These Italian Turkey Meatballs are the definition of a PERFECT meatball! The method in this simple recipe makes turkey meatballs that taste great, are tender, with the perfectly moist texture, and the flavor is out of this world! They are perfect for spaghetti and meatballs or meatball subs, but also flavorful enough to just eat all on their own. Both the kids and adults in our family beg for more of these Italian style Turkey Meatballs!
Italian Turkey Meatballs Recipe
I had never been much of a meatball person until I discovered that my super picky eater actually loved meatballs! So I did what I do when I decide to learn to make something and that is try roughly a thousand recipes and then combine and modify them until we get to one that is just perfect for our family.
This Turkey Meatball recipe is it! I always thought meatballs were kind of dry and bland, but these completely turned my opinion around about meatballs and turned them into a family favorite. Traditional meatballs use beef and pork, but we prefer leaner meats in our family, so we were able to take ground turkey and still keep it super flavorful even without the higher fat content cuts of meat.
These meatballs are so tender and have the perfect texture. I hate to use the word moist because it such a terrible word, but that is exactly what these are. They are not even the slightest bit dry, but they still hold together perfectly despite being so tender!
If you are looking for the perfect meatball, give these a try and let me know what you think! Also, you may want to try out some of my other easy ground turkey recipes like my favorite homemade Taco Meat or these Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats.
How to Serve Italian Turkey Meatballs
These meatballs make a fantastic dinner option! There are several ways to serve them and quite a few ideas for side dishes that work perfectly to round out the meal. If you serve them as the main dish, you can pair them with a few sides to make a wholesome meal.
Side Dishes that go with Meatballs
- Sautéed Green Beans
- Side Salad
- Sautéed Spinach
- Roasted Cauliflower
- Garlic Bread
- Pasta or Zoodles
Meatball Recipe Ideas
- Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Meatballs tossed with Marinara over roasted veggies
- Meatball Subs
- Meatball Soup
- Meatball Sliders
- Meatball Pizza
- Meatball Stuffed Shells
I love serving the meatballs one way for dinner the first time I make it, then putting the leftovers in the fridge or freezer and using them again later in the week or month and serving in a completely new way. This makes dinner quick and easy to make and the family doesn’t feel like they are eating the same thing over and over again!
How to Make Turkey Meatballs
This recipe is pretty simple, however I am going to walk through it here with you in a little more detail so that it will hopefully answer any more specific questions you have as you start to cook.
The Italian Turkey Meatballs FULL printable recipe card is at the bottom of the post also for your convenience.
Italian Turkey Meatballs Ingredients
- Ground turkey- You can use either the lean ground turkey or the extra lean. Both will give you a great result in this recipe.
- Plain dried bread crumbs- Try to find regular bread crumbs (not panko) that are unseasoned. If you can only find the Italian seasoned bread crumbs or you just already have those on hand, you can use them and omit the Italian seasoning below.
- Milk- Whatever milk you keep in your fridge will work.
- Olive oil
- Onion, diced- I like to try to get as fine of a dice on the onion as I can. This helps the onion to just kind of disappear into the meatball and make it hold it’s moisture without getting onion chunks in it.
- Eggs- You can slightly beat them or just add them straight in
- Fresh parsley, chopped- A fine chop works best on this also
- Garlic, pressed- I really recommend using fresh garlic for the most flavor!
- Red pepper flakes- These do not at all make the dish spicy but do help give it a little depth of flavor!
- Italian seasoning
- Grated parmesan cheese- These add a lot of flavor to the meatballs and help bind them together!
Italian Turkey Meatballs Instructions
- Preheat oven to 375˚F.
- Combine the bread crumbs, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning in a large bowl, then add the parmesan, eggs, onion, parsley, garlic. Pour in the milk and olive oil and mix to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes so that the dry ingredients start to soak up the wet ingredients. Letting it sit will help the rest of the ingredients to combine into the meat better and more evenly. It also helps the moisture to stay in the meatball as it cooks since it is absorbed into the breadcrumbs in the mixture.
- Add the ground turkey into the bread crumb mixture and work it in until it is evenly mixed. You might need to use your hands to get everything combined well. With that said, try to only work it until it is combined and don’t over do it because that can make them tougher.
- Form the turkey into 2 inch balls and place evenly spaced on a greased cookie sheet. The mixture will be very sticky and wet, but this is what makes them come out so delicious in the end, so don’t worry! Just do the best you can and know that you are going to get messy!
Bake for 25-35 minutes or until cooked through (internal temp of 165˚F) . The cooking time can vary based on your oven, altitude, climate, size of the meatball and other factors. You can check for doneness with a meat thermometer.
- Remove from cookie sheet and serve over spaghetti or your favorite way. Because these are SO tender and moist, when you remove them from the oven, there may be some excess liquid or fat that has cooked out and appears white on the cookie sheet. I just remove it from the meatball and transfer them to sauce or serving dish. This is totally normal!
I really hope that you and your family love this Turkey Meatball recipe as much as we do! This is a classic recipe that is tried and true and regularly requested around here.
If you do get a chance to try it, I would love it if you let me know! You can leave me a comment below, or if you post a picture on Instagram, make sure to tag me @easyfamilyrecipes so that I can see what you are cooking up! It makes my day to see others enjoying the recipes that I share!
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Italian Turkey Meatballs
- 2 lbs ground turkey
- 1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
- 2 Tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 bunch fresh parsley chopped
- 3 cloves garlic pressed
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375˚F.
- Combine the bread crumbs, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning in a large bowl, then add the parmesan, eggs, onion, parsley, garlic. Pour in the milk and olive oil and mix to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes so that the dry ingredients start to soak up the wet ingredients.
- Add the ground turkey into the mixture and work it in until it is evenly mixed. You might need to use your hands.
- Form the turkey into 2 inch balls and place evenly spaced on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until cooked through (internal temp of 165˚F)
- Remove from cookie sheet and serve over spaghetti or your favorite way. Enjoy!
- The leftover turkey meatballs can be stored in the:
- Refrigerator for 3-4 days
- Freezer for up to a month
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)