These Baked Turkey Meatballs are just like my Grandmother’s BEST Italian Meatballs, but made with turkey! They are delicious, they are baked in the oven instead of fried, and they are the healthy turkey meatball recipe you’ve been looking for! They are totally perfect paired with my easy homemade spaghetti sauce recipe!
For as long as I can remember I have been making turkey meatballs. In fact, I know that I have been making them a really long time because I have a memory of telling a very young Gavin, “Put that meatball in your belly” and him lifting up his shirt and slamming the meatball that was on his fork into his stomach. Gah. That kid has been super literal from time immemorial. I also remember slightly later him referring to my baked turkey meatballs as “meatmalls.” Cutest thing ever.
I have another recipe for baked healthy meatballs made from turkey, but I thought it might be nice to give you an updated recipe for ground turkey meatballs going off of my grandmother’s Italian meatballs. What sets this recipe apart is you make a binding agent out of soaked bread. It was grandma’s method, and it works so well to create a moist and delicious meatball.
HOW DO YOU MAKE TURKEY MEATBALLS
- This recipe starts with some ground turkey. I used 93% lean. My family loves the flavor of turkey more than they enjoy some other ground meats, so this works out perfect for us.
- As I mentioned above, you need some Italian bread soaked in water. Some recipes call for soaking it in milk, but honestly, grandma was pinching pennies and she used water. I have tried it both ways and vastly prefer water.
- You also need some bread crumbs. I like using the Italian seasoned ones, but if you only have plain on hand, don’t make an extra grocery trip.
- You need an egg that you want to whisk up before tossing it in there.
- You need grated parmesan. If you use the canned stuff, I promise not to tell anyone you didn’t freshly grate it.
- You also need some dried herbs and spices.
- Finally, you need some fresh parsley. I love the added taste this brings to the recipe!
Disclaimer: I know that baked Italian turkey meatballs should not be photographed on top of spaghetti. True Italians do not serve their meatballs on spaghetti. They serve them separately. It’s like two completely different things. Turkey meatballs and spaghetti is not a thing. But . . . . grandma also would not approve of me making her recipe out of ground turkey. So . . . good thing she adored me.
TIPS AND TRICKS TO MAKING THESE GROUND TURKEY MEATBALLS
- As mentioned above, whisk your egg before tossing it in.
- I love creating my meatballs with a cookie scoop. It allows for really uniform meatballs that cook evenly and it makes fast work of making the meatballs.
- I think it’s a great idea, since you are working with ground meat, to get your pan and your cookie scoop all set out before you dig in there and mix your meat.
- When you mix these, use your hands. It’s just the easiest method.
- You can definitely fry these if you want to, but it’s not necessary. They cook up perfectly fine in the oven and you are making the turkey meatballs healthy this way.
- These can be made ahead of time and then you can warm up the turkey meatballs in sauce on the stovetop.
Oh! Or you could serve it with this zucchini salad! When I was in NYC last week we did a cooking competition and my team made that recipe as part of the meal we were serving. The judge, who is a trained chef, took the time to comment on how good it was and then I spent four hours patting myself on the back.
Of course if you want something a little more indulgent you could make these baked zucchini fries instead of the salad. No judgement.
WATCH ME MAKE THESE BAKED TURKEY MEATBALLS
Baked Turkey Meatballs
- 1 pound ground turkey 93% lean
- 1 egg beaten
- 2 slices of Italian bread (5 ounces)
- 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (not garlic salt)
- 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- pinch of black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, pour cold water over the Italian bread. Let it soak for five minutes. Then squeeze out the bread removing as much water as possible and break it up into small pieces.
- In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients. It works best to do this with your hands and make sure all the ingredients are well distributed.
- Using a medium cookie scoop, make even sized meatballs. Roll them and place them on the prepared baking sheet. If not using a cookie scoop, the meatballs should be about an inch and a half across.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until a meatball in the middle of the tray is cooked through when cut in half.
- Serve and enjoy!
Other great dinners for your family!
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