Healthy Turkey Meatballs

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When you are trying to eat clean, these healthy turkey meatballs are a great dinner option. Pair them with a whole wheat pasta or zucchini noodles for a delicious and nourishing meal.

It can be hard to eat healthfully, but I believe that if you eat clean, whole foods 80% of the time, then you can indulge the other 20%. Cupcakes will always have a place in my life. As will bread, pasta, butter, cheese, and red meat. Food is a very personal thing. People have very strong beliefs on what makes a good diet and how we should be feeding ourselves. The recipes I give you represent the choices that I make.

These days, I do try a gluten-free or Paleo recipe every now and then, so I started to look into these specific ways of cooking and I realized that there are countless recipes adapted for these diets. If you are trying to eat healthier or incorporate more whole foods into your diet, these healthy turkey meatballs are are a great recipe to start with. I have made these meatballs once or twice a month since I came up with them. They are simple, clean, really flavorful, and they’re a delicious topping to an easy baked pasta or zucchini noodles.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • This is an easy low fat, dairy and gluten free meal that can be adapted to fit your dietary requirements.
  • These meatballs are packed full of protein and have an amazing flavor, thanks to the herbs mixed in.
  • They’re unbelievably simple to make and can be made ahead for future meals.
  • You can sneak some extra vegetables into your diet and not even notice it.

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • 6 large basil leaves
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 large sprig of rosemary
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley
  • 1 handful arugula or spinach
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cups tomato sauce
super clean turkey meatballs recipe

How to Make Healthy Turkey Meatballs – The Steps

Step 1: Combine the onion, garlic, herbs, and arugula in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until very finely chopped.

super clean turkey meatball recipe

Step 2: Transfer to a large bowl and add turkey, salt, and pepper.

super clean turkey meatballs

Step 3: Mix gently to combine.

super clean turkey meatball recipe

Step 4: Form into balls. I use an ice cream scoop to portion, then roll them with my hands.

super clean turkey meatball recipe

Step 5: Heat olive oil in a large nonstick pan. Cook in batches, until browned all over, about 3 to 4 minutes.

super clean turkey meatball recipe

Step 5: Heat the tomato sauce over low heat and simmer. Transfer your meatballs to the sauce to finish cooking, about 30 minutes. Serve over whole wheat pasta, zucchini, or on a salad. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if you like.

super clean turkey meatball recipe

Serving Suggestions

These healthy turkey meatballs would really go great on top of anything and can make for a filling and nutritious lunch or dinner. I like mine served over whole wheat pasta, a salad, or zucchini noodles. You can also serve them with another pasta recipe, like my orzo pasta, or have them alongside roasted vegetables and brown rice. I top mine with Parmesan cheese, but you can also serve yours with a vegan cheese alternative or Brazil nuts.

Make-Ahead

I always make a double batch of these meatballs and freeze some for another night. This recipe is a great option for meal prepping or batch cooking, as you can simply double or triple the recipe, let your meatballs cool, and then freeze them. And because they’re already cooked, you can reheat them straight from the freezer in the oven or stove top and you have another easy meal ready in minutes.

FAQs

What makes these turkey meatballs healthy?

Unlike some pork or beef meatballs, these are low in fat and better for your heart. They’re packed full of protein and omit breadcrumbs, which are often used in meatball recipes. And, you can eat these on a low carb, low fat, dairy free, and gluten free diet.

Can I skip the browning step and go straight to baking these in the oven?

You can, but I wouldn’t recommend skipping the stove top step. Because there’s no fat, browning the meatballs build more flavor – but if you’d rather skip this step, they’ll still taste good!

Can I use a different meat for this recipe?

You can use ground chicken instead of turkey and they’ll yield fairly similar meatballs. If you prefer to use beef or pork, they’ll still taste amazing but I wouldn’t consider them super clean or healthy anymore.

How to Store Healthy Turkey Meatballs

Let everything cool before loading your meatballs and sauce into an airtight container. They’ll keep well in the refrigerator for 4 days and you can reheat them easily in a pan over the stove on a medium-low heat.

If you prefer to freeze them, you can keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months, just wrap them up tightly after letting them cool. When reheating, either defrost them in the refrigerator overnight or let your meatballs stand at room temperature until the sauce has softened, and stick them in a pan on the stove until they’re heated through.

Healthy Turkey Meatballs

bakedbree
When you are trying to eat clean, these healthy turkey meatballs are a great dinner option. Pair them with a whole wheat pasta or zucchini noodles for a delicious and nourishing meal.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Meat
Cuisine American
Servings 15 – 20 meatballs
Calories 468 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • 6 large basil leaves
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 large sprig of rosemary
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley
  • 1 handful arugula or spinach
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cups tomato sauce

Instructions
 

  • Combine the onion, garlic, herbs, and arugula in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until very finely chopped.
  • Transfer to a large bowl and add turkey, salt, and pepper. Mix gently to combine.
  • Form into balls. I use an ice cream scoop to portion, then roll them with my hands.
  • Heat olive oil in a large nonstick pan. Cook in batches, until browned all over, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Heat the tomato sauce over low heat to simmer. Transfer to the sauce to finish cooking, about 30 minutes.
  • Serve over whole wheat pasta, zucchini, or on a salad.

Notes

TIP: To mince garlic quickly, carefully drop whole cloves into your food processor thorugh the funnel while it's running.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 468kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 34gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 1825mgFiber: 6gSugar: 10g
Keyword healthy turkey meatballs, turkey meatballs
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