Good ‘n healthy Turkey Meatballs

Spaghetti with turkey meatballs

Need tasty hors d'oeuvres for your next gathering? Perhaps a quick, delicious lunch or scrumptious main entrée? We’ve got you covered three ways with our turkey meatballs.

Leaner than beef, turkey meatballs are healthier, packed with protein and flavor, and very moist. Turkey also provides a number of vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, and niacin, essential for the body’s energy production.

And we made ours even healthier by baking, rather than frying in oil. Serve with your favorite pasta sauce or our Pomodoro Sauce; or see our recipes below to serve as hors d’oeuvres in our Sweet-Sour Sauce for Meatballs or in our Ginger Turkey Chinese Soup for a light lunch.

Preparation time for meatballs: About 60 minutes, or less
Baking time: 20 to 30 minutes
Total time: About 1:30 hours


For Basic Meatballs

  • 2 lbs. 93/94% lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup plain, dry bread or panko crumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2-3 Tablespoons minced parsley, fresh or dry 
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder, or one small onion (about ½ cup) finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder, or one to two cloves garlic, minced, optional
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

If using meatballs in pasta sauce you may want to add

  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil


  1. Preheat oven to 350℉.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in large bowl using a large spoon or your hands. 
  3. Form meatballs into 1- or 2-inch round balls by rolling in your hands in circular motion. (1-inch meatballs are preferable for soups or hors d'oeuvres and 2-inch meatballs for pasta sauce.)
    • 1 Tablespoon makes a 1-inch meatball and 2 Tablespoons makes a 2-inch meatball.
    • Ground turkey is very moist. Coating your hands with all-purpose flour will help keep the meatballs from sticking to your hands. 
  4. Spray large cookie sheet with cooking spray and place meatballs on the sheet as they are formed. You may need to bake in two batches. 
  5. Bake 20 minutes for 1-inch meatballs; 30 minutes for 2-inch meatballs. 
  6. Remove from oven and cool. At this point you can refrigerate or freeze the meatballs until ready to use.

Makes about 48, 1-inch meatballs; 24, 2-inch meatballs.  

Nutritional Information
Per serving (4, 1-inch meatballs or 2, 2-inch meatballs): 177.6 calories; 6.3g total fat (1.4g saturated, 0.4g polyunsaturated, 0.4g monounsaturated); 249.6mg sodium; 86mg cholesterol; 7.5g carbohydrate; 0.4g fiber; 0.6g sugars; 23.3g protein; 29.2mg potassium.  

Sweet-Sour Sauce for Meatballs

This sauce makes enough for 2 lb. of meatballs.


  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup cider or white vinegar
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup lite soy sauce


  1. In 2-quart saucepan, mix ingredients. 
  2. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer a few minutes until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add prepared meatballs to sauce and simmer several minutes until heated through.

Note: Serve as hor d’oeuvres or over rice or noodles for dinner.

Nutritional Information
Per serving (4, 1-inch meatballs with sauce): 268.8 calories; 6.3g total fat (1.4g saturated, 0.4g polyunsaturated, 0.4g monounsaturated); 584.3mg sodium; 86mg cholesterol; 36.4g carbohydrate; 0.4g fiber; 21g sugars; 23.6g protein; 115.7mg potassium.

Ginger Turkey Chinese Soup


  • 2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon lite soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger, or ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil 
  • ⅛-¼  dried red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1-½ shitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced thin
  • ½ to 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 4 prepared 1-inch meatballs
  • 1 Tablespoon scallions, sliced thin


  1. Add chicken broth to 1 to 2-quart saucepan and bring to boil.
  2. Turn to low and add the soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and mushroom. 
  3. Simmer several minutes then add spinach and meatballs.
  4. Heat through several minutes.
  5. Serve in bowls and sprinkle with scallions.

Makes two, 1-½ cup servings. 

Nutritional Information
Per serving: 152.5 calories; 8.1g total fat (1.7g saturated, 1.3g polyunsaturated, 1.0g monounsaturated); 754.0mg sodium; 86mg cholesterol; 8.5g carbohydrate; 0.4g fiber; 1.6g sugars; 26.3g protein; 29.2mg potassium.

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.


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