Baked Turkey Meatballs

baked turkey meatballs

This recipe has become one of my go-to recipes for a quick and healthy weeknight meal. I actually came up with the first iteration of these for the Cooking with Kids series we did. Turkey meatballs are super flexible and can be used on top of spaghetti, added to a vegetable or bean soup, served on a salad, or one of my favorites — stuffed inside a large leafy green wrap with crunchy pickles and sauces and salsas and whatever your body compels you to stuff in there.

Baked turkey meatballs are a neat and tidy way to make very lean meatballs, too! I use lean turkey breast, and add grated carrots and an egg to bind them and add moisture so they don’t dry out. Bake for 15 minutes while you get everything else ready for dinner, and literally you have dinner in under 30 minutes. Leftover meatballs keep in the fridge up to a week and can be reheated in the microwave, but are actually pretty tasty cold, too, if it’s late at night and you have the munchies and you don’t have time to use machines!!! They may also be frozen. Form and freeze on paper-lined baking sheet. Once frozen solid, transfer to an airtight container or bag and return to freezer. Bake as needed with an extra 5-10 minutes in the oven.

Turkey Meatballs Video

Turkey Meatballs Recipe – Printable!


Baked Turkey Meatballs

4.7 from 9 reviews

  • Author:
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4


  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup finely grated carrot or sweet potato
  • 2 tablespoons oatmeal or breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan (optional)


  1. Set oven to 350ΒΊF and line a large baking tray with parchment paper or lightly spray with oil.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl until well mixed.
  3. Portion by tablespoons onto the tray. You will get about 24 balls.
  4. Bake 15-20 minutes or until firm and lightly brown.


Make a Turkey Meatball Lettuce Wrap!

Get a large crisp leaf. I use Napa cabbage or Savoy cabbage mostly, but iceberg lettuce or butter lettuce leaves also work.
Spread a little mayonnaise on it if you like. Add other condiments, too: chutneys and Indian pickles are both delicious. For the wrap pictured here, I used some homemade cranberry pickle, a recipe from my friend Sri.
Add 2-3 meatballs depending on how large your leafy green is.
Add any other vegetables or salads you like: cucumber salad; coleslaw; sliced radishes and green onions; avocado
Top with herbs like cilantro, mint, and basil.
Roll it up and eat it!
turkey meatball wrap


  1. The Other Randy says:

    Any sort of meatball is great for single people. Make a double or triple batch. Freeze them on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer them to a ziplock bag. Then cook as many as are needed.

    But I especially like meatball recipes that are neutral, cuisine-wise so that they aren’t limited to one style (Italian, for example). For beef meatballs, I like to make a simple sauce with red Thai curry paste, coconut milk, Thai basil and lime juice and serve it over rice. For these, I think I’d use green curry paste, instead. But I’ll bet they’d be just as great. And they’d be a healthier alternative to beef or pork meatballs on an Italian meatball sandwich.

    • Thanks for the freezing tip, Randy!

      I adore your curry sauce idea. Boy, do those sound good! Perfect warm, spicy food for this cold front we are having.

  2. Hi- I just made this recipe and the meatballs almost became flat on the bottom surrounded by fat that has come out ? Is that normal?

  3. I googled “Baking Turkey Meatballs” and your post popped right up!
    I’m making orange ginger turkey meatballs using our fresh fruit fundraiser oranges, and I’m delighted to find such clear and easy instructions for baking.
    Thanks, Hilah!

  4. Your recipe was the first to pop up when I did my search tonight for Baked
    Turkey Meatballs. I did not have any carrots on hand so I used grated butternut
    squash and also added a little dried rosemary. They were awesome! Thanks for
    the recipe. Happy and healthy New Year to you and yours!

    • Hey Troy!
      Thanks so much for letting me know how you found me! That is very helpful.
      So glad you enjoyed the meatballs. I love that butternut/rosemary combination. Good thinking.
      Happy New Year to you as well!

  5. My husband is on a straight diet and he wanted to try turkey meatballs. Only thing he like in his meatballs is crackers eggs salt pepper and ketsup. Can we bake that way.

  6. Thanks for the great video! I’m going to make these tonight but wondered if I can use grated zucchini instead of carrots? I know zucchini has a lot of moisture in it so I wanted to make sure they would still bake right. Thanks!!

    • Hi Shannon! I think that would work fine. May want to add an extra tablespoon of crumbs or oatmeal or something if the zucchini seems very wet.

  7. Marisol Lara says:

    These are in the oven now! But, I’d love for Kristen to share her orange ginger turkey meatball recipe! πŸ™‚

  8. Thanks for the recipe – it’s very tasty, the problem I had both times making these is that the internal temperature of the meatballs at 20 mins was well under 165 degrees, which is underdone. I had to cook them for something like 40 minutes (or more). Last night I ended up throwing them in with the sauce to finish cooking. Has anyone else had this issue?

    • Hi Tim!
      I haven’t, but I’m glad you made it work by cooking them in the sauce.
      I wonder if your meatballs are much bigger than mine? Are you getting 24 balls out of the batch? Or your oven thermometer could be off a few degrees. Another thing that can affect cook time is the pan your’e using. I almost always use a dark coated metal pan which cooks a little faster than shiny reflective metal pans. Let me know if any of those things could be the reason.

      • Hi Hillah!

        Thanks so much for the QUICK reply! I’m impressed by your suggestions!

        I’ve just made it for smaller amounts of turkey, but the ratio has been right on, lb/meatball. I believe I’m doing everything right – I’ve tried the recipe in two ovens, and the second has an oven thermometer, and using a dark, old, tried-and-true pan. I’ll certainly keep this one in my rounds of dinners the kids like (love the addition of carrots).

        I’d love to hear if anyone else has used a thermometer? I’m a bit weird about turkey being JUST done, but not overdone and dry, which is why I always use one when cooking. (Plus, I couldn’t forgive myself for getting everyone sick.)

        Thanks again – and gotta give you props on your site and photography – really beautiful!

        • Mermaid Scribbler says:

          Yes, it happened to me, too.

          • Leigh Cheri says:

            I may be off base, but on many meat thermometers the most accurate temperature reading is about an inch or so up the skewer (you can usually see a little line). This isn’t a big deal when you’re temping out something large like a pork roast, but if you’re only able to insert the very tip of the thermometer into something small like a meatball, the temperature will read cold because the sensor is actually only reading the latent heat. It’s worth taking a look at, since there’s really no reason a little 1″ meatball should take 40 minutes to cook through, even from frozen.

            As an aside, I have a really busy schedule and these little guys are a mealtime staple. One batch freezes and lasts for weeks, and they’re so easy to work into a variety of different dishes. They make a really satisfying lunch, hot or cold.

          • That is an excellent point, Leigh! Thank you for the reminder. You’re right about the sensor on most thermometers. Thank you!
            And I’m so happy these meatballs have become a staple. They are certainly a staple around here, too.

  9. I loved the way these turned out. I did add a little green onion as I love the flavor of onion but felt these needed something milder than regular onion. It’s just me so I used half in tomato sauce and froze the other half. I had some really good teriyaki sauce left over from wings I had and used that on some I pulled from the freezer. Had them with rice and a salad. Your recipe by far is the easiest one I came across when I searched. I have never believed that good food needs to be complicated. I will definitely be making these again.

    • I am in complete agreement with you. I try to make things as simple as possible; that’s more of a challenge to me, anyway.
      Green onion is a great addition! As is teriyaki sauce. πŸ™‚
      Thanks for writing, Swade!

      • Ano update. I usually make these for parties and put them in a sauce. I have a friend who hates turkey but loved these. I try to keep them on hand for any occasion by freezing them and just pulling out what I need. They are great for so many things.

  10. Carol Hallock says:

    My second tray is in the oven and I have tried some of the meatballs from the first tray. I think I put in WAY too much parsley (my bad, not yours!) but they are AWFULLY good. I’m so excited to have made these and know that I can play and change it up other times too!!! Thank you!

    • That’s fantastic, Carol! One of the best parts about meatballs and meatloaf is they make great vehicles for whatever you happen to have around. Thanks for writing!

  11. Thomas Woolley says:

    These meatballs were so delicious, everyone in my family enjoyed them and at around 42 calories (I researched!) apiece, I was able to have two servings as shown in your picture even on a diet. As a colorful, flavorful backdrop, I used a spicy/sweet chutney that came in at only 19 additional calories per serving (2 tbsp), mixed with a zucchini slaw and cucumber slices! WOW! To say the least, I am making them again tonight just two weeks after the first batch. Thank you so much for this recipe.

  12. flowergirl08 says:

    I just made your turkey meatballs – delicious! I substituted zucchini for the carrot/sweet potato & it was fine. I like your recipes – they make sense & look like good food! This was a great discovery:)

  13. Hi Hilah. I love your videos and recipes you are so awesome and hilarious. These meatballs look so good I can’t wait to try the recipe. Do you think if I omit the breadcrumbs it will make much of a difference? I want to make them gluten free. Thank you for sharing your amazing easy recipes. Keep being awesome dude!

  14. These look delish….

    On weight watchers and need to figure out the point or nutrient content..

  15. Michele says:

    Hi! I just made these and they came out really dry and tough :/ I am sure it’s user error given that I am a novice cook. Any idea why they would be so dry and tough? Did I overcook them?


    • Hi Michele!
      That is the likely culprit! It’s also possible you compacted the mixture too much. Next time, mix just until the egg is combined into the mix, bake for 15 minutes then check one of them by cutting it open. If it is whitish inside and not pink, you’re good!

  16. 2 reasons why this recipe is so awesome.
    1. Super easy to make. I usually have all of these ingredients on hand.
    2. SO DELICIOUS! My fiancee couldn’t stop eating it!
    I ate in a bowl with quinoa, brussel sprouts, and pancetta. Too good! Adding parm was a must. Thank you for this great easy recipe!

  17. I have these in the oven right now! Just don’t use a flat cookie sheet and put them close to the edge. I’m losing a lot of juices =)

  18. Perfect, easy and delicious!

  19. Ah-maz-ing. Thank you for posting this recipe!

  20. Turn up the heat to 450 degrees at the end and you get nice and firm red/brown meatballs.

  21. Hi there! How many tablespoons of the mixture should I portion out for each meatball? Looks delicious, thanks!

  22. Very tasty, especially with two cloves of garlic. Used my cookie scoop and got 14 which was a nice size. Will double the recipe and freeze a bunch the next time.

  23. Have not tried your recipe yet….need to buy the turkey. My question is
    where did you find the cookie scoop for molding your meatballs? Looks
    like a cool tool.

  24. Michelle says:

    I made these the other night and they were delicious! My ingredient amounts varied slight because first, around me, ground turkey comes in 20oz pkg instead of 16oz/1lb; and second, because I made a double batch.

    So, all told, I used 40oz ground turkey, 2 eggs, 1 c grated carrot, and around 3/4 cup grated parmesan and around 1 cup oats. I did not use parsley or garlic, but did use basil and oregano (no measurement just sprinkled in). I baked for 15 min and then turned the oven to broil for 3-5 more.

    Delish! They were firm and light brown. They were done. ;> And the leftovers were delicious for breakfast too! I will definitely be making these again and again!

    • Awesome, Michelle! Reminds me to make these again, too. They freeze wonderfully if you want to make a big batch and shape them before freezing. Then just add a few more minutes to the cook time.

  25. Does anyone have the nutrional content of these meatballs? Thanks!!

  26. They have a good flavor but the texture is to soft for me I am used to the texture of a meatball made with beef.

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