by Olena

Healthy Turkey Meatballs

by Olena

4.9 from 21 reviews

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

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

healthy turkey meatballs

Turkey Meatballs

Equipped with Costco size packs of ground turkey, I have busted the myth of dry turkey meatballs. Today we are gonna learn how to make easy healthy turkey meatballs without breadcrumbs. Meatballs that are juicy inside and golden on the outside.

These baked 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 through and brown on the outside without losing the moisture.

Serve on their own with spaghetti, or add some low sugar jarred marinara/spaghetti sauce. Serve as an appetizer (goes well with beer). You can also freeze ground turkey meatballs for quick and healthy dinner.  Sky is the limit!

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

Are Turkey Meatballs More Healthy?

There is a belief that turkey is leaner than beef. The truth is only if you choose ground turkey made from breast meat only, otherwise dark meat and skin get mixed in. I buy extra lean ground turkey at Costco and call it a day.

I just like the taste of turkey, end of story. And I still feel they are more low fat than pork or beef meatballs.

How to Make Healthy Turkey Meatballs

  • 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 by combining 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. 🙂
  • Form 47 meatballs using small cookie scoop. Number is approximate. It helps to dip hands in a bowl with cold water occasionally. Lay meatballs on baking sheets.
  • 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 stepHow to make turkey meatballs step by step

How to make turkey meatballs step by stepHow to make turkey meatballs step by step

How to make turkey meatballs step by stepHow to make turkey meatballs step by step

How to Freeze and Cook Frozen Meatballs

  • Freeze meatballs on a lined baking sheet.
  • Pop in a gallon Ziploc bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw completely and then bake. Here you have to listen to me and don’t be like my mom who could never bake a thing because she never followed a single recipe. 🙂 Don’t bake from frozen – meatballs will be dry. That is just too long of a baking time.

frozen turkey meatballsfrozen turkey meatballs in plastic bag

What to Serve with Turkey Meatballs

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

I served meatballs with whole wheat spaghetti and Mexican street corn salad. That is what I had on hand that day.

With mashed potatoes and cucumber and tomato salad meatballs would make a totally Ukrainian dinner I grew up with.

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.

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. 🙂


More Healthy Meatballs Recipes

turkey meatballs


Healthy Turkey Meatballs

healthy turkey meatballs

4.9 from 21 reviews

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

  • Author: Olena of
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 47 meatballs 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Ukrainian


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. In a large bowl, add ground turkey, zucchini, eggs, garlic, onion flakes, oregano, salt and pepper; mix well with your hands.
  3. Using small cookie scoop form 47 meatballs (it helps to dip hands in a bowl with cold water occasionally) and lay on baking sheets.
  4. 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.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.

Freeze: Lay rolled raw (!) meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, freeze completely and transfer to a large Ziploc bag. Thaw (!), then bake following recipe’s instructions. Baking from frozen will result in dry meatballs (I tried!). 

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

61 comments on “Healthy Turkey Meatballs

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  1. 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!

  2. 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

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

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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!!!

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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 😍

  10. 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!!

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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!

  16. 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. 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!! ❤️❤️❤️

  17. 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

  18. 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!

  19. these are the
    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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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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