Baked Turkey Meatballs

Turkey Meatballs are such a comforting meal for any day. Made with ground turkey, breadcrumbs, an egg, onion, garlic and seasonings, these meatballs are baked to perfection. When cooked, toss in a Simple Red Sauce and serve over pasta. Makes 4 servings.

Turkey Meatballs // The Speckled Palate

I don’t have a drop of Italian blood running through my veins, but my mother has a badass meatball recipe, taught to her by an old friend’s Italian grandmother. I have no idea what it took to convince this woman to teach her their family recipe, but I have loved it from day one and am so incredibly happy that she learned how to make this dish because it is a staple in our household.

These meatballs are so wonderful, in fact, that I cannot eat them at any restaurant because they just won’t measure up.

Sadly, this is not my mother’s meatball recipe… but this is a pretty darn good replacement for a girl who no longer lives in the same town as her mother and cannot justify shipping meatballs halfway across the country to fulfill an Italian food craving.

I see your judging eyes. I do. Don’t. Her meatballs really are that good… and you cannot say you haven’t thought the same thing about one of your mother’s homemade dishes, too.

Turkey Meatballs // The Speckled Palate

So, back to the meatballs… One of the charming things about these little treats is that they are (1) made of turkey and (2) baked, so they’re a little more healthy than the traditional beef meatballs.

Another good thing is that they are just as scrumptious.

Other comforting pasta recipes we adore: Lemon Salmon PastaInstant Pot Macaroni and CheeseBeef Taco Pasta SaladLemon Shrimp PastaTurkey and Broccoli Orecchiette


Close up of two Turkey Meatballs in sauce with shell pasta on a white plate from above
Yield: 4 servings

Turkey Meatballs

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Turkey Meatballs are such a comforting meal for any day. Made with ground turkey, breadcrumbs, an egg, onion, garlic and seasonings, these meatballs are baked to perfection. When cooked, toss in a Simple Red Sauce and serve over pasta.


  • 1 lb. ground turkey, lean
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • ¾ teaspoon dried basil (1 ½ teaspoons fresh basil, minced)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon dried oregano (2 ½ teaspoons fresh oregano, minced)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside. (You can also place a cooling rack on top of the baking sheet to prevent the meatballs from sitting in their juices, if you'd like to do this. I used to, but the clean up of the cooling rack makes me crazy, so I forgo it now.)
  3. In a large bowl, measure out the turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, seasonings, onion and garlic.
  4. Use your hands to mix the ingredients until incorporated.
  5. Once the meatball ingredients are combined, form palm-sized meatballs (with your hands or with a cookie scoop) and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake the meatballs for 30 minutes or until cooked through.
  7. Add to a simmering pot of Simple Red Sauce, and cook until it's time to eat. (This can be whenever you deem it ready, y'all.)
  8. Serve on top of pasta, and enjoy!

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 308Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 164mgSodium: 451mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 34g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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Now I’ve got to know: If you and your mother lived in separate towns, which homemade dish of hers would you want her to ship to you on a regular basis?

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      1. I made the meatballs and the accompanying Simple Red Sauce today at lunch. From prep to simmering on the stove, I completed everything in under an hour. That’s AWESOME. (Oh, and I might have tasted the meatballs already – delicious!).

        1. SO happy to hear that you were able to complete both recipes easily AND that the meatballs are delicious! Simple and delicious… those are two of the most important things to me in a recipe.

          Please let me know how your boys enjoy the recipe, too!

  1. I haven’t had a good plate of spaghetti and meatballs in far too long! This looks great. I live 2500 miles from my mother, so I’ve had plenty of time to think over what I miss–and it’s beef stroganoff, hands down. 🙂

    1. It’s not often that I sit down to a great plate of spaghetti and meatballs, but when I do, I want them to be worth it. 🙂

      And I feel you on living so far away from your mother! I hope that when you see her, you eat LOTS of beef stroganoff. Moms… they make the best things, huh?

  2. This is also incredibly simple! No weird steps like some meatball recipes I have seen. I need to try this very soon. Maybe with different kinds of meat as ground turkey is not available here.

    1. Thanks, Jayne! I like to keep it simple when it comes to things like this. What kind of weird steps have you seen in other meatball recipes? I’d be interested to know that.

      And this recipe would be awesome with beef. In fact, we’ve made it with lean ground beef before, but I bet lamb could be delicious in it, too. What are you thinking of using?

  3. I actually have never made my own meatballs yet! Kind of sad because I really do enjoy a good meatball. Totally prefer healthy turkey meatballs over ground beef, so i’m loving this recipe! Looks mighty good!

    1. For shame, girl! 😉 I kid, I kid. … I will say, you should give it a try! Meatballs are pretty easy to make and are delicious, to boot!

      I didn’t make my own all by myself until my junior year of college when Hurricane Katrina was barreling down on Louisiana. That Sunday, I made my mom’s meatball recipe to keep my mind off the impending storm and the stress that was causing us all, even though we were further inland. Ever since then, I’ve made my mom’s recipe or this one when I am feeling particularly stressed. Something about the process just soothes me. Strange? Yes, but it totally works for me.

    1. Thanks, Angie! It really is homey, saucy and wonderfully hearty for this time of year. If you make it, I’d love to know what you and your hubby think!

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