by Olena

Turkey Meatballs

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Olena Osipov
4.9 from 31 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 31 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.

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