I've always been enthusiastic about merging the culinary arts with health-conscious choices, and one discovery I've made is the benefit of using turkey.
And among the numerous recipes I have honed, the art of crafting wholesome and tantalizing turkey meatballs holds a special place in my heart. So, here is my favorite meatball recipe made with healthy turkey.
Healthy Turkey Meatball Recipe
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Servings: 8
- Serving Size: 1 Meatball
- Calories: 220
- Total Carbs: 10g
- Protein: 25g
- Fat: 8g
- Fiber: 2g
- Net Carbs: 8g
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1/2 cup whole wheat or panko bread crumbs (gluten-free crumbs can be used)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large egg
- Cooking spray (olive oil or your preferred spray)
- 1 cup tomato sauce (marinara sauce or your favorite pasta sauce)
- Fresh basil for garnish (optional)
- Parchment-lined baking sheet
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly greased with olive oil or cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, minced garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes (if using), salt, and pepper. Mix well until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Beat the egg in a separate bowl and add it to the turkey mixture. Mix until the egg is well incorporated, and the mixture holds together.
- Using a cookie scoop or your hands, form the mixture into approximately 1.5-inch meatballs and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake the turkey meatballs in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until they are cooked through and golden brown on the outside.
- While the meatballs are baking, heat the tomato sauce in a saucepan over medium heat. You can add some fresh basil or other herbs for extra flavor.
- Once the turkey meatballs are done, remove them from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes.
- Serve the healthy turkey meatballs with the warm sauce and garnish with fresh basil, if desired.
- You can make ahead and freeze cooked meatballs. Place them in an airtight container or freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months . Frozen meatballs should be thawed in the fridge and then reheated. You also can freeze raw meatballs for a similar time before preparing.
- If you have leftover meatballs, refrigerate and use them within 3-4 days .
- Ground chicken or lean ground beef can be substituted for ground turkey. For a more classic meatball taste, add ground turkey to ground pork in a 50/50 proportion.
- These baked turkey meatballs can also be cooked in an Instant Pot or even a toaster oven.
- For a crock-pot version, prepare the meatball mixture as instructed and cook the meatballs in your slow cooker with the sauce on low. Bake turkey meatballs for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours.
- Add a bit of cooked and finely grated zucchini or cauliflower to the mixture to make the meatballs extra tender.
- You can also make turkey meatballs in an air fryer for a crispier texture. Cook them at 375°F for 12-15 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through.
- This recipe is versatile, and you can customize it by adding your favorite fresh herbs and spices. For example, adding tomato paste, rosemary, thyme, and basil will result in Italian turkey meatballs.
- Feel free to use your preferred cooking oil or spray for greasing the baking sheet.
"Meatballs, crafted with love and expertise, showcase the magic of transforming humble ingredients into an extraordinary culinary experience."
- David Chang, American Chef
Also Read: Greek Chicken Meatballs Recipe
Things To Serve with Turkey Meatballs
Here are some dishes and sides that would pair well with these baked turkey meatballs:
1. Zucchini Noodles
These are a great low-carb and gluten-free alternative to traditional pasta.
They pair well with healthy turkey meatballs because they provide a light and refreshing base that complements the savory flavors of healthy meatballs.
Zucchini noodles add extra fiber and nutrients to the meal without overpowering the taste of the meatballs.
Also Read: Shrimp and Steak Teriyaki Noodles Recipe
2. Cauliflower Rice
Similar to zucchini, cauliflower is another excellent low-carb option that goes well with turkey meatballs.
It offers a neutral flavor that allows the turkey meatballs and sauce to shine while providing additional vitamins and minerals.
3. Spaghetti Squash
This squash, when cooked, separates into spaghetti-like strands, making it a fantastic alternative to regular pasta.
It pairs well with the best turkey meatballs because its subtle sweetness complements the savory meatball flavors.
4. Whole Wheat Pasta
For those who prefer to have some pasta in their meal, whole wheat is a healthier choice compared to traditional refined pasta.
It adds more fiber and nutrients to the dish, making it a more balanced and nutritious pairing with the turkey meatballs.
5. Fresh Salad with Greens and Veggies
A fresh salad with various greens and colorful vegetables is an excellent side dish to balance the meal.
The refreshing, crisp flavors of the salad provide a nice contrast to the warm and savory turkey meatballs. Plus, it adds extra vitamins, minerals, and fiber to the meal.
6. Roasted Vegetables
Roasted vegetables like broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, or Brussels sprouts are a delicious and nutritious accompaniment to absolutely delicious turkey meatballs.
Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of the veggies and adds some charred flavor, which complements the tender meatballs well.
7. Garlic Breadsticks or Whole Grain Garlic Bread
If you want a heartier option, whole-grain garlic bread or garlic breadsticks can be a tasty addition.
Opt for whole-grain bread to add fiber and nutrients while enjoying the delicious combination of garlic and herbs with the meatballs.
Why Are Turkey Meatballs Good for You?
Turkey meatballs are good for you because they offer a lean and nutritious protein source. Lean turkey is naturally lower in fat than beef or pork meatballs, making it a healthier option than traditional meatballs for those looking to reduce their saturated fat intake.
Are Ground Turkey Meatballs Suitable for Meal Prep and Freezing?
Yes, ground turkey meatballs are suitable for meal prep and freezing. After baking, allow the meatballs to cool completely, then place them in an airtight container or a zip-lock bag. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
What Is a Good Binder for Meatballs?
Bread crumbs are a good binder for meatballs. You can use gluten-free breadcrumbs or alternatives like rolled oats or crushed crackers for a gluten-free option. Additionally, eggs are commonly used in the binder as they add moisture and richness to the turkey balls.
Healthy Turkey Meatballs Are a Great Choice
Crafting healthy turkey meatballs offers a delicious and nutritious alternative to traditional beef meatballs.
By incorporating lean ground turkey, wholesome ingredients, and mindful cooking techniques, you can enjoy a healthy meatball sub with marinara sauce, chopped onions, and mozzarella cheese.
If you want top-quality meat to create turkey meatballs, delve into our comprehensive review of the best meat delivery services.
Here, we explore the finest sources for premium ground meat, delivering convenience and top-notch ingredients to your doorstep.