These Easy Baked Turkey Meatballs are freezer-friendly and perfect for meal prep! Serve with pasta and zucchini noodles for a healthy dinner.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Olive oil – or another neutral cooking oil like avocado or canola oil.
- Spaghetti – I like using spaghetti as it blends well with zucchini noodles, but you can use any pasta of your choice.
- Spiralized zucchini – buy pre-spiralized zucchini or spiralize your own at home.
- Pasta sauce – use your favourite jarred tomato sauce.
Baked turkey meatballs
- Ground turkey – you could also make these meatballs with ground chicken or extra-lean ground beef.
- Parmesan cheese – nutritional yeast is a good dairy-free substitute.
- Fresh parsley – swap out for 1 tbsp. dried parsley instead or any other herbs of your choice.
- Yellow onion – white onion or shallots would be the best substitutes here.
- Dijon mustard – use a bit of stone-ground mustard instead.
- Garlic – I prefer freshly minced garlic but jarred minced garlic will work in a pinch.
- Salt & pepper – to taste.
How to make turkey meatballs
Step 1: Make the turkey meatballs.
Mix together the meatball ingredients and roll them into balls, then bake them in the oven or a skillet.
Step 2: Cook the noodles.
Cook the noodles in boiling water until al dente, adding the zucchini in the last minute of cooking time.
Step 3: Serve the meatballs over noodles.
Toss the noodles with the pasta sauce and serve with the turkey meatballs.
Step 4: Store or freeze for later.
Store the meatballs and noodles in the fridge for 5 days, or freeze the meatballs on their own for 3 months.
How to serve turkey meatballs
You can serve this turkey meatball recipe on its own with your favourite sides, or incorporate the meatballs into another dish. Here are some options on how you can serve them:
- Swedish meatballs: Add Swedish meatball sauce to your turkey meatballs and serve them over egg noodles or with mashed potatoes.
- Pasta: Serve them with your favourite noodles and marinara sauce for an easy Italian dinner idea.
- Soup: Use the meatballs to make turkey meatball soup.
- Sub sandwich: Add the meatballs to your favourite bread roll with some marinara sauce, cheese and any other toppings of your choice.
- Lettuce wraps: Toss the meatballs in a sticky sriracha sauce and enjoy them as lettuce wraps.
- Rice bowls: Swap them out for the chicken in these falafel bowls or add them to a healthy buddha bowl.
Frequently Asked Questions
The parmesan in these meatballs will prevent them from falling apart since they act as a binder.
If you find that your meatballs are dry, you likely overcooked or overhandled them. Make sure you're only cooking them for 20 minutes, and be careful not to over-handle the meat while forming the meatball mixture into balls.
It's all a matter of preference! You can either bake or pan fry these meatballs. Baking them makes them a bit healthier because you're not frying the meatballs in oil.
It all depends on how you're going to be serving them. If you're serving them in sauce, like these honey garlic BBQ meatballs, you can brown them then cook them in the sauce in a crockpot. However, if you're just cooking them on their own in the oven, you don't need to add the sauce.
Yes! You can cook these meatballs up to 5 days in advance and then just reheat them in the microwave with a bit of water or add them to a recipe or sauce of your choice.
Storing and reheating
These meatballs are fantastic for meal prep! All you really need to do is pair them with noodles in meal prep bowls and you've got healthy lunches for the week. They’ll last in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To reheat these meatballs, just sprinkle a tiny bit of water over top so the meatballs retain their moisture, then microwave for 2 minutes or so and dig in.
Freezing this recipe
You can totally freeze these turkey meatballs. As long as you eat them within 3 months, they'll stay juicy and good as new so you can add them to last minute meal prep bowls or heat them up along with some pasta, rice or veggies for dinner – your choice!
Freeze the meatballs in a large Ziploc freezer bag that's labelled with the date you've frozen them, then just take out a couple of meatballs as needed or reheat them all at once. You can also store the meatballs in glass bowls to reduce your plastic consumption.
If you're reheating from the freezer, sprinkle some water over top, then microwave for 4 minutes until heated through. You can reheat them straight from the freezer with no defrosting time needed! From there, enjoy one or two at a time as a snack or add them to spaghetti sauce. The options are endless!
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Meal Prep Tools
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on turning this recipe into meal prep.
- I get all my free-range ground chicken and turkey from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen.
- Get a meat thermometer to make sure your meatballs are cooked through.
- Store your meatballs in labelled freezer bags.
- Use these Ziploc bag holders to add your meatballs to your freezer bags more easily.
- Freeze these meatballs in glass microwave-safe bowls up to 3 months.
- **Get my full list of tools here**
Easy Baked Turkey Meatballs
- Olive oil or cooking spray for cooking meatballs
- 1/2 lb spaghetti
- 2-3 zucchini, spiralized I just buy a 500g package from the grocery store but you can spiralize yourself
- 1 jar pasta sauce make sure there's no sugar added for Whole 30
Baked turkey meatballs
- 1 lb ground turkey or ground chicken or ground beef
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley or 1 tbsp dried
- 1 small yellow onion grated
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
- Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and preheat oven to 400 F if baking. Skip this step if frying meatballs in a skillet (instructions below).
- Mix all ingredients for ground turkey meatballs in a large bowl, stirring until well-combined. Wet hands with water and roll into 1-inch meatballs, creating 24 of them. Add to baking sheet in rows, spray with cooking spray and bake for 15 minutes.
- Alternatively, cook meatballs in a large skillet over medium heat with a bit of olive oil for 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a large pot of boiling water over hight heat and add a pinch of salt. Cook spaghetti for 10 minutes, adding zucchini in during the last minute of cook time. Drain and then add back to pot, tossing with pasta sauce over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes until hot.
- Serve pasta in bowls with 6 meatballs for each serving. Leftovers will last up to 5 days in the fridge. If freezing, place in a thick plastic bag and label with date. Will keep in freezer up to 6 months.