Easy Italian Turkey Meatballs

Fig Jar
by Fig Jar
18 Meatballs
35 min

Moist and flavorful turkey meatballs that are easy to throw together any night of the week.

If you are looking for a delicious turkey meatball recipe, you are in the right place my friend. The great thing about this meatball recipe is you have options! You can do baked meatballs or you can cook them on the stove top, you could even do a combo of both if you really wanted to.

Ingredients for Turkey Meatballs

  • Ground turkey
  • Egg
  • Lemon zest
  • Onion
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Garlic powder
  • Fresh parsley
  • Crush red pepper flake
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Ingredient swaps

All you need are a few basic ingredients to make a great meatball! I tried to keep it simple and just use mostly pantry seasonings for these but if you want, you could use fresh garlic and all fresh herbs. You will probably just want to change the measurements slightly for the garlic. I probably wouldn’t put more than a teaspoon of fresh garlic. But if you’re like me, most days, you are more than happy to just use the powder.

Making the turkey meatballs

I don’t make meatballs very often because somewhere in my mind I think that they are fancy and take a lot of time but they really don’t. Everything just goes into one bowl and you mix with your hands (save yourself some dishwashing!) and they cook so fast!

I use my trusty cookie scoop to make sure the meatballs will all be the same size and it works like a dream every time.

I scoop and roll all the meatballs and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. You can either pop them straight in the oven like this or you can cook them in a skillet on the stove.

Baked Turkey Meatballs

Pros to baking the meatballs: once you scoop and roll, it’s a pretty hands off process. Just pop them in the oven for 15-20 minutes, make sure the internal temp is 165, and you’re set. The only drawback is they won’t get browned the way they do in a pan.

Cooking them on the stovetop

To cook the meatballs on the stove, start with a large, cast iron skillet and a coat of olive oil. Heat over medium. Once heated, add the meatballs. Turn the meatballs every 2 minutes or so to get them browned on all sides. Cook until internal temp is 165.

Looking for a delicious homemade marinara to serve with these?

Try my recipe!

If you make these meatballs, let me know how it went in the comments below! You can also find me on instagram @thefigjar.

Easy Italian Turkey Meatballs
Recipe details
  • 18  Meatballs
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 35 min
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  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp crush red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 white or yellow onion grated or minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 egg
  • olive oil for the pan

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Use your hands to squish the mixture together until all of the seasonings + egg are evenly dispersed. Use a 1 1/2 tbsp cookie scoop to measure each meatball, then use your hands to roll it into a ball.
Heat a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Place meatballs in the pan and turn them as they brown on each side. Keep turning them to brown all sides. Cover for 3 minutes and then check their temperature to check for doneness. They are done once they reach 165 F.
Enjoy with spaghetti and marinara!
  • Instructions for baking the meatballs instead: heat the oven to 375, after rolling the meatballs, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the temperature has reached 165.
Fig Jar
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  • Christine Brusseau Christine Brusseau on Mar 08, 2021

    Add a teaspoon or less of fennel to the Turkey mixture and preferably let sit a few hours if time permits. The fennel will impart the delicious flavour of Italian sausage.

  • Looks really good! And ironically I picked up a couple pounds of fresh turkey on sale today. Repackaged into 1/2 pound cubes and popped in the freezer. Will try this in the next week or so and come back and let you know how it went. How can you go wrong with turkey and fresh herbs and some quality parmesan? You can't! Love the lemon zest too. Thanks for sharing!