Healthy Turkey Meatballs

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These healthy Italian turkey meatballs are tasty and moist! They come together with oatmeal (without breadcrumbs), gluten-free, dairy-free and very easy to prepare with only 8 ingredients in less than 30 minutes. They can be cooked on the stove or in the oven!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Rao’s Homemade. The opinions and the text are all mine.

Spaghetti and meatballs are one of our family's favorite foods! These healthy turkey meatballs are SO delicious and easy to make that they are the perfect dinner for lunch during the week and elegant enough to serve guests!

These Italian turkey meatballs are linked with oatmeal so they are gluten free! They get super moist by adding Rao's Homemade Basil Ketchup instead of milk, so they also don't contain dairy! Plus, they're made with just 8 ingredients in 30 minutes! Serve over zucchini noodles, your favorite pasta, or as a delicious snack!

How are turkey meatballs made?

Let's take a look at the steps to make this turkey meatball recipe together!

Step 1: gather the turkey meatball ingredients

These turkey meatballs are made with just 8 ingredients, but it's important to put them all together before you start so you don't accidentally skip anything. Chop the fresh basil and finely chop the sun-dried tomatoes. (We will talk more about substitutions later)!

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Many turkey meatball recipes call for milk, but I chose to use Rao's Homemade Tomato Basil Sauce! Not only does it make these turkey meatballs dairy-free, it gives them a rich Italian flavor that's delicious out of this world!

Step 2: mix the ingredients

Next, add the wet ingredients to the ground turkey and stir with a spatula (or your hands) until the mixture is homogeneous (uniform). Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir again until combined. Lastly, add the fresh basil and sun-dried tomatoes.

Step 3: form balls

Now it's time to roll the turkey meatball mixture into balls. I recommend using a cookie spoon so that all the meatballs are even in size. This ensures that the meatballs bake evenly for the same amount of time!

keep in mind, the turkey meatball mix will feel a little "loose," but it will easily form a ball and should not crumble at all. The moisture in the mix results in a deliciously moist end product!

Step 4: cook the turkey meatballs

There are two ways to cook these turkey meatballs; bake them in the oven or cook them on the stove. Regardless of which method you choose, it is important for the final temperature of turkey meatballs to reach 160 degrees F. I use my digital instant read thermometer every time I cook meat to ensure it has reached a safe temperature, and I recommend that you do so. . too!

Baked turkey meatballs

To bake these turkey meatballs in the oven, simply place the formed balls on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, making sure to flip them once in half. I generally prefer to bake meatballs because it's easier and less messy. Plus, all 16 dumplings fit on a large baking sheet, so you don't have to cook them in batches.

Turkey Meatball Stew

If you're trying to avoid turning the oven on (hello, warm summer temperatures), these Italian turkey dumplings can also be cooked on the stove! I recommend frying them in a thin layer of olive oil in a nonstick skillet with a lid. Covering the turkey meatballs while cooking ensures they are well cooked before they get too brown!

Unless you have a very large nonstick skillet, I recommend cooking these turkey meatballs in two batches of 8 instead of trying to load all 16 in one skillet. It takes 8-10 minutes per batch, so it's very fast!

How do you prevent meatballs from falling apart?

Cooking turkey meatballs using one of these two methods before adding them to the sauce of your choice is the best way to make sure they don't fall apart. This way they are nice and golden and they hold up very well when you add sauce to serve them!

Step 5: Serve!

I recommend serving these turkey meatballs with Rao's Homemade Tomato Basil Sauce (or your favorite flavor variety)! Since we only used 1/2 cup of sauce in the turkey meatballs recipe, use the rest of the jar to serve!

I have a few jars of homemade Rao sauces on hand to make a quick meal during the week, like these Italian turkey dumplings! I choose Rao's home made because his sauce is the best!

Each of its sauce varieties is simmered in small batches (as you would at home), with just a few ingredients! They use only the highest quality ingredients (no tomato mixes, pasta, water, starches, colors, or added sugar), so I feel like feeding my family!

Turkey meatballs: serving tips

Many people ask the question: "What should I serve with the meatballs?" Here are some suggestions!

  • On top of a bed of zucchini noodles (aka zoodles), pictured here!
  • With your favorite store-bought pasta, or your own homemade whole wheat pasta!
  • With a garnish of balsamic roasted vegetables
  • As snack!
  • Turn them into a healthier meatball submarine!
  • With a side of roasted broccoli, roasted Brussels sprouts, or roasted green beans with parmesan!

How to store turkey meatballs

Store leftover turkey meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days!

How are turkey meatballs frozen?

To freeze these healthy turkey meatballs, follow the recipe and cook with your preferred method (baking or stovetop). Then let them cool to room temperature. Place the baked meatballs on a clean baking sheet and put them in the freezer to "freeze" them.

Once the meatballs are frozen, transfer them to an airtight container or airtight and store for up to two months!

How to reheat turkey meatballs

To reheat these turkey meatballs, remove them from the freezer and place them in a 9 × 9 or 9 × 13 ″ baking dish. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes or until heated through.

Turkey meatballs: ingredients and substitutions

  • Ground turkey. This recipe calls for 16 ounces of ground turkey! You can substitute ground beef or ground chicken, however, turkey will give you the best results!
  • Egg. There really is no substitute for egg in this recipe! I don't recommend leaving it out!
  • Homemade Rao tomato and basil sauce. Use Rao’s Homemade to get the best flavor! Feel free to choose your favorite variety, tomato basil is my preference, but you can use marinara sauce, roasted garlic sauce etc.
  • Worcestershire sauce. If necessary, you can substitute or omit the BBQ sauce. But I do make the extra flavor that Worcestershire sauce adds!
  • Garlic powder. Chopped garlic can be used instead of garlic powder! Feel free to add more than this recipe requires too if you are a super garlic lover!
  • Onion powder. I use onion powder because I'm cooking for kids! But you could use very finely chopped onion if you prefer.
  • Quick cook oatmeal. Oatmeal is the binder in this turkey meatball recipe. If you don't want oatmeal chunks on your meatballs, you can absolutely use oatmeal by putting it in a blender and mixing it with oatmeal (takes 5 seconds)! If you prefer to use oatmeal, you can grind old-fashioned oats instead of cooking it quickly.
  • Sun dried tomatoes. You can use sun-dried tomatoes that are packed in oil or dried, just make sure you don't add too much extra oil. You can also skip them, but they are SO good that I don't recommend it.
  • Fresh basil Fresh is best, but dry works in a pinch!

Turkey Meatballs

These healthy Italian turkey meatballs are tasty and moist! They come together with oatmeal (without breadcrumbs), gluten-free, dairy-free, and very easy to make with just 8 ingredients in less than 30 minutes. They can be cooked on the stove or in the oven! Preparation time: 10 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes Total time: 25 minutes Servings: 16 meatballs Calories: 62.2kcal


  • tablespoon cookies
  • Thermapen
  • Nonstick skillet
  • baking sheet


  • 16 oz ground turkey
  • 1 beaten egg
  • ½ cup tomato sauce and homemade Rao basil
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ cup quick cook oatmeal
  • ¼ cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Homemade Rao sauce to serve


Prepare the meatball mixture:

  • Mix the Turkey, Egg, Rao Tomato Basil Sauce and Worcestershire Sauce until the mixture is homogeneous (uniform).
  • Add sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder and stir to combine.
  • Add oatmeal, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh basil and stir until evenly distributed.
  • Use a cookie spoon and a tablespoon of 2 tablespoons of turkey mixture, then roll it up with your hands.

To cook on the stove:

  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to a nonstick skillet and set the heat to medium.
  • Add half of the meatballs (8) and cover.
  • Cook, covered, on one side for 4-5 minutes or until golden.
  • Remove the lid and turn the meatballs over. Cook for another 4-5 minutes until the meatballs are golden brown and the internal temperature is 160 degrees F.

To cook in the oven:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Place the turkey meatballs on an evenly greased baking sheet.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, turning once in half. The meatballs must reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.

To serve:

  • Add Rao's tomato and basil sauce to meatballs and heat in skillet or oven skillet.
  • Serve over zucchini noodles or your favorite pasta!


Serving: 1meatball | Calories :: 62.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 3.1g | Protein: 6.5g | Fat: 2.8g | Saturated Fat: 0.8g | Polyunsaturated fats: 0.1g | Monounsaturated fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 31.6mg | Sodium: 157.8mg | Potassium: 36.2 mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 45 IU | Vitamin C: 0.6mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.7mg

Here are some more delicious ground turkey recipes:

  • This Thai slow cooker ground turkey is a basic recipe in our house!
  • And these bittersweet Paleo dumplings are approved for children and spouses!
  • Italian ground turkey stuffed peppers are a great recipe to prepare meals or a main dish to feed a crowd!

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