Super Clean Turkey Meatballs

super clean turkey meatballs recipe

Super Clean Turkey Meatballs – When you are trying to eat clean these turkey meatballs are dairy and gluten free. And a list of healthy bloggers.

A few weeks ago on my Facebook page I asked my readers what kinds of recipes they would like to see this summer. To say that the response was overwhelming would be an understatement. Many of you would like to see more Paleo recipes featured. Many of you would like gluten-free recipes. Some would like vegan and raw options. Some wanted straight up chocolate all day every day (Can you blame them?)

While I do feature recipes that fall into these categories from time to time, it does not represent what I cook for my family every day – which is what this blog is all about. I believe that if you eat really well (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.

I have to be honest, a few weeks ago a reader called me out for an excessive use of butter and it hurt my feelings. I was accused of not caring about heart health. Even though I already knew this deep down, I realized then that I couldn’t please everyone. I do care about heart health. I care a lot about the health of my family and of my readers. I know that not everyone eats the way I do; sometimes I give options in the headnotes of my posts. For example, I may tag a recipe as vegetarian and suggest ways to adapt the recipe to that specific diet. I guess what I am getting at is that I am not well versed in some of these ways to eat and I am okay with that. I will make mistakes and get it wrong sometimes. I can’t please everyone, so I am going to keep doing what I am doing. If a recipe calls for too much butter, skip it. You won’t hurt my feelings. These days, I do try a gluten-free or Paleo recipe every now and then, so if I find some good ones you know that I will share it with you.

I started to look into these specific ways of cooking and I realized that some of the best and most creative cooks on the Internet have blogs that feature these diets. I decided to compile a list of some of my favorite blogs. Categorized by type, some of these blogs overlap. If you are Paleo, you don’t eat gluten, and some whole living blogs are also vegan or raw. You see what I am getting at, right? If you have some time, check them out. I spent the afternoon perusing so many new-to-me blogs and cannot wait to try some new recipes.

For my 37th birthday, I treated myself to a signed copy of Gwyneth Paltrow’s new book, It’s All Good. The reviews poked a lot of fun at GP; some of the recipes are not really recipes, and some are a trifle elitist, but I really do like some of the recipes in this book. If you are trying to eat healthier or incorporate more whole foods into your diet, this is a great book to start with. I have made these meatballs once or twice a month since. They are simple and clean, and really flavorful. I always make a double batch and freeze some for another night.

super clean turkey meatballs recipePaleo Blogs:

Nom Nom Paleo –
Robb Wolf –
Whole9 –
Everyday Paleo –
Rubies and Radishes –
The Domestic Man
The Primal Parent –
Practical Paleo –
Balanced Bites –
Food Lovers’ Primal Palate –
The Clothes Make The Girl –
The Fit Daffy –
Jen’s Gone Paleo –
Radiance Nutrition –
Ancestralize Me –
Health-Bent –
Mark’s Daily Apple –
Modern Paleo Warfare –

Healthy Living:
101 Cookbooks –
Sarah Wilson – I Quit Sugar –
Naturally Ella –
Chocolate and Carrots –
Chocolate Covered Katie –
The Flourishing Foodie –
Deliciously Organic –
Love and Lemons –
Cookie and Kate –
Family Fresh Cooking –
The Clever Carrot –
The Nourishing Gourmet –
100 Days of Real Food –
Sprouted Kitchen –
The Healthy Apple –
My New Roots –
This Homemade Life –
An Unprocessed Life –
The First Mess –

Oh She Glows –
Have Cake Will Travel –
Vegan Yum Yum –
My Kind of Life –
Get Sconed –
Bittersweet –
Manifest Vegan –
Post Punk Kitchen –
Jennifer’s Kitchen –
The Kind Life –
Cake maker to the Stars –
Fork and Beans –
Olives for Dinner –

Gluten Free:
In Johnna’s Kitchen –
Roost –
Gluten Free on a Shoestring –
Tartelette –
La Tartine Gourmande –
No Gluten No Problem –
Celiac Chicke –
Simply Gluten-Free –
Aubergine and Butterbean –
The Baking Beauties –
Baking Backwards –
With Style and Grace –
Gluten-Free Goddess –

super clean turkey meatballs recipe1 small onion (sometimes I use a few green onions)
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 pound ground turkey (I like to use breast)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 Tablespoons olive oil
4 cups tomato sauce of your choice

super clean turkey meatball recipeHere’s a tip – to easily mince garlic in the food processor, drop them in through the funnel while it is running.

super clean turkey meatball recipeCombine the onion, garlic, herbs, and arugula in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until very finely chopped.

super clean turkey meatballsTransfer to a large bowl and add turkey, salt, and pepper.

super clean turkey meatball recipeMix gently to combine.

super clean turkey meatball recipeForm into balls. I use an ice cream scoop to portion, then roll them with my hands.

super clean turkey meatball recipeHeat olive oil in a large nonstick pan. Cook in batches, until browned all over, about 3 to 4 minutes.

super clean turkey meatball recipeHeat the tomato sauce over low heat to warm. Transfer to simmering 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 Meatballs

Super Clean Turkey Meatballs

Super Clean Turkey Meatballs - make these when you are trying to keep it clean. Fresh herbs really come through.


  • 1 small onion (sometimes I use a few green onions)
  • 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 pound ground turkey (I like to use breast)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups tomato sauce of your choice


  1. 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.
  2. Heat the tomato sauce over low heat to warm. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick pan. Cook in batches, until browned all over, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to simmering sauce to finish cooking, about 30 minutes.
  3. Serve over whole wheat pasta, zucchini, or on a salad.
Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Oh hey there!

Well, hello there! I’m Bree Hester, the Boston-based blogger and food photographer here at Baked Bree. Here you can get lots of weeknight meal inspiration, eat more plant-based meals, and still indulge in a decadent sweet treat. Baked Bree is a place where you will find great recipes and inspiration for your next family adventure.

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This Post Has 60 Comments

  1. Peabody (Culinary Concoctions by Peabody)

    I was hoping for links to all chocolate blogs. 🙂 Or at least the 20% ones.

    Ignore the reader and their excessive butter comment. I get told horrible things all the time about how my recipes are what’s wrong with America. I ignore them or if I am feeling fiery I write back that it’s a good thing I’m half Canadian that way I’m only half the problem. 😛

    1. bakedbree

      Lol. I get that comment too, that doesn’t bother me as much. Not caring about hearts, well, stabbed me in the heart.

  2. Ashlee

    Aw! Thank you so much for including my site! 🙂

    1. bakedbree

      My pleasure! It is a lovely blog.

  3. melissa vanni

    I am with you Bree, 80% clean eating 20% cupcakes!!
    Thank you for the great list of blogs and the meatballs look delish!

    1. bakedbree

      Let’s eat cupcakes together Melissa!

  4. Morgan

    I think your honesty about who you are and who you are not is refreshing, and highly respectable!

    1. bakedbree

      Thanks Morgan! 🙂

  5. Mary Soucy

    These sound wonderful. I think when I make them, I will add extra herb and onion & garlic and add a couple of tablespoons to the tomato sauce. It’s such a flavorful blend — much better than anything I can get in a can! Thank you for another wonderful recipe!

    1. bakedbree

      You are welcome Mary!

  6. Kiran @

    Omg! Love all the herbs in this meatball recipe. And about reader’s comment, sometimes it’s just best to read it and that’s it. You can’t please everyone. xoxo

    1. bakedbree

      Thanks Kiran! My herb garden is going crazy right now, so I happy to use so many in one recipe.

  7. ASU

    My beef with the butter blogs is when butter and cheese and bacon added to a recipe is treated as funny. Add a huge amount of butter…then comes the joke about butter. If you’re going to cook with butter, just do it, don’t make a joke about it. (That is not the singular you, that is in the collect you of cooking blog writers.)

    Watching my husband recover from heart surgery at 41 was not fun. Seeing him have a stroke at 39 was not fun. The hospital serving him sweet and sour pork as his first meal after his heart attack was not funny. Don’t think I am talking about an obese man here – he hiked, played basketball, soccer. It can happen to people that don’t show the signs.

    Food isn’t funny. It is what we choose to eat. Heart disease is not funny. I don’t wish what we went through on anyone. Becoming healthy vegans was not easy and it isn’t as glamorous as butter and bacon and cheese – it just doesn’t photograph as well! But I hope we did it soon enough. I don’t want to lose him, that is no joke.

    1. bakedbree

      I am not making any jokes, and I don’t really think that post was making fun of the way that anyone eats. And I have to disagree, I think that vegan food can photograph beautifully!

  8. Johnna

    Love the photo of the garlic thru the food processor chute. I bet these smell terrific while cooking! And thanks, also, for including me in this list. I have discovered several blogs that are new to me. You’re a great resource!

    1. bakedbree

      These do smell good when cooking. These have quickly become my go-to dinner. Thankfully, my herb garden is overflowing!

  9. Jody

    Wow! What a great list. It must have taken quite some time to compile. Thank you. I can’t wait to check them out.

    1. bakedbree

      It did, but I found some great blogs!

  10. Tieghan Gerard

    These look incredible!

    1. bakedbree

      they are! Really flavorful, and super clean. These are a staple around here.

  11. June G.

    These look delicious and I will definitely be making them! I believe everything in moderation, we are an 80/20 family too. I love to bake and I make homemade meals 97%of the time. Mama needs a break sometimes:) If your readers don’t like what you’ve made on a given day, well, they don’t have to make it! Just make what you and your family like. People are so rude for no reason in this age of social anonymity. They can just suck it!

    1. bakedbree

      So true. People can hide behind a computer screen and feel powerful. We all do the best we can.

  12. Julie L.

    If people don’t like what you cook then they should come up with their own recipes instead of relying on others. Everything in moderation as Julia Child always said. I think your recipes are well balanced, interesting and not too complicated. Something that any mother knows is critical. In the end, it can be the healthiest recipe on the planet but if the kid won’t eat it, what’s the point?

    Keep doing what you’re doing!

    1. bakedbree

      I agree! Completely!

  13. Daphne

    Firstly, thanks for including me on your lovely blog (seriously, I’m in love with it!)!

    Secondly, I don’t see what the problem is with usage of butter, so long as it’s pastured. There’s so many misconceptions on saturated fats it’s seriously flabbergasting. Quick Bio 101 lesson: medium-chain saturated fats like the ones found in coconuts and pastured dairy are actually the BEST things one can do for one’s health, ESPECIALLY when it comes to heart health and cholesterol.

    Anyway, thanks for including me on your list! Can’t wait to see more of your goodies! 😀

    1. bakedbree

      You are very welcome! Your blog is wonderful too!

  14. Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine)

    It’s your blog, about your family, and you should feel comfortable blogging about whatever you’d like. But, it’s great you’re exploring new ways of eating as well. Butter? Excessive? NEVAAAAR. Hehe. Just keep doing what you’re doing 🙂

    1. bakedbree

      Thank you Ashley! I know that, but sometimes those comments sting a little. Thanks for the support.

  15. Becky

    Please continue to post whatever recipes you choose! It’s your blog. If someone doesn’t agree or like a recipe, then they don’t have to make it. I can’t believe someone would call you out on butter….seriously ridiculous! Have a wonderful weekend.

    1. bakedbree

      Lol Becky… you can’t make everyone happy. I happen to love butter, and am not going to apologize for it.

  16. Shannon

    It’s easy for us to tell you to ignore rude comments, but they still hurt. Some people are opinionated and rude, and it’s difficult knowing how to react to them.

    I have always found your blog to be pleasant and never preachy. You have NEVER indicated that you are an expert in nutritional health. You are one person who loves to cook and is making small changes to feed her family the way you see fit. The fact that you share your recipes with us is wonderful.

    Everyone has different dietary restrictions and preferences. I have sensitivities to gluten, dairy, yeast, chocolate, sugar, oregano, onions, garlic. When I see one of your recipes, I eliminate and add according to my and my family’s preferences and sensitivities.

    It’s just food, people. Bree gives us a base and we can follow it to the measurement, or adapt it however we see fit. That’s what makes cooking so fun!

    1. bakedbree

      Thank you Shannon, I appreciate your kind words and support.

  17. Laura

    Thanks so much for including my site in this awesome link list, Bree. So many healthy vibes! And I love GP’s book quite a bit. I know it’s been fodder for mockery by most major critiquing bodies, but whatever. It’s fairly accessible and if it makes people want to live a little more vibrantly, I’m all for that. Happy weekend to you! 🙂

    1. bakedbree

      You are so welcome! I like the book a lot too, it is a good place to start.

  18. Kathy

    Great list of blogs! I’m eager to check some of them out.

    1. bakedbree

      There are so many great ones! Have fun!

  19. Sheila @ Sweet Baked Life

    WOW! Thanks for sharing! And loved your recipe and photos! YUM!

    1. bakedbree

      You are welcome Sheila!

  20. Anita

    These meatballs look amazing! And I love that you put them over zucchini. Totally going to make this during the week.
    I love everything you do on this blog. Every. Single. Thing. Just know that you are loved and I hope that will triumph over all the negative people out there.

    1. bakedbree

      Thank you Anita, I so appreciate your support and kind words.

  21. Jennifer

    Don’t change a thing! I love your blog because it’s real. When you write about branching out to try something new, I connect with that. I am more willing to try different things because of you…because I feel like maybe your family isn’t too different from mine. Navigating all of these ways of eating is intimidating on my own, but when I see things on your blog, I’m inspired. You make me believe that I can get dough to rise (one day) and that a little spilled flour from the “helpful” hands of my kids is ok. I know when to indulge in sinful recipes and when not to, and I’m glad that your blog is there for me…through the good days and the cheat days.

    1. bakedbree

      This about made me cry! Thank you so much. My family is no different than anyones, and I struggle every day with what to feed them. I just try to keep it real. Thanks for the support!

  22. Amy

    Butter is not that bad! I have a paragraph on it in a little book I wrote. I will send it to you. A lot of my patients are looking to lose weight and although Im a proponent of paleo, you have to indulge sometimes. Life is meant to be enjoyed. I always profess that there is a time and place for pizza and beer! I’d like to send a bunch of my patients to your website for recipe ideas. Everything looks so goood!!! Just an idea: if you had the time and its not too much work on your part, you could perhaps create a ‘low carb’ section for those who are looking for that?
    This is a great blog and a great website!

    1. bakedbree

      That is why I live by the 80/20 rule. I can add a low carb section, thanks for sending them my way.

      1. gina @ skinnytaste

        Low carb is awesome, but not always easy to cut out completely long term. Balance and moderation is the key so you can still have those cookies and chocolate!

        1. bakedbree

          I agree 100%.

  23. Shelby Medlin

    Thank you for using butter and not margarine! 😉

    Keep Baking Bree!

    1. bakedbree

      Will do! I only use real butter, nothing else!

  24. Jeanine

    Cupcakes will always have a place in my life too 🙂 Thanks for the link love!

    1. bakedbree

      My pleasure!

  25. gina @ skinnytaste

    Hi Bree, I just noticed your recipe because I did something so similar a few weeks ago with my leftover meatballs, didnt realize that was in Gweneths book, think I need that! 🙂 I get hurtful comments too, maybe not about butter, but there’s always that one person that needs to say something… ignore them!

    1. bakedbree

      Thanks Gina! You do need that book, I love it! And yes, there are lots of mean people out there. Thankfully they are the less than 1%.

  26. DC Treehugger

    I LOVE this recipe but the first couple times I made it I found that browning the meatballs on the stove was laborious and messy. Just baked the at 375 for about 20 mins instead and am crossing my fingers that they turn out just as yummy!

    1. bakedbree

      I normally would agree, but I think that they need to be browned because there is no fat. It builds flavor.

  27. Rosie

    Hey Bree,

    Great Blog !!! I was wondering if you could check out my blog and maybe list it ?

    your meatballs inspired me to make a version.

    keep up the great work

    Rosie 😀

  28. Kristin

    Hey Bree,

    Do you think that beef would work for these meatballs?

    Thanks, Kristin

    1. bakedbree

      Well, you can use beef, but they will no longer be super clean.

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