RecipeItalian Turkey Meatballs

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
  • Calories: 65
  • Protein: 6.5 g
  • Total Fat: 3 g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 2 g
    • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 30 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 2 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.5 g
  • Total Sugar: 0.5 g
    • Natural Sugar: 0.5 g
    • Added Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 145 mg

What’s not to love about meatballs? They’re simple to make, work well in a variety of dishes, and can be frozen for future meals. Sure, you can serve them with pasta, but you can also use them for sandwiches or form them into a smaller size and toss them into soups (like chicken noodle, Italian wedding or tomato soup) or bake and serve them as hors d’oeuvres.

These mouthwatering meatballs come from my friend and chef extraordinaire Régan Rinaldi, who often adds a small- to medium-sized grated zucchini to the mix to up the nutrition factor. Any time I make them for my family, my children gobble them up (with my help, of course)! We think Régan’s meatballs are amazing, and I’m betting you will, too.

Feel free to experiment and use your favorite herbs (you can switch out some or all of the parsley with basil, mint, oregano or thyme, for instance). If you have extra meatball mix, simply roll into the desired size and freeze raw for future use.

  • Prep time
  • Total Time
This recipe makes 18 meatballs

• Marinara sauce  (homemade or store-bought)
• 1 pound ground turkey breast (preferably 93% lean)
• ⅓ cup good-quality breadcrumbs (check with your local bread baker for breadcrumbs)
• ¼ cup grated Parmigianino Reggiano
• ⅓ cup grated Pecorino Romano
• ½ cup chopped parsley
• 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
• 1 egg
• Pinch finely ground sea salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• Red pepper flakes (optional)


Warm the marinara sauce in a large pot until the sauce is at a light simmer.

While the sauce cooks, prepare the meatballs. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, breadcrumbs, cheeses, parsley, garlic, egg, salt and pepper, to taste. Using your hands, mix ingredients until well combined, being careful not to over-mix and form a paste.

Once combined, gently roll meatballs between your two hands, forming 2-inch meatballs (or smaller, if you prefer) that are not too tight or compact. As you roll them, gently drop them into the sauce.

Once the last meatball is in the pot, cook on low for 35 minutes.

Serve with whole-wheat pasta or zucchini noodles and top with Pecorino and red pepper flakes, if desired. Leftovers can be refrigerated for approximately 3 to 4 days, or frozen for approximately 4 to 6 months.

Makes about 18 meatballs; a serving is 1 meatball

Try my Savory Pumpkin Meatballs.