Turkey Meatballs Recipe

Last week my fiancé and I went out for Italian. While I ordered my usual grilled salmon and steamed spinach, I secretly coveted his meatballs drenched in red sauce over pasta. And I’ve been thinking about them ever since. That’s why I spent Saturday making these waistline-friendly turkey meatballs that taste just as good as the real thing. The secret? I substituted half of the meat with white ground turkey and omitted the oil, so I could quench my craving without the guilt. Regular ground turkey includes the skin and dark meat, and isn’t all that healthier than ground beef. By switching to white ground turkey, you save 40 calories and 4 grams of fat per ounce. This is an important distinction to make in restaurants too, where they typically use regular ground turkey because it’s cheaper. So you may think you’re ordering a healthy meal, only to wonder why you’re packing on the pounds a few turkey burgers later. Make sure to ask your server if their ground turkey is all white meat, before you order.

I used a combination of ground turkey and beef in this recipe because white meat turkey on its own can be dry and lack flavor. Serve these juicy, delicious meatballs alongside whole wheat pasta, brown rice, or a plain salad.

Turkey Meatballs Recipe

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes (15 minutes of prep)

Serves: 6


  • ½ pound ground white meat turkey
  • ½ pound ground 95% lean beef
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 6 oz small can of tomato paste


Put the white meat turkey and lean beef in a bowl.
Then add ¼ cup breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, ginger, and paprika.
Mix and create mini meatballs 1 ½-2 inches. Set aside.
In a pot, sauté 1 diced onion and garlic clove until lightly browned
Add small can of tomato paste, salt and pepper, and 2 cups water.
Let it boil over medium-high heat.
When boiled, add meatballs and lower heat to a simmer for 1-1 ½ hrs (if it looks like there isn’t enough sauce you can add more water as needed).

**If you want to be adventurous, experiment by adding different herbs like basil or dill to the meatballs.

Nutrition Content:
Per Serving (about 4 meatballs): 86 calories, 1 g fat, 8 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 11 g protein, 49.5 g sodium

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