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Baked Turkey Meatballs

5 from 2 votes

posted: 08/13/18

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Baked Turkey Meatballs are a delicious lighter alternative to my Grandmother’s Italian Meatballs! Baked in the oven instead of fried, they are the healthy turkey meatball recipe you’ve been looking for!

healthy turkey meatballs on sauce over spaghetti

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 toddler Gavin, “Put that meatball in your belly” and him lifting up his shirt and slamming the “meatmall”on his fork into his stomach.

That kid has been super literal from time immemorial.

baked turkey meatballs lined up on a baking sheet

When looking for a good healthy turkey meatball, I immediately turned to my grandmother’s traditional Italian Meatball recipe.

It has so many great reviews that it was a perfect place to start when developing this recipe.

What sets my grandmother’s recipe apart is that you make a binding agent out of soaked bread. It works so well to create a moist and delicious meatball.

This recipe has all the great taste of her original, but with half the fat and half the calories!


  • This recipe starts with some ground turkey. I used 93% lean.
  • 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!
overhead view of baked turkey meatballs on a plate full of sauce and spaghetti

Disclaimer: True Italians do not serve their meatballs on spaghetti. They serve them separately. It’s like two completely different dishes. 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.

But I do love them with my Homemade Spaghetti Sauce.


  1. As mentioned above, whisk your egg before tossing it in.
  2. 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.
  3. Since you are working with raw meat, set your pan and your cookie scoop out before you start hand mixing the meat and other ingredients.
  4. When you mix these, use your hands. It’s just the easiest method.
  5. 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 healthier this way.
  6. These can be made ahead of time and then you can warm up the turkey meatballs in sauce on the stovetop.
pan full of turkey meatballs covered in sauce


These baked turkey meatballs would go great with this easy side salad or this roasted asparagus . You guys. Piper likes asparagus! It’s like a small summer miracle.

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.

If you make these meatballs or any of my other recipes, leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

the best turkey meatball recipe on a bed of sauce and spaghetti


Baked Turkey Meatballs

the best turkey meatball recipe on a bed of sauce and spaghetti
5 from 2 votes

Baked Turkey Meatballs

Serves: 24 meatballs
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Baked Turkey Meatballs are a delicious lighter alternative to my Grandmother's Italian Meatballs! Baked in the oven instead of fried, they are the healthy turkey meatball recipe you've been looking for!


  • 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!
Serving: 1meatball Calories: 53kcal (3%) Carbohydrates: 4.3g (1%) Protein: 5.1g (10%) Fat: 2g (3%) Saturated Fat: 0.8g (5%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g Cholesterol: 22mg (7%) Sodium: 164.9mg (7%) Potassium: 10.6mg Fiber: 0.2g (1%) Sugar: 0.1g Vitamin A: 3.5IU Vitamin C: 0.7mg (1%) Calcium: 9.5mg (1%) Iron: 3.1mg (17%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
the best turkey meatball recipe on a bed of sauce and spaghetti

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Baked Turkey Meatballs

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


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  1. Karen says

    5 stars
    These are fantastic! So moist and flavorful. I swapped out the Italian breadcrumbs for Panko and used regular bread. Served these over whole wheat pasta. SO GOOD!!!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so happy you liked them!

  2. Leslie says

    Would love to freeze some too as well ..
    How do I go about doing that ?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Frozen meatballs are so great to keep on hand! Line a baking sheet with wax paper and put the cooked meatballs on them. Freeze them for 1 hour and then transfer them to an airtight container. When you go to eat them, reheat them in a little sauce in the oven (baking dish and covered) or on the stove top, stirring often.

      • Marissa says

        Hi! Just made these and my kids LOVE them! I want to freeze some and see your suggestion on how to do so. My kids don’t eat them with sauce…. so if I want to heat them up after frozen can I do it in the microwave (if so, for how long)? Thank you

        • Lisa Longley says

          I’m so glad that you liked them! I haven’t tried reheating in the microwave. If you want to do that, I would suggest cooking a few of them covered for about 2 minutes at half power and then checking on them. Add time (still at half power) 1 minute at a time.

  3. Jade says

    Best meatball recipe. Thank you. I make it over and over again and it’s a hit each time and it could not be easier to make. Fantastic!!!

  4. Jade says

    5 stars
    Best meatball recipe and quick to make. THANK you. Did I mention it’s also healthy version of meatball

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad you liked this, Jade!

  5. Jennifer Partridge says

    I wondered about this when making your grandmother’s Italian meatballs, too. ;) What size cookie scoop are you using? Thank you so much for all of your wonderful recipes! :)

    • Lisa Longley says

      I use a 1 1/2 tablespoon scooper!

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners