Healthy Turkey Meatballs are juicy while being low fat! Made without breadcrumbs, they’re keto, Whole30, paleo, gluten free and dairy free! A nutritious twist on a classic dish. Made with lean turkey and fresh herbs- they’re the perfect dinner! I love pairing with tomato sauce and zucchini noodles.
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Whether you’re Italian or not – there’s no denying that there are few better things in life than a big bowl of pasta + meatballs. Especially when they’re gluten free, dairy free, paleo, whole30 AND taste just like what you grew up eating!
These Healthy Turkey Meatballs are loaded with flavor, packed with lean protein and super easy to make.
Plus.. they have no breadcrumbs! Yes, it’s possibly to make meatballs with out breadcrumbs, I’ll show you how!
When I tell you that my Gram could easily win awards for her cooking – I’m not joking.
There is always something going on in her kitchen – whether it be a Banana Cake (another one of her famous recipes, which I made healthier in this Healthy Banana Bread recipe), chicken cutlets, or dessert of some sort.
Another thing that she makes that are SO delicious are her meatballs.
When I did my first Whole30… I knew I was going to have a big problem with giving up pasta and meatballs. It’s something we eat almost every week, and it’s one of my favorite meals.
I was determined to come up with a Whole30 meatball recipe that tasted amazing + wouldn’t leave me feeling left out on Sunday dinners.
Nothing can compare to my grandma’s recipe – but these Healthy Turkey Meatballs are a close second.
Ingredients for Turkey Meatballs
To make these healthy turkey meatballs you’ll need:
There are many substitutions you can make with these healthy meatballs – I’ve included instructions below!
How to make Healthy Turkey Meatballs:
To make healthy turkey meatballs:
- Add all of your ingredients into a bowl.
- Mix together until combined.
- Roll into balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake + enjoy!
We love to make a big batch of these and freeze half of it. That way you can have dinner for another night all ready go, or a simple snack waiting for you in the freezer.
The longer you cook them in sauce for, the better they taste and the more tender they are!
How to make turkey meatballs on the stovetop: You can easily make these turkey meatballs on the stovetop. Heat a pan with olive oil. Add the meatballs to the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes, turning every 3 minutes until all sides are browned
How to make turkey meatballs in the air fryer: To make turkey meatballs in the air fryer. Air Fry at 400 for 12-15 minutes until golden brown, allow to cool + enjoy!
Substitutions for Turkey Meatballs without Breadcrumbs:
Nut free: sub almond meal with breadcrumbs (this will make the meatballs non-whole30)
Herbs – If you don’t have fresh herbs you can used dried (but fresh have so much more flavor!)
Meat- You can sub chicken or beef for the turkey. This Rosemary Chicken Sauce is also a nice recipe for a lighter sauce.
WW Freestyle Note: Points calculated using 99% fat free turkey
Extra Veggies –You can add in chopped spinach or kale for extra veggies. I actually like to pulse in the food processor so it get’s super find. You can’t even taste it!
Tips for making the Best Healthy Turkey Meatballs
Use fresh herbs! Dried herbs will work in a pinch, but these are SO much better when you use fresh herbs!
Make a full batch or double batch and freeze some of these clean eating meatballs. It will make your life SO much easier. These freeze perfectly in a big ziploc bag and then you can just defrost them as you need them!
Cook the meatballs in sauce after baking them. They’re delicious on their own, but so yummy when you let them cook low and slow!
Pro Tip: Use a large cookie scoop for forming ‘balls’ for even, equal meatballs!
How to serve Healthy Turkey Meatballs
Over zoodles (zucchini noodles)– If you don’t have a spiralizer you have to get one! As much as I love eating a bowl of pasta – it’s nice to have a lighter alternative and a spiralizer is key for getting through Whole30. The zucchini noodles are a great swap when you’re craving pasta. They are also great if you are gluten free or paleo.
Over pasta– My favorite gluten free pasta is Modern Table.
Over a salad
With our Healthy Crockpot Tomato Sauce (If you’re still buying jarred sauce PLEASE try this!!)
Turkey Meatball FAQ
The healthiest meatballs are high in protein and low in carbs/fat. These meatballs are made from lean ground turkey and use almond flour instead of breadcrumbs to make them lower in carbs!
Turkey meatballs are healthier than beef for a few reasons. Ground turkey is lower in calories and fat than ground beef – making turkey meatballs a healthier choice than beef meatballs.
Yes, Trader Joe’s turkey meatballs are healthy! They’re high in protein, made with no artificial ingredients and low in calories.
These turkey meatballs have roughly 70 calories per meatball.
Can you freeze these Turkey Meatballs?
YES! And you totally should. I like to double the batch and freeze half of them after they have been baked
Then you can quickly defrost for busy nights or a simple lunch! I recommend allowing them to cool completely and putting in a container or freezer size ziploc bag.
When you’re ready to eat you can microwave them or heat in a pan!
You can freeze them raw, but we don’t recommend it.
Other healthy turkey recipes:
We love ground turkey! It’s so versatile and delicious. We have a whole list of the Best Ground Turkey Recipes but here are some of our favs!
- Turkey Mushroom Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Paleo Turkey Chili
- Whole 30 Turkey Bolognese Stuffed Zucchini
- Spicy Ground Turkey Stir Fry
- Paleo Turkey Taco Stuffed Delicata Squash
Healthy Turkey Meatballs
- 2 lbs ground turkey
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 2 tablespoons almond milk
- 3/4 cup onion (finely chopped, I pulse mine in a food processor)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Optional if not paleo/whole 30:
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- Spray a lined baking sheet with olive oil. (Or use nonstick foil/parchment paper).
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined
- Roll into approximately 1.5 inch balls and place on cookie sheet.
- Bake the meatballs for 10-15 minutes, then flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes on the other side.
Instant Pot Instructions
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until combined. Roll into approximately 1.5 inch balls and place on cookie sheet.
- Freeze meatballs for 10 minutes to make them easier to handle.
- Once meatballs have been frozen, place trivet insert into Instant Pot. Pour 1 cup of water into bottom of pot.
- Place meatballs on top of trivet, stacking as needed.
- Cover instant pot and make sure the pressure release is set to sealing. Set instant pot to pressure cook for 7 minutes.
- Allow pressure to naturally release for 5 minutes. Release any remaining pressure and remove with tongs.
- See Notes for additional tips/tricks for cooking meatballs in instant pot.
Air Fryer Instructions
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined
- Roll into approximately 1.5 inch balls and place in greased air fryer basket
- Air Fry at 400 for 12-15 minutes until golden brown, allow to cool + enjoy!
- Nut free: sub almond meal with breadcrumbs (this will make the meatballs non-whole30)
- Coconut/Almond Flour – If you don’t have coconut flour or almond meal you can sub whole wheat breadcrumbs
- Herbs – If you don’t have fresh herbs you can used dried (but fresh have so much more flavor!)
- Meat- You can sub chicken or beef for the turkey
- Extra Veggies –You can add in chopped spinach or kale for extra veggies. I actually like to pulse in the food processor so it get’s super find. You can’t even taste it!
- WW Freestyle Note: Points calculated using 99% fat free turkey
- Cook time does not include time to come to pressure (about 14 minutes).
- Freezing meatballs isn’t necessary but will make the meatballs easier to handle and they won’t cook together in the pot.
- If you want the meatballs to be browned, you can either sauté them before cooking. In the Instant Pot you can use the sauté method – be sure to scrape off any bits of food on the bottom of the pan before cooking or you may get a burn notice.
- You can also sauté or broil meatballs after cooking to brown them.