Turkey Meatballs

These classic turkey meatballs are super moist, healthy, and packed with flavor! They're easy to make, work well for meal prep, and freeze beautifully!

Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword turkey meatballs
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 28 -29 meatballs
Calories 50 kcal
Author Chelsea


  • 1 large yellow onion, grated (measured to 2/3 cup)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH: oregano, basil, freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (on a microplane)
  • 1/2 cup Panko (breadcrumbs)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 and 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey (90%)
  • Serve with: 1 pound dry spaghetti (cooked according to package instructions) and 3 cups marinara sauce (homemade or store bought), fresh Italian parsley, freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. MEATBALLS: IF baking, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Using the large holes on a cheese grater, grate an onion until you have 2/3 a cup. Add to a very large bowl. Finely mince OR grate the garlic on a microplane and add to the bowl. Add the salt, oregano, basil, pepper, finely chopped parsley (measured AFTER being chopped), finely grated Parmesan cheese (I like to use a microplane here to grate the Parmesan), Panko, egg, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir until all the ingredients are well combined. Add in the ground turkey straight from the fridge (keep the turkey as cold as possible as it's easier to work with). Gently knead the ingredients until combined being careful to not overwork the meat. This will yield tough/rubbery meatballs.

  2. MEATBALLS CONT.: Shape the meat mixture into meatballs. I use a 1/8th measuring cup (2 tablespoons) to ensure meatballs all end up the same size. Place measured balls on a large plate and refrigerate the first half while working on forming the last half of the meat into meatballs.

  3. BAKING: Line a large sheet pan with foil (don't skip or clean up is a lot harder!) Add a wire cooling rack right on top and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange meatballs on the rack. Brush the meatballs with oil (about 2-3 teaspoons total). Bake until browned, about 15 to 20 minutes. A thermometer should read 160 degrees F. (Carry over heat will increase it to 165 degrees F).

  4. SKILLET: Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large NONSTICK skillet (cast iron skillet won't work for these) over medium-high heat. Fry the meatballs in batches until browned on all sides and the meatballs are cooked through, about 5 to 8 minutes per batch. Do not overcrowd the skillet or the meatballs won't cook properly. Add additional 1-2 tablespoons oil in between batches as needed. IF serving with in marinara, brown meatballs for 4-6 minutes or until browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate until all meatballs are browned. When they're all browned, add the marinara sauce to the pan and return the meatballs and all the juices to the pan. Gently cover the meatballs in the sauce and lower the heat. Partially cover the pan with a lid and simmer until meatballs are fully cooked through about 15-20 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160 degrees F.

  5. CROCKPOT: to cook these meatballs in the crockpot, read the blogpost for instructions

  6. SERVE: if serving these meatballs with marinara and spaghetti: cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Prepare homemade marinara or use store bought (you'll need about 3 cups); toss noodles with all but 1/2 cup marinara and top plates with turkey meatballs. Evenly drizzle remaining 1/2 cup marinara over meatballs. If desired, garnish with fresh parsley and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Add additional cracked pepper and a drizzle of olive oil to plates if desired.