Italian baked turkey meatballs are juicy and healthy, made with lean ground turkey and baked instead of fried. This easy turkey meatball recipe is delicious on pasta, in meatball subs, and makes a great appetizer when served alongside marinara sauce.
Do you have a repertoire of recipes that are the first ones you think of when trying to come up with what to make for dinner? I have a handful that, if it was 100% up to me, would be on deck once every week or two without fail.
As it stands my husband has a lower tolerance for meal repetition, so we do some serious thinking to keep things fresh.
One category of recipe I love to make are meatballs. They’re fairly easy, usually just combining ingredients in a bowl, scooping onto a baking sheet, and baking until done. While pan-fried meatballs are delish, I lean toward baking to keep things on the easier/lighter side.
What’s also great about making meatballs is that there are a ton of different flavors and ingredients you can use to switch up the cuisine. That’s how I skirt around the “meatballs, again?” question with how frequently they show up on our dinner table. 🙂
So far, I’ve posted recipes for my hands-down favorite hearty marinara sauce and meatballs (which uses beef), buffalo chicken meatball subs, and hoisin glazed baked turkey meatballs. Three different meats with three pretty different flavors.
For these Italian baked turkey meatballs, I combined the flavors of my go-to beef meatballs with a handy trick I use when I make turkey meatballs to make them SO juicy — grated onion. One-quarter cup of grated onion adds some flavor and ensures lean ground turkey can indeed yield juicy meatballs without pan frying.
Other than that, the other ingredients are fairly straight-forward. You can use any sort of grated hard Italian cheese here – Parmesan, Pecorino Romano (a favorite!), etc.
When it comes to meatballs, I always, always mix everything up with my hands. I find this way I can really work in all of the ingredients without over mixing. The mixture doesn’t need to be entirely uniform, so it’s okay for there to be some chunks of ground turkey remaining amongst it all. And using disposable gloves helps cut down on the mess!
- You can omit the crushed red pepper if you don’t like any zip whatsoever, though the flavor is mild.
- To help ensure evenly-sized meatballs, I always use a cookie scoop (affiliate link). Keep in mind if using a scoop smaller or larger than one with a one-and-a-half tablespoon capacity, you’ll want to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- These Italian baked turkey meatballs are wonderful when served alongside warm marinara sauce. They also make great meatball subs, as well as atop pasta!
Italian Baked Turkey Meatballs
- 16 oz ground turkey
- 1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup grated onion
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 eggs
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, optional
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet generously with cooking spray.
- Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir or mix until just combined. I like to put on a pair of disposable gloves and mix everything with my hands.
- Using a 1 1/2-tbsp cookie scoop, form meatballs and place evenly spaced on the greased baking sheet.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the centers reach 165°F (fully cooked).