by Olena

Turkey Meatballs

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Olena Osipov
4.9 from 30 votes

Turkey Meatballs without breadcrumbs baked in the oven until juicy inside and golden outside. So easy and healthy, double the recipe and freeze.

Try your pack of ground turkey in turkey meatloaf or turkey burgers next time. Both are reader favorites. Also how could I not mention turkey sliders. 🙂

healthy turkey meatballs

Healthy Turkey Meatballs

Equipped with Costco size packs of ground turkey, I have busted the myth of dry turkey meatballs.

Today we are making baked turkey meatballs without breadcrumbs. Meatballs that are juicy inside and golden on the outside!

These healthy turkey meatballs are moistened with virtually zero calorie shredded zucchini.

Instead of browning in oil and creating a mess, we bake meatballs just enough to be cooked inside and brown on the outside without losing the moisture.

healthy turkey meatballs served with spaghetti and corn salad on a plate

Are Turkey Meatballs More Healthy than Beef?

There is a belief that turkey is leaner than beef. It is true if you choose ground turkey made from breast meat only also known as extra lean ground turkey. If you usually cook with 85% fat ground beef, than ground turkey is a healthier choice. Otherwise, if we compare 93% lean ground beef and 93% lean ground turkey, they both have equal amount of fat with turkey winning only in saturated fat department.

We do love the taste of turkey in meatballs! If your family prefers sweet and rich taste of beef, check out this easy meatball recipe.

Ingredients for Turkey Meatballs

  • Ground turkey: Lean or extra lean ground turkey. Just know if package says 1 lb and 3 oz it is fine, most are that weight, not exactly 1 lb.
  • Eggs: Eggs act as a binder for turkey and veggies. Don’t skip!
  • Zucchini: Shredded zucchini adds moisture to otherwise dry turkey meat without extra calories. It’s genius!!!
  • Seasonings: Garlic, onion flakes/powder, dried oregano, salt and pepper.

How to Make Turkey Meatballs

  • Prep: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line 2 large baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Or I love using silicone baking mats, no oil necessary.
  • Make meatball mixture: Combine ground turkey, zucchini, eggs, garlic, onion flakes, oregano, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix well with your hands. That is when rings come off. 🙂 How to make turkey meatballs step by step
  • Form 47 meatballs using a small cookie scoop: Number is approximate. It helps to dip hands while rolling balls into a bowl with cold water occasionally or just use the scoop. Lay meatballs on baking sheets. How to make turkey meatballs step by stepHow to make turkey meatballs step by step
  • Bake for 20 minutes: At about 15 minute mark you will see meatballs surrounded by a bit of liquid coming out from zucchini. Turn and toss meatballs with spatula (mostly to get rid off of that extra water) and bake for 5 more minutes.How to make turkey meatballs step by step

How to Freeze and Bake After

  • Freeze: Freeze meatballs individually on a lined baking sheet. Takes about 5 hours or overnight. frozen turkey meatballs
  • Store: Pop in a gallon Ziploc bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Don’t add fresh and unfrozen balls into the bag – they will all clump.frozen turkey meatballs in plastic bag
  • Thaw completely and then bake: Here you have to listen to me – Don’t bake frozen meatballs – they will be dry. That is just too long of a baking time.

Freeze cooked meatballs: Another option is to bake, cool and freeze meatballs. Then thaw completely and follow my reheating advice below.

Storing and Serving Tips and Ideas

Serving: Turkey meatballs are extremely versatile as they can be dinner or an appetizer.

  • Dinner: Serve on their own with spaghetti, or add some low sugar jarred marinara/spaghetti sauce. With mashed potatoes and cucumber and tomato salad meatballs would make a totally Ukrainian dinner I grew up with.
  • Appetizer: Warm up a jar of low sodium pasta sauce in slow cooker or Instant Pot and serve like that with toothpicks nearby. Or just pop toothpicks inside and serve on a platter with dipping sauce like Thai sweet chili sauce.
  • Salad: I served meatballs with whole wheat spaghetti and Mexican street corn salad. That is what I had on hand that day.
  • Subway: Make a sub on a whole wheat bun with marinara sauce and Mozzarella cheese on top. Pop under the broiler for a few mins and serve with lemon parmesan kale salad to balance off the meal. 🙂

Storing and Reheating: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Warm up in a microwave or steam in a covered pan with a splash of water. I would not bake them in the oven to avoid drying out.

I hope you enjoy this turkey meatball recipe as much as other readers do!

More Healthy Meatballs Recipes

turkey meatballs

Turkey Meatballs

Turkey Meatballs {Healthy Baked Recipe}

Turkey Meatballs without breadcrumbs baked in the oven until juicy inside and golden outside. So easy and healthy, double the recipe and freeze.
4.94 from 30 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 47 meatballs
Calories: 26kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini liquid squeezed out (measured before squeezing)
  • 2 eggs large
  • 4 large garlic cloves grated
  • 2 tbsp onion flakes or powder
  • 1 tsp oregano dried
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line 2 large baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Or I love using silicone baking mats, no oil necessary.
  • In a large bowl, add ground turkey, zucchini, eggs, garlic, onion flakes, oregano, salt and pepper; mix well with your hands.
    Turkey Meatballs
  • Using small cookie scoop form 47 meatballs (it helps to dip hands in a bowl with cold water occasionally) and lay on baking sheets.
    Turkey Meatballs
  • Bake for 15 minutes, turn and toss with spatula (mostly to get rid off of that ground turkey residue) and bake for 5 more minutes. Serve hot.
    Turkey Meatballs

Storing and Reheating: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Warm up in a microwave or steam in a covered pan with a splash of water. I would not bake them in the oven to avoid drying out.

    Freeze cooked meatballs: Bake, cool and freeze meatballs. Then thaw completely and follow my reheating advice.

      Video

      Notes

      How to Freeze Meatballs and Bake After
      • Freeze: Freeze meatballs individually on a lined baking sheet. Takes about 5 hours or overnight.
      • Store: Pop in a gallon Ziploc bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Don't add fresh and unfrozen balls into the bag - they will all clump.
      • Thaw completely and then bake: Here you have to listen to me - Don't bake frozen meatballs - they will be dry. That is just too long of a baking time.
      Serving
      • Dinner: Serve on their own with spaghetti, or add some low sugar jarred marinara/spaghetti sauce. With mashed potatoes and cucumber and tomato salad meatballs would make a totally Ukrainian dinner I grew up with.
      • Appetizer: Warm up a jar of low sodium pasta sauce in slow cooker or Instant Pot and serve like that with toothpicks nearby. Or just pop toothpicks inside and serve on a platter with dipping sauce like Thai sweet chili sauce.
      • Salad: I served meatballs with whole wheat spaghetti and Mexican street corn salad. That is what I had on hand that day.
      • Subway: Make a sub on a whole wheat bun with marinara sauce and Mozzarella cheese on top. Pop under the broiler for a few mins and serve with lemon parmesan kale salad to balance off the meal. 🙂

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1meatball | Calories: 26kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 62mg | Potassium: 71mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg
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      olena osipov in the studio

      Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

      My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

      82 comments on “Turkey Meatballs

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      1. 5 stars
        I don’t review recipes. Ever. But I just had to on this one because I was totally surprised by how great it is! In general: ground turkey- meh, zucchini- meh, lol, but this combo was totally awesome and I’ve shared it with a few friends already bc I have not had much luck in the past with ground turkey making me want to come back for seconds! Success!! Well done 🙂

        bonus – 1 g carbs! Wow…

      2. when I cut the numbers to two servings the recipe says sometimes 0.13 cups of red onions. Is that 1/3 cup? I just got an instant pot and have tried several of your recipes and they are great but the 0.13 really confuses me. I’ve been using 1/3 of a cup but don’t know if that is correct?

      3. How much zucchini goes in this turkey meatball recipe and how do you shred it and all? Please explain more about how many zucchini are needed, etc. Would like to make this recipe as it sounds great. Thank you very much.

        1. Hi Clorinda! There is a complete recipe card below the write-up that includes complete ingredients and instructions (just keep scrolling down the page). For this recipe, you will use 1 cup of shredded zucchini. Hope that helps!

      4. 5 stars
        Love this recipe!! Flavorful, moist, and filling!
        Make sure you use a really good non-stick pan with oil (if you don’t have parchment paper). I served it over quinoa, a small quartered heirloom tomato, sweet chili cauce, and a touch of cilantro.

      5. 5 stars
        My son who is a head chef has lost 4stone plus in two months, mainly through eating NO carbs, he loved these thankyou

      6. 5 stars
        Just made these, tried one and they are great. Found extra lean turkey at the shops to lower calories so I can eat more of them. Divided into 6 serves its 199 calories. I’m adding them into a low calorie tomato and capsicum soup to take in thermos for work lunches – filling lunch for just less than 300 calories, so good. Didn’t have much liquid seeping out, but if you don’t have a fan forced oven I suggest turning at 10 mins for even browness. Thanks so much for the recipe!

      7. 3 stars
        Oh dear, I most certainly must’ve done something incorrectly as these turkey meatballs are not bad, however we’re not really good either. I wish I could send you a photo. They never got brownAll around like the photo. although I followed your recipe for the letter. The inside is sort of white. Perhaps you could tell me what went wrong if I could send a photo somehow. When else loved it.On the positive side, it was easy to make, not greasy at all and very flavorful. If it weren’t for the Browns or lack there of and the texture they probably would be very good

      8. 5 stars
        These came out great! Tender & not greasy they’re delicious little nuggets the perfect size for snacking.

      9. I don’t have oregano, will not including it in the recipe majorly affect the final product? Also, I only have minced garlic, would you know how much I would need. And lastly, for replacing the flat with powder would that still be the same amount of tablespoons? I’m baking the recipe.

      10. I can’t wait to try this recipe! Can I make fewer but larger meatballs? Would cook time and temp be the same?

      11. Quick question, would it be possible to freeze them cooked vs raw? Just trying to see if they loose moisture if I cook the whole batch and just leave them in the freezer ready to grab when needed and just reheat in the microwave. Thank you!!!

      12. 5 stars
        Even though I expected this recipe to be great, I was still surprised by HOW great it is! I did finally make a half recipe today and, again, was surprised and delighted! I continue to look forward to new healthy recipes that are allowed under my diet guidelines! Thank you so much Olena!

      13. 5 stars
        Made this recipe a few months back for my husband who had gallbladder issues prior to removal. Used egg whites to reduce fat. Turned out wonderful. Froze very well. Served them with fat free homemade chicken gravy.

      14. 5 stars
        I never comment on recipes but this one was too good ! I did add a very small amount of breadcrumbs, and they turned out super moist and delicious. I cut the recipe in half, which yielded 18 meatballs and there were only three leftover, a big compliment in this house. I’ll definitely be making these again ?

      15. 5 stars
        Olena,

        This is my first time using your site. I am a pretty competent home-cook and I cook for my family every night. But I have to say, your website is one of the very BEST I have come across!

        Your recipes are amazing and just we’re looking for! Your site is well-managed and easy to navigate!

        I recommend you to the entire culinary world! WELL DONE!!

      16. 5 stars
        I made them with one addition – I added about 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs as I thought they were way to wet – turned out delicious – I will definitely make them again and I normally don’t even like meatballs.

      17. 5 stars
        Loved the turkey meatballs so quick to do and easy to make and it’s great that it’s very healthy as my family love healthy foods
        We hope to make and enjoy more of your healthy foods

        1. Ilona! Many thanks for the wonderful review. Please don’t be shy to leave a comment and star review for the recipes that you try! Happy cooking!

      18. 5 stars
        Love this recipe! Flavorful and not dry. Excellent addition to homemade sauce and pasta. My husband even requested them for dinner the week after I made them.

      19. Hi! Do you know approximately how many grams are in a serving? I’m trying to lose weight and am counting calories so it would be nice to have a more specific serving size! Thank you (: either way I can’t wait to try these

      20. 5 stars
        I made these into teeny, tiny meatballs, baked them, and put them in a soup with some leftover mac and cheese after I’d pureed together a quart of chicken broth, a can of green chilies, maybe 3 cups of kale, and some salt and blackened seasoning. It made a very green and spicy soup, and the little meatballs were tasty and perfect in it!

      21. I would like to try this recipe but right now I am not able to use egg yolks (temp dietary restrictions) is there anything else I can use to replace the egg?

        1. 5 stars
          This recipe came out delicious!! I was going to make another recipe and then found yours and it’s perfect for my low fat high protein diet ??? the addition of zuccini was great as i am bad at eating my veggies and always look for ways to hide them in my food! Amazing! Thanks a lot!! ❤️❤️❤️

      22. 5 stars
        Another great recipe! These were easy to make and very flavorful.Every recipe that I’ve made of yours has been great.

        1. Awe, you are so welcome! So happy to hear you are enjoying my recipes! And thanks for your kind words. Made my day! Keep on letting me know haha

      23. This recipe looks amazing, can’t wait to try it. What size cookie scoop did you use? The recipe said small but was it a 1 inch?

        Thank you!

      24. 5 stars
        these are the bomb.com
        I switched out zucchini for riced up cauliflower as my supermarket was out of them. I have been having these cold with salad for lunch and I am the envy of my office. I have started to get adventurous with herds and spices to mix them up a bit. Tonight I am going to heat them in some pasta sauce to have with some pasta as a quick filling meal.
        I have been cooking mine in the air fryer.

        1. Oh, that’s a great swap, Bianca! Herbs add so much flavor without extra calories. So happy to hear you are so brave with cooking. Good for you!!!

      25. 5 stars
        Everyone liked this. Really is very flavorful. You were very right – had to keep my on it to keep them juicy. Those last few minutes can make or break the recipe. Thank you again. Always know it’s going to be go if it’s an Olena recipe.

      26. 5 stars
        Wow very good. I did a few substitutes: really ground up the zucchini, removed salt, but added 1T WOR sauce, also added chilli flakes, cayane, parsley, basil and a handful of breadcrumbs. Great consistency and really really tasty!

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