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

Baked turkey meatballs are a neat and tidy way to make very lean and low-carb meatballs, too!

I use lean turkey breast, and add grated carrots, Parmesan 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 baked 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 microwave machines!!!

They may also be frozen, before baking. 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. If you’re often cooking dinner in a hurry, keeping meatballs in your freezer is one of the best tips ever. Meatballs cook fast, taste good and are versatile as hell. Try these beef meatballs and Swedish meatballs, too! They all freeze wonderfully.

Turkey Meatballs Video

Turkey Meatballs Recipe – Printable!


Baked Turkey Meatballs

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4.8 from 19 reviews

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 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.


  • Serving Size: 6 meatballs
  • Calories: 287
  • Fat: 11
  • Carbohydrates: 7
  • Protein: 37

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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 on October 17, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    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.

    • Hilah on October 18, 2013 at 8:49 am

      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. Sunita on November 10, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    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?

    • Hilah on November 10, 2013 at 7:01 pm

      Hi Sunita,
      It is normal for them to become flattened on the bottom. I think what you are seeing as “fat” is actually some protein that releases. If you watch the video, you will see it on mine, too. It’s nothing to worry about!

      • Pam on February 7, 2016 at 2:05 pm

        Hi, I made these amazing meatballs but instead of bread crumbs I used crushed dry cornbread stuffing mix. They are amazing !!!

        • Hilah on February 7, 2016 at 3:01 pm

          That’s a great idea, Pam!

  3. Kirsten on December 7, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    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!

    • Hilah on December 8, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      Awesome! Glad to be of help, Kirsten! Those meatballs sound divine.

  4. Troy on December 22, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    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!

    • Hilah on December 23, 2013 at 11:45 am

      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. Jennifer Martin on January 7, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    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.

    • Hilah on January 7, 2014 at 6:53 pm

      Of course, Jennifer! Meatballs are very flexible that way.

  6. Shannon on January 18, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    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!!

    • Hilah on January 20, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      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 on January 29, 2014 at 3:28 am

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

  8. Tim on January 29, 2014 at 10:59 am

    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?

    • Hilah on January 30, 2014 at 10:04 am

      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.

      • Tim on January 30, 2014 at 11:23 am

        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 on August 10, 2014 at 6:48 pm

          Yes, it happened to me, too.

          • Leigh Cheri on August 26, 2014 at 4:53 pm

            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.

          • Hilah on August 26, 2014 at 4:55 pm

            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. Swade on February 2, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    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.

    • Hilah on February 4, 2014 at 10:55 am

      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!

  10. Carol Hallock on February 3, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    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!

    • Hilah on February 4, 2014 at 10:49 am

      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 on February 8, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    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.

    • Hilah on February 11, 2014 at 10:27 am

      Thanks, Thomas for the nutrition info! Sounds really good to serve with chutney, too. Yum! Thanks for writing!

  12. flowergirl08 on February 22, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    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:)

    • Hilah on February 23, 2014 at 1:01 pm

      Great to hear that! I hope you do some more experimenting with them, too. Thanks for the feedback! πŸ™‚

  13. Lele on February 23, 2014 at 4:31 am

    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!

    • Hilah on February 23, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      Hi Lele,
      You can use GF oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs. I think they would probably be okay if you left them out completely, though, just a little softer and trickier to form.

      • Lele on February 23, 2014 at 7:55 pm

        Great, thanks so much for the quick response.

      • Lynn Kershaw-Smith on June 5, 2018 at 8:23 am

        Crushed gluten-free crackers or a crushed plain GF cereal such as Rice Krispies also work.

  14. Andrea on February 24, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    These look delish….

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

    • Hilah on February 24, 2014 at 6:42 pm

      Hi Andrea!
      If you scroll through the comments someone else figured out the calorie count per meatball, if that helps.

  15. Michele on March 3, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    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?


    • Hilah on March 3, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      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. Liezl on June 4, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    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!

    • Hilah on June 5, 2014 at 7:35 am

      That’s great to hear, Leizl! (I love your name!)
      Thanks for sharing how you had them – sounds delicious that way.

      • Barb on July 5, 2016 at 12:06 pm

        Could I use a different cheese? I’m out of parm & have a huge hankering for these delist meatballs!! Thanks!

        • Hilah on July 5, 2016 at 2:29 pm

          Hi Barb! I’ve made these with sharp Cheddar, too. I think any firm, not-too-melty cheese would work.

  17. Teresa on June 9, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    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 =)

    • Hilah on June 10, 2014 at 1:29 pm

      Uh oh! Thanks for the tip, Teresa! πŸ™‚

  18. Nicole on August 1, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Perfect, easy and delicious!

  19. Poppy on August 24, 2014 at 7:02 pm

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

  20. Tess on September 8, 2014 at 8:02 pm

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

    • Hilah on September 9, 2014 at 9:09 am

      Thanks, Tess!

  21. Anna on October 7, 2014 at 8:39 pm

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

    • Hilah on October 8, 2014 at 6:52 pm

      One rounded tablespoon

  22. Mark on January 3, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    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. Ginner on January 6, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    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.

    • Hilah on January 8, 2016 at 8:31 pm

      I got it at my regular grocery store

  24. Michelle on March 2, 2016 at 1:48 am

    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!

    • Hilah on March 2, 2016 at 7:27 am

      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. Dionne on March 6, 2016 at 4:31 pm

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

  26. sandy on April 28, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    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.

  27. melissa on August 24, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    I’ve made these twice. The first time, I went by the recipe without watching the video. I used a SHREDDED sweet potato and oatmeal. They were delicious! Later I realized that the recipe said GRATED, not shredded, but they turned out fine anyway. I also added the optional parm.

    The second time was after I watched the video. I used carrot and grated it like the video and used bread crumbs and parm. Both trials were great but the second was better and more moist because I used 1/2 cup grated instead of shredded carrot. I also mixed all the ingredients and stored them in the refrigerator for a few hours before I rolled them into meatballs so that may make a difference. The garlic is strong because turkey breast is so mild but we love garlic, so everyone was happy.

    This is a great recipe to make ahead and freeze so the next time turkey breast is on sale, I’m going to freeze some for quick meals.

    Thanks for sharing such a healthy option!

    • Hilah on August 25, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      Hi Melissa!

      Yay! I’m so glad you tried this recipe a couple of ways to see how you like it best. This really is a great meatball recipe for the freezer. They are so versatile!

  28. Kimberly on August 30, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    I make these meatballs all the time for my daughters (1 & 3). It’s simple and easy and a great way to sneak in those veggies! I usually add steamed spinach and broccoli to them. I also freeze them so I have something healthy on hand for lunch or dinner πŸ™‚

    • Hilah on August 30, 2017 at 1:49 pm

      So great to hear your kids love these, Kimberly πŸ™‚

  29. Amy on December 10, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    Healthy, simple and so delicious!

  30. Christina on December 10, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    I love these but can I bake them and then freeze them instead of freezing them uncooked? Thanks!

    • Hilah on December 10, 2017 at 6:44 pm

      I imagine you can, just be careful reheating them so they don’t get overcooked and dry. Maybe add some water to a skillet and heat them on the stove or something like that

  31. Diana on June 11, 2018 at 6:51 am

    Just cooked these meatballs and they taste amazing! Didn’t have any carrots or parsley, so I used bell pepper and dill instead. Goes pretty well with soy sauce. Thank you for the recipe πŸ™‚

  32. Sheila on February 15, 2021 at 10:11 pm

    This recipe is fabulous… I didn’t have all the ingredients, but my substitution (Italian seasoning for parsley and parmesan) turned out great. The meat balls were tender and delicious. Definitely will make again… The carrot and oatmeal binders are genius…

  33. rob on February 18, 2021 at 10:01 am

    Easy and very good. Great for an easy meal. Made as directed with no changes-

  34. Lori Butterfield on April 17, 2021 at 3:16 pm

    These are absolutely our favorite turkey meatballs! My daughter hates vegetables and loves that carrot is hidden in here and she doesn’t taste it. They are so versatile and can be used in any way meatballs can be used. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Hilah on April 20, 2021 at 6:47 am

      That makes me so glad, Lori!

  35. imsen on January 31, 2022 at 6:48 am

    LOVE this meatball recipe. It’s my go-to favorite recipe for meatballs.

    • Hilah on February 8, 2022 at 11:38 am

      I’m so glad to hear that!

  36. Claudine on January 7, 2024 at 12:47 pm

    I haven’t even yet made these but I can tell i’m going to love them. True Food Kitchen has added a very clean turkey meatball dish to their Happy Hour menu and I’m in love with them! i think your recipe is very close (I’ve been searching). True Food has aleppo pepper in their recipe (although not very discernible but maybe could be increased to take this clean recipe into more of a MId-Eastern territory). I REALLY like your turkey meatball lettuce wrap idea — that is going to be a mainstay for me. I’m big on adding vegetables to everything so I can think of a ton of veggies that will fold in nicely and not dramatically move the flavor in a strong direction: zucchini, bell peppers, spinach, finely chopped broc, cauliflower, kale, parsnips, …. thank you for this.

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