Turkey Meatballs

6 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Turkey Meatballs, cooked to perfection in a skillet, are succulent, tender, and rich in flavor. A lighter take on a classic favorite!

Turkey Meatballs are a delicious substitute for beef in classic Spaghetti and Meatballs. Whether you’re trying to cut back on red meat, or just want to switch up your favorite comfort food, these juicy Turkey Meatballs taste just as good as Beef Meatballs and are sure to become a favorite recipe. Lighten up a classic Weeknight Dinner with this flavorful, amazing meatball recipe. For more non-beef meatballs recipes, try my Chicken Florentine Meatballs next!

Sabrina’s Turkey Meatball Recipe

My easy Turkey Meatballs recipe is a simple, delicious recipe with the perfect amount of Italian flavor. They are made in just three steps: mix, shape, and fry! With some cooked pasta and marinara sauce, you have a quick and tasty dinner recipe in no time. Plus you can also use them in all your favorite meatball recipes like Swedish Meatballs, Cocktail Meatballs, hoagies, and more!


  • 1 pound Lean Ground Turkey: Ground turkey is an excellent source of protein, is lower in saturated fat and still tastes just as delicious as ground beef. Look for a lean blend with dark meat, it will have more flavor and your meatballs than all white-meat ground turkey.
  • 3 cloves Garlic: Garlic adds a robust flavor to the meatballs. If fresh garlic cloves are unavailable, 1 tablespoon garlic powder can be used as a substitute.
  • ¼ yellow Onion: Minced onion gives a subtle sweetness and depth of flavor to the meatballs. White onion or red onion can be used as alternatives.
  • ¼ cup Parsley: Chopped fresh parsley adds freshness and brightness to the meatballs.
  • ½ teaspoon Salt: Kosher salt seasons the meatballs. Its larger flakes distribute more evenly throughout the mixture compared to table salt.
  • ½ teaspoon Coarse Ground Black Pepper: Black pepper adds a subtle kick and depth of flavor to the meatballs.
  • ½ teaspoon Dried Oregano: Dried oregano contributes earthy and aromatic notes to the meatballs.
  • ½ teaspoon Rosemary: Rosemary has a woody, pine-like taste but mincing it and using a small amount give just the right amount of flavor without overwhelming the light meat.
  • 1 large Egg: The egg mixes with the breadcrumbs and meat to add moisture and bind the ingredients together. 
  • ½ cup Breadcrumbs: Panko bread crumbs absorb the juices from the turkey so that the meatballs stay juicy instead of drying out while they cook.
  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil: Vegetable oil is used for cooking the meatballs in the skillet. Other neutral oils such as canola or olive oil can be used as substitutes.

Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Large Bowl: A large mixing bowl is needed to mix the ingredients all together. Pick a bowl that can hold all the ingredients without spilling over.
  • Skillet: A Dutch oven or skillet, preferably a large heavy one, is needed for cooking the turkey meatballs. Opt for a non-stick skillet to prevent the meatballs from sticking during cooking. A cast iron skillet can also be used for a nice sear on the meatballs.
  • Chef’s Knife: A sharp chef’s knife is needed for mincing garlic, onion, parsley, and rosemary. A sharp knife makes the chopping process easier.
  • Measuring Spoons: Accurate measurement of spices and seasonings, such as salt, pepper, oregano, and rosemary, is crucial for getting the desired flavor profile in the meatballs. You can use an ice cream scoop for perfectly portioned meatballs.
  • Spatula or Tongs: A spatula or tongs are useful for flipping and turning the turkey meatballs while they cook in the skillet.

How to Make Turkey Meatballs

Time needed: 20 minutes.

  1. Mix Meatball Ingredients

    Combine ground turkey, minced garlic, minced onion, chopped parsley, salt, black pepper, dried oregano, minced rosemary, egg, and breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Mix until just combined, being careful not to overwork the mixture.ingredients for Turkey Meatball mixed in a bowl

  2. Shape Meatballs

    Take portions of the mixture and roll them into 1-inch balls using your hands – wet hands are best for this. baking sheet of raw turkey meatballs

  3. Heat Skillet

    Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Make sure the skillet is nice and hot before adding the uncooked meatballs.

  4. Cook Meatballs

    Add the shaped meatballs to the skillet in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook them for about 5-6 minutes, turning occasionally, until they are golden brown on all sides and cooked through.skillet of cooked turkey meatball

  5. Serve and Enjoy

    Once cooked, transfer the juicy meatballs to a serving plate and serve them with your favorite marinara sauce and favorite pasta. These flavorful turkey meatballs are sure to be a hit at the dinner table!cooked turkey meatballs in bowl of marinara sauce, one meatball cut in half to show detail

Can These Be Made Ahead?

Yes, you can prepare the meatball mixture ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to one day before cooking. Shape the meatballs when ready to cook for the freshest taste and texture. See below for freezing cooked meatballs.

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Turkey Meatballs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 178 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 73mg24%
Sodium 312mg14%
Potassium 283mg8%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 20g40%
Vitamin A 279IU6%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 34mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Serving Ideas for Turkey Meatballs

Meatball Sub: Besides serving on top of pasta, you can also turn these flavorful meatballs into a tasty meatball sub sandwich. Just serve the meatballs up on a toasted hoagie roll with tomato sauce spooned over the top. Sprinkle on mozzarella and Parmesan cheese then pop the open-faced subs under the broiler to melt the cheese before adding the top roll. It’s the ultimate homemade sub!

Appetizers: While meatballs are a great protein option for any number of amazing dinner recipes, you can also serve them as a party appetizer. They’re the perfect finger food to put out with dips like Marinara Sauce, BBQ Sauce, or Pesto Sauce

How to Store


Don’t leave Turkey Meatballs at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Keep covered wit a lid or plastic wrap. Let leftover meatballs cool to room temperature before you transfer them to an airtight container to store in the fridge. They’ll stay good for 3-4 days. 

Reheating Tips

For reheating, place the cooked meatballs in a preheated oven at 350 for about 10 minutes or until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat them in a skillet over medium heat with a splash of your favorite sauce until warmed. You can also reheat the cooked meatballs in an air fryer at 350 for about 5-7 minutes until they are warmed through and crispy on the outside. Keep an eye on them to prevent overcooking


For meal prep, you can keep the meatballs in the freezer for up to 3 months. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place the meatballs in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Then freeze them for 1-2 hours. Once they’re hardened, transfer the frozen meatballs to a freezer-safe container for long-term storage. 

Frequent Questions

My meatballs are falling apart. What did I do wrong?

If your meatballs are falling apart, it’s possible that the mixture was not adequately combined or lacked enough binding agents like egg or breadcrumbs. Ensure all ingredients are evenly distributed and gently shape the meatballs to prevent them from crumbling during cooking.

Can I make the meatballs smaller or larger?

Yes, you can adjust the size of the meatballs to your preference. Just keep in mind that larger meatballs will require longer cooking time, while smaller ones will cook faster. Adjust cooking time accordingly to ensure they are cooked through.

Do I need to check the temperature of every meatball?

While it’s not necessary to check every meatball individually, it’s a good idea to spot-check a few to ensure they are all cooked through evenly. If you don’t have an instant-read thermometer, you can check for doneness by cutting into a meatball to ensure there are no pink spots and the juices run clear. Alternatively, you can break apart a meatball to check its internal color.

Recipe Card

Turkey Meatballs

Easy Turkey Meatballs, cooked to perfection in a skillet, are succulent, tender, and rich in flavor. A lighter take on a classic favorite!
Yield 6 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1/4 yellow onion , minced
  • 1/4 cup parsley , chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary , minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  • In a large bowl mix ground turkey, garlic, onion, parsley, salt, black pepper, oregano, rosemary, egg, and breadcrumbs until just combined.
  • Shape mixture into 1 inch balls.
  • Add vegetable oil into large heavy skillet on medium-high heat.
  • Cook the turkey meatballs in small batches for 5-6 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Serve with marinara sauce and pasta.


  • Click on the yield amount to slide and change the number of servings and the recipe will automatically update!
  • Click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.
  • To convert measurements to grams, click on the Metric option next to Ingredients in the recipe card.   


Calories: 178kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 312mg | Potassium: 283mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 279IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Turkey Meatballs

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Variations on Turkey Meatballs

  • Meat: I used lean ground turkey for a healthy spin on meatballs. However, you can use any kind of ground meat that you have. Ground beef or ground pork would taste delicious. Or, you could use lean ground chicken as another healthy option for chicken meatballs. 
  • Seasonings: Experiment with the combination of flavors by adding different seasonings like thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, fresh basil, sage, cayenne pepper, or crushed red pepper flakes to the recipe for extra flavor. 
  • Cheese: Try adding shredded cheese to the meat mixture. Parmesan or mozzarella are great options to go with the Italian flavors. You could also add in cheddar, provolone, Pepper Jack, Monterey Jack, or Gouda. 

More Favorite Meatball Recipes

Turkey Meatball Pin

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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