Baked Turkey Meatballs – Recipes From A Pantry

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Baked turkey meatballs are so easy and flavorful! This ground turkey meatballs recipe is perfect for meal prep and when you need a quick dinner on those busy weeknights.

Suitable for low carb, keto, and gluten free diets. Post includes Weight Watchers points.

top down view of the completed baked turkey meatballs recipe


I’m always surprised at what meals my kids get excited about. And oven baked turkey meatballs are a true favorite. Simple to put together ahead of time, and fun to eat when it’s time, easy turkey meatballs baked in the oven are a win for everyone! 

Ground turkey meatballs are tailor-made for busy lives. Life doesn’t always give us the luxury of spending hours in the kitchen, especially during those jam-packed evenings when time is scarce.

That’s where these Baked Turkey Meatballs come to the rescue. You can easily prepare the mixture ahead of time, allowing you to enjoy a quick and satisfying dinner whenever the need arises.

And be sure to learn how to freeze meatballs and cook frozen meatballs so you can make turkey meatballs in large batches for even easier meals later.

a bowl of baked turkey meatballs with a fork removing one

What makes this recipe truly special is its simplicity. With just a handful of everyday ingredients, like Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and onion powder, you can whip up a batch of these savory turkey meatballs baked in the oven that’s perfect for both chilly autumn evenings and those hectic weeknight dinners. Ease of preparation doesn’t have to come at the cost of flavor. 

Why Make This Recipe

  • Time saver – Make a batch of easy turkey meatballs in advance and freeze them for later use. They make for a convenient and quick meal option on busy days.
  • Family friendly – Meatballs are often a family favorite. Kids and adults alike enjoy their comforting and familiar flavor.
  • Customizable – You can customize the turkey meatball recipe to your taste by playing with seasoning combinations. Choose a variation listed below or make up your own!

If you’re looking for more quick meals, check out these easy dinner recipes.

top down view of the baked turkey meatballs inside a baking dish

Ingredient Notes

  • Ground Turkey – Ground turkey is the main protein source for the meatballs. You can substitute ground chicken, beef, or pork if preferred.
  • Shredded Cheddar – Shredded cheddar cheese adds flavor and moisture to the meatballs. You can use other types of shredded cheese like mozzarella, Parmesan, or a cheese blend for variety.
  • Egg – The egg acts as a binding agent, helping to hold the meatballs together. There are egg alternatives that could also be used as a binder but may alter the texture. 
  • Italian Seasoning – Italian seasoning is a blend of herbs like basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and parsley. You can make your own blend or use specific herbs from the blend based on your taste. Herbs de Provence is an excellent substitute. 
  • Garlic – Garlic powder adds a savory garlic flavor to the meatballs. You can substitute it with fresh minced garlic cloves if preferred. Use fresh minced garlic cloves for the sauce.
  • Onion Powder – Onion powder adds onion flavor without the texture of fresh onions. You can use finely minced fresh onions as a substitute.
  • Cayenne Pepper – Cayenne pepper adds a hint of heat. Adjust the amount to your spice preference or use paprika for a milder flavor.
  • Olive Oil – for brushing onto the formed meatballs.
  • Sea Salt – Sea salt enhances the overall flavor. You can use regular table salt or a salt alternative like No Salt as a substitute. Just don’t omit it altogether. 
  • Ground Black Pepper – Ground black pepper adds a mild spiciness. Freshly ground pepper can be used for a more intense flavor.
  • Butter – I recommend using unsalted butter and then adding salt to taste.
  • Lemon – add the juice to the sauce and garnish the dish with lemon slices.
  • Parsley – gives the sauce a bright and fresh flavor. Use additional chopped parsley to garnish the finished dish.
the infgredients needed to make baked turkey meatballs

Handy Tip: Use Good Kitchen Tools!

For the best tools to help make your recipe even easier and more successful, check out my collection of the Best Kitchen Tools on Amazon.

How To Make Easy Turkey Meatballs

Get complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card further below.

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F / 180 degrees C.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients and gently mix until just combined. 
  3. Use a cookie scoop or spoon to form 1-½ inch meatballs. You should get about 20 meatballs.
  4. Place the meatballs into a 9×13-inch baking dish or on a prepared baking sheet and brush them with oil. 
  5. Bake for 15 minutes on the middle rack of the oven. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. 
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by melting butter in a saucepan. 
  7. Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds or until the garlic is fragrant. 
  8. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and cook for another 30 seconds.
  9. Remove the baking dish from the oven and pour lemon sauce on the meatballs.
  10. Garnish with parsley and sliced lemon. Serve immediately with your favorite side dish.
image collage showing the steps for making oven baked turkey meatballs

Internal Temp

Poultry, including these ground turkey meatballs, should always be cooked to 165 degrees F / 74 degrees C. Use a digital meat thermometer to check for doneness. Add additional cooking time if the meatballs are not cooked through. 

Expert Tips

  • Opt for lean ground turkey (usually labeled as 93 percent lean or higher) to keep the meatballs healthier and less greasy.
  • Mix the ingredients just until they are combined. Overmixing can lead to tough meatballs. Use a light touch when mixing.
  • Allow the meat mixture to rest for about 10-15 minutes after mixing. This helps the flavors meld together and makes it easier to shape the meatballs.
  • To shape the meatballs evenly, consider using an ice cream scoop or a cookie scoop. Alternatively, wet your hands with water to prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands as you roll the meatballs.
  • Use parchment paper or a silicone baking mat to line the baking sheet. This prevents the meatballs from sticking and makes cleanup easier.
  • Try to make the meatballs uniform in size to ensure they cook at the same rate. This helps avoid overcooked or undercooked meatballs.
  • If you are using a higher fat meat, place a baking rack on the baking sheet and arrange the meatballs on top. This allows any excess fat to drip away, resulting in slightly healthier meatballs.
  • For perfectly cooked meatballs, use a meat thermometer. They are done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F / 74 degrees C.
  • After baking, you can simmer the meatballs in your favorite sauce for a few minutes to infuse them with additional flavor. Serve over pasta, in sandwiches, or as appetizers.
  • You can prepare the meatball mixture in advance and refrigerate it for a couple of days until you’re ready to bake. This is a time-saving option for busy weeknight dinners.
one bowl filled with baked turkey meatballs sitting next to the baking dish

Delicious Variations 

  • BBQ Baked Meatballs — Omit the Italian seasoning, and use Mozzarella cheese in place of the cheddar. Simmer in your favorite BBQ sauce before serving. 
  • Greek Meatballs — Toss in chopped Kalamata or black olives in place of the cheese. Make or buy tzatziki dip, then serve alongside pita bread and Greek salad. 
  • Swedish meatballs — Add bread crumbs, minced onions, allspice and nutmeg to the mixture. Omit the cheddar. Serve with a cranberry sauce. 
  • Cheese Meatballs – After baking healthy turkey meatballs in the oven you can sprinkle them grated with parmesan cheese.
the baked turkey meatballs garnished with lemon and parsley

Prep And Storage

  • Prep Ahead – You can prepare the meatball mixture in advance and refrigerate it for a couple of days until you’re ready to bake. Likewise, cook ahead of time for easy lunch or dinner prep. 
  • Store – Leftover oven baked Turkey meatballs? Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze – To freeze, store in a labeled airtight container for 2-3 months. 
  • Reheat – When you’re ready to reheat, simply place the ground turkey meatballs on a baking tray in the oven on medium heat. Frozen meatballs may take a few additional minutes to cook.
a spoon pouring sauce over the baked turkey meatballs

FAQs

Can I use ground chicken instead of ground turkey in the recipe?

Yes, you can substitute ground chicken for ground turkey in the recipe. It will create chicken meatballs with a similar texture and flavor. You can also use ground beef.

What should the internal temperature of the meatballs be for safe consumption?

The internal temperature of the meatballs should reach 165 degrees F / 74 degrees C to ensure they are fully cooked and safe to eat.

How do I prevent the meatballs from sticking to the baking sheet?

To prevent sticking, line the baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silicone baking mat. This will make it easier to remove the meatballs and reduce cleanup.

What can I serve with baked turkey meatballs?

Baked turkey meatballs can be served in various ways. They are excellent with pasta and marinara sauce, in sandwiches or subs, over rice, or even on their own as appetizers. You can also pair them with a side salad or steamed vegetables for a balanced meal.

Can I make the meatball mixture ahead of time and refrigerate it before baking?

Yes, you can prepare the meatball mixture in advance and refrigerate it for a few hours or overnight. This can help the flavors meld together. Just be sure to cover the mixture tightly.

Can I use other seasonings or herbs in the meatball mixture?

Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with different herbs and seasonings to customize the flavor of your turkey meatballs. Options include basil, thyme, rosemary, or even smoked paprika for added depth of flavor.

a fork removing one of the baked turkey meatballs from a bowl

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Serve with:

close up view of the completed baked turkey meatballs

Recommended Tools

Weight Watchers Points

There are 5 Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of this.

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Baked Turkey Meatballs

Tender and healthy meatballs are baked with a lemon butter sauce for a quick and easy weeknight meal.

Prep Time5 minutes

Cook Time15 minutes

Total Time20 minutes

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Diet: Gluten Free, Low Fat

Servings: 6

Calories: 313kcal

Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F / 180 degrees C.

  • In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients and mix gently until well combined.

  • Use a cookie scoop or spoon and make 1 ½ inch meatballs. You should get 20 about meatballs.

  • Place the meatballs into a 9×13-inch baking dish and brush with oil. Bake for 15 minutes on the middle rack of the oven. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.

  • Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by melting butter in a saucepan. Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds or until the garlic is fragrant. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for another 30 seconds.

  • Remove the baking dish from the oven and pour lemon sauce on the meatballs.

  • Garnish with parsley and sliced lemon.

  • Opt for lean ground turkey (usually labeled as 93 percent lean or higher) to keep the meatballs healthier and less greasy.
  • Mix the ingredients just until they are combined. Overmixing can lead to tough meatballs. Use a light touch when mixing.
  • Allow the meat mixture to rest for about 10-15 minutes after mixing. This helps the flavors meld together and makes it easier to shape the meatballs.
  • To shape the meatballs evenly, consider using an ice cream scoop or a cookie scoop. Alternatively, wet your hands with water to prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands as you roll the meatballs.
  • Use parchment paper or a silicone baking mat to line the baking sheet. This prevents the meatballs from sticking and makes cleanup easier.
  • Try to make the meatballs uniform in size to ensure they cook at the same rate. This helps avoid overcooked or undercooked meatballs.
  • If you are using a higher fat meat and happen to have a baking rack, place it on the baking sheet and arrange the meatballs on top. This allows any excess fat to drip away, resulting in slightly healthier meatballs.
  • For perfectly cooked meatballs, use a meat thermometer. They are done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F / 74 degrees C.
  • After baking, you can simmer the meatballs in your favorite sauce for a few minutes to infuse them with additional flavor. 
  • You can prepare the meatball mixture in advance and refrigerate it for a couple of days until you’re ready to bake. This is a time-saving option for busy weeknight dinners.
  • Storage – keep leftovers in an airtight container inside the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • There are 5 WW Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of this.

Calories: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 451mg | Potassium: 287mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 561IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 169mg | Iron: 2mg



#Baked #Turkey #Meatballs #Recipes #Pantry

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