
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Mix breadcrumbs, cheeses, basil, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt in a small bowl.
- In a large bowl place the meat and work it together.
- Add breadcrumb mixture from the small bowl and the eggs to the meat.
- Work everything together until it is thoroughly mixed.
- Form meat into large balls approximately 2 ounces each. We were able to get 22 meatballs.
- Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.
- Remove from oven and place into pan with sauce in it coating the meatballs before serving them.