Turkey Meatballs

IMG_4566We all have different foods we crave and for me, Italian food is one of them!

I love a good date night at an Italian restaurant with some wine, that amazing bread (I always tell myself I will just have one or two pieces and then… whoops! All the bread is gone…), and of course a delicious pasta dish – fettuccine Alfredo, ravioli, lasagna, or even spaghetti and meatballs.

Problem is… All those wonderful dishes are more of a treat – not something we could eat weekly.

That said, these turkey meatballs are something you could eat weekly (we do!) and not worry about putting on any extra pounds. In fact, they are a pretty healthy and wholesome dinner and are loaded with protein. This will only benefit you if you’re working out on a regular basis.

As I talked about in my last post, my husband went away on business and this was something I made when he was gone. The house smelled amazing! I couldn’t believe that it was turkey meatballs cooking…

They are super easy to make and they’re great for a bigger family since they make so many – which is great for my husband and I because we love leftovers!

If you wanted to, you could change these up a little bit as well. I used mostly what I had on-hand, but you could make these with less sodium by making your own pasta sauce.

Note: I’d normally do that, but I had a jar of pasta sauce in my pantry and it made this recipe even easier 🙂

Enjoy this recipe on top of some whole wheat pasta or even just by themselves… Perfecto!


1.5 lb. lean ground turkey (I used the Aldi Fit & Active brand, which comes in 19 oz packages)
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried basil
24 oz jar of your favorite pasta sauce

salt and pepper


  1. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. To make the meatball mixture, combine turkey, egg, panko,  1 tbsp olive oil, garlic powder, basil, salt and pepper in large bowl.
  3. Mix with your hands until all ingredients are incorporated (don’t over mix).
  4. To make the meatballs, scope meat out with your hand, roll into a ball and place on cooking sheet. I found it best to put them in the fridge for at least an hour. (You can measure them out if you want to, but I made mine the size of a golf ball. Doing this, the recipe yielded 20 meatballs.)IMG_4550
  5. After they have been in the fridge, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high.
  6. Take about 4 to 6 meatballs at a time and brown them on each side for 1-2 minutes. IMPORTANT: this will hold in the juices and prevent the meatballs from falling apart.

  7. Once all the meatballs are browned on both sides, spray your crock-pot with cooking spray and first pour in about half of the sauce, then add the meatballs, and then add the rest of the sauce over the top.
  8. Cook on LOW for 6-7 hours.

Nutritional Information:

Servings: Approx 20 meatballs w/sauce
Serving Size: Approx 1 meatball w/sauce

Calories: 66
Fat: 3 g
Sodium: 139 mg
Carbohydrates: 4 g
Sugar: 2 g
Fiber: 1 g
Protein: 5 g



EMILY NESS is a full-time food and lifestyle author who’s passionate about developing simple yet mouth-watering recipes that anyone can make. Since founding her website CookingUpHappiness.com in 2013, she’s went on to share her passion for cooking healthy and tasty recipes with the thousands of people around the world.
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Emily Ness - Cruise

Sharing a passion for food and fitness to live a healthy lifestyle - with the occasional hint of chocolate.