These Baked Turkey Meatballs are healthy, juicy meatballs that are baked and browned to perfection. The recipe requires minimal prep and cleanup, and tastes delicious in weeknight dinners like Italian Wedding Soup, spaghetti with meatballs, meatball sandwiches, and more.
These healthy turkey meatballs are lean and full of garlicky, herby, cheesy flavor. Aside from the ground turkey, the rest of the ingredients are pantry staples you likely already have in your kitchen. Plus, it takes just a few minutes to prep and roll into meatballs, and it only takes 20-25 minutes to bake the meatballs in the oven.
- Ground turkey - Lean ground turkey is a lean protein with delicious flavor. Ground turkey is generally lower in saturated fat than beef; therefore, it is a healthier protein for heart health.
- Egg - Egg binds the meat so the meat doesn't fall apart. Eggs are not a source for moisture and you only need one egg for 1-2 pounds of ground meat.
- Panko - Panko gives the meatballs texture and weight. Panko breadcrumbs are airy and light but can be substituted with regular or Italian breadcrumbs.
- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano - Cheese adds flavor and salt! Parmigiano-Reggiano is a deliciously funky cheese that gives the meatballs Italian flavor.
- Garlic and Parsley - Meatballs need seasoning. Garlic and parsley brighten the meatballs with fresh herby flavors. Fresh garlic and parsley can be substituted for garlic powder and dried parsley or other herbs, like sweet basil, rosemary, and more.
How to Make This Easy Baked Meatball Recipe
- Preheat the oven - Heat the oven to 350°F.
- Combine ingredients - Combine ground turkey, egg, garlic cloves, panko, cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Gently toss with your hands and break up the meat until evenly mixed.
- Form meatballs - Use your hands to roll and shape 1-inch meatballs. This turkey mix yield about 24 meatballs.
- Prepare baking sheet and cook - Lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil, place raw meatballs on the baking sheet, and cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
These ground turkey meatballs require a few kitchen essentials, all of which can be used for many other common recipes. For this turkey meatball recipe, you will need a knife, cutting board, cheese grater, mixing bowl, like this glass mixing bowl set, and rimmed baking sheet.
To explore more kitchen items to make your kitchen complete, head to our Kitchen Essentials Shop.
Store these easy baked meatballs in an airtight container or freezer bag (make sure to push air out of it) in the fridge for up to 3 days. After 3 days, you need to freeze the meatballs and they can be frozen for up to 4 months. In order to reheat the meatballs, heat the oven to 300°F, then reheat meatballs for 10 minutes or until heated through. If frozen, let the meatballs thaw first before reheating them.
How to Make Moist Meatballs
To make moist and tender turkey meatballs, use a half cup of breadcrumbs and one egg for every one pound of ground meat. This ratio allows the turkey to bind and retain moisture without tasting dry. For breadcrumbs, use panko, or Japanese breadcrumbs, or Italian breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs can be used interchangeably to bind the meat.
Use your hands to mix the ground meat and form the meatballs. Your hands offer a gentler touch than a spoon or fork, which can crush the meat and make it tough. Additionally, only combine the meat and ingredients just until mixed as to not over mix the meat.
There are pros and cons to both frying and baking meatballs. Frying meatballs provides a delicious crust but requires more cleanup and potential oil splatter. In contrast, baked meatballs require less cleanup, no oil, and is a healthier method than frying.
The meatballs are okay to eat once their internal temperature reaches 165°F. Additionally, the center of the meatball will be fully cooked and not pink when cut in half.
- Gluten free - If you want to make this recipe gluten free, use gluten free panko instead of regular panko.
- Beef - You can also make this recipe with lean ground beef (93% ground) if you prefer the taste to turkey and still want healthy meatballs.
- Italian seasoned breadcrumbs - In order to make these meatballs more more flavorful, use Italian season breadcrumbs instead of panko.
- Herbs - We use fresh garlic and parsley, but you can substitute these for garlic powder and dried parsley. You can also add or substitute other herbs like sweet basil, rosemary, and oregano.
- Spicy - Add red pepper flakes to make the meatballs spicy.
- Garlic Powder - Add ½ teaspoon of garlic powder to add the quintessential flavor.
- Onion Powder - Add ½ teaspoon onion powder for a pungent and sweet flavor.
What to Serve with Oven Baked Meatballs
These healthy meatballs taste delicious in so many dishes! Italian meatballs can be incorporated in dishes like:
- Spaghetti with meatballs - Spaghetti with turkey meatballs is a leaner alternative to traditional beef, veal, or pork meatballs. Place the meatballs on top of a nest of al dente spaghetti and top with a spoonful of marinara sauce and grated parmesan cheese.
- Meatball sub - Turkey meatball subs are a delicious twist on an Italian hoagie. They are a delicious weeknight dinner sandwich and go well with a bright and refreshing arugula salad.
- Italian Wedding Soup - Italian Wedding Soup with Turkey Meatballs is a healthy, hearty soup made with tender garlicky turkey meatballs, farro, white beans, and baby kale. A cozy bowl of this lean and nutritious soup will warm you right up.
- Meatball dinner - Enjoy these meatballs as a main course with delicious sides like Miso Mashed Potatoes or Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan or Maple Bacon Brussel Sprouts.
Did You Like This Recipe?
If you loved this healthy meatball recipe, check out these similar tasty recipes:
- Chicken Katsu (Japanese Chicken Cutlet)
- BBQ Baked Chicken Thighs (Baked in Oven)
- Roast Chicken Thighs and Vegetables
Healthy Baked Turkey Meatballs
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 egg
- ½ cup panko
- ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- Heat the oven - Heat the oven to 350°F.
- Mix ingredients - In a large mixing bowl, combine ground turkey, egg, 2 minced garlic cloves, panko, cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
- Form meatballs - Gently toss with your hands and break up the meat until evenly mixed. Then use your hands to roll and shape 1-inch meatballs.
- Prepare baking sheet and cook - Lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil, place raw meatballs on the baking sheet, and cook in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove the meatballs and set aside.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove