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Turkey Meatballs, A Favorite Family Recipe

Updated on September 9, 2012
4.8 stars from 5 ratings of Turkey Meatballs

These delicious meatballs taste just as good if not better than their red meat counterparts. Turkey is far cheaper than beef, plus you get all the wonderful benefits of eating turkey.

Turkey is lower in saturated fat while still being an excellent source of protein. One four ounce serving has about 32 grams of protein. It's also a great source of vitamins B3 and B6. These are essential for helping your body make the most out of the protein you eat plus B6 helps brain function. On top of all that it contains selenium. This mineral is needed for the thyroid and immune system to function properly. It also plays an important role in the antioxidant defense system, helping reduce the risk of cancer.

Still want to make your meatballs out of beef?

Source: livestrong.com

Cook Time

Prep time: 40 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 55 min
Yields: Serves 6

Eat quickly... they disappear fast!

Like the idea of substituting turkey for beef? Try this family favorite!

Turkey Lasagna Recipe

The pictures were taken when I was making a quadruple batch for a family get together. I single batch will make enough for about 6 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 slices bread, cubed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, or 3 Tbsp. fresh italian herbs
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
  • 1 large egg
  • olive oil for frying
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  1. In a large bowl place your turkey and bread cubes. Don't bother mixing just yet. I have you do this first so the turkey has time to come up to room temperature before cooking. This ensures tender, juicy meatballs.
  2. Make sure your onion is finely chopped and your garlic minced. In a frying pan saute the onions and garlic in the 2 tablespoons of butter until the onions just become translucent.
  3. Let the onion mixture cool just a couple minutes then add to the bowl with the turkey.
  4. Add the Italian seasoning or herbs, parmesan cheese and egg to the bowl of turkey. Use your hands to thoroughly blend all the ingredients together.
  5. In a large frying pan heat up some olive oil. Just enough to coat the bottom of the pan.
  6. Once the oil is heated roll 1 1/2-2 inch meatballs and add them to the pan. Try to work quickly. If you want to take your time rolling them don't add them to the pan but make a plate of raw meatballs and then add them all at once to the pan. Place them so they don't touch. If your pan isn't big enough you'll have to make them in batches.
  7. Cover the pan and let cook about 8-10 minutes, or just until the bottoms are caramelized but not burnt.
  8. Uncover and turn the balls over and let brown on all sides... this should take a few minutes per side.
  9. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel lined plate. Serve warm. We like them both plain or on top of our favorite pasta. If you're making spaghetti you can take them out of the frying pan and put them right into the sauce pan. Let them soak up the pasta sauce and add their own wonderful flavor.

What do you like to cook with more, red meat or poultry?

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    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      A yummy recipe! I have eaten meatballs at some hotels but have not made them at home. This is something I would like to try soon. Here, we eat only fish, chicken and mutton(lamb). I decided to make chicken meatballs. Chicken is also as healthy as turkey. An engaging hub with the direct instructions, handy step-by-step photos and above all, delicious looking photo! Well-done!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Interesting. Voted up, pinned and socially shared

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Ishwaryaa, Chicken will substitute seamlessly in this recipe and make even softer meatballs, wonderful choice ^_^ Thank you so much for your kind words and your generous votes and shares! You are too kind ^_^

    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 4 years ago from Europe

      Great idea. I usually elimate the onions because they keep falling off.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      MamaKim, another winning recipe from you that I have pinned and plan on trying for my family. Have also voted and shared too!!!!

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      I use a lot of ground turkey.. this look s like a wonder recipe. I do like my spaghetti and meatballs.. I just made lasagna with ground turkey over the weekend.. delicious.. I am sharing on cooking time.. Facebook

      Debbie

    • Alexandria Joy profile image

      Alexandria Taberski 4 years ago from Loveland, CO

      looks delicious.

    • sangre profile image

      Sp Greaney 4 years ago from Ireland

      So glad I found this recipe as I have begin to run out of mince turkey recipes.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      kikalina, The onions add such great flavor. Maybe if you chop them really fine they'll stay ^_^ thank you for your visit.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Janine, thank you so much!! You're very generous ^_^ I do hope your family loves them as much as mine. My 3 year old stands by me and asks for "chicken please" while I cook them... I end up feeding him little pieces - like a little puppy-dog. ^_^

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Deborah, That's fantastic you use ground turkey so much, I do too. I always make my traditional lasagna with turkey... it really tastes better doesn't it ^_^ Thank you so much for your wonderful comment and share!!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Alexandria, Thank you ^_^

      Sangre, It makes me happy to know this will be added to your collection. Thank you so much for your comment.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      This is making me so hungry! lol! seriously I know other people say it but trust me its true! wonderful recipe, thanks and rated up!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Nell, Thank you ^_^ You're too kind. Now that I'm looking at it... I'm wondering how quick I can make dinner ^_^

    • OldRoses profile image

      Caren White 4 years ago from Franklin Park, NJ

      This sounds wonderful! I never thought of using ground turkey. I can't wait to try it. Do you also have a good sauce recipe???

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Sounds like a must pin!! Now turkey and meatballs... Both my favorites!! Shared.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I do love turkey meatballs, but my family prefers the beef. Your recipe is very good and one that I am going to try to make soon -- for myself.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Your recipe sounds good. Ever boiled your meatballs in broth?

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Old Roses, Thank you for your lovely comment ^_^ As for my sauce recipe... I missed my chance to do a proper hub on it... but I searched the internet recipes and found one that's close..

      http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Fresh-Tomato-Basil-Sa...

      The only noticeable difference is I would double the garlic ^_^ I usually make huge batches and freeze is in serving size portions. Sometimes before serving I add some heavy cream to the sauce for a special treat... that's what I did for the sauce in the pictures. Hope that helps! Hope you enjoy my friend ^_^

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Michelle ^_^ Your pin button is getting a good workout ^_^ Thank you so much for your wonderful comment and shares, you are a wonderful friend ^_^

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      teaches, How funny ^_^ my family's the opposite. I too have to cook just for myself sometimes ^_^ there's just some things people can be so picky about. I hope you enjoy and thank you for your lovely comment, always great to hear from you. ^_^

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Mhatter, Hmm.. I've baked, deep fried, pan fried and cooked them in tomato sauce... but have never boiled them in broth ^_^ Now that sounds like one I'll have to try! Sounds healthier. Thanks for the idea and for your comment.

    • joanwz profile image

      Joan Whetzel 4 years ago from Katy, Texas

      Yum! THese look great, and so easy too.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Mama Kim, these look great! I will have to give these a try! Thank you. Voted up and more.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Joanwz, Thank you for stopping by and leaving a nice comment ^_^

      Terrye, Thank you so much! Your comment and votes are wonderful ^_^ I hope you enjoy them.

    • iguidenetwork profile image

      iguidenetwork 4 years ago from Austin, TX

      Mmmmmm-mmmmm! Seeing these makes me crave for a spaghetti with lots of meat balls. It seems easy to make as well. :)

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      MamaKim, these sound so yummy! The garlic and onion would make them absolutely delicious. I agree that ground turkey is the way to go! Voted up and shared.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Chaz, thank you for the lovely comment... now that you mention it I could go for a big plate myself right about now. ^_^

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Vespa, Lovely to see you ^_^ thank you for your generous comment my friend! You can't go wrong with garlic and onions... It's a match made in food heaven ^_^

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I completely missed this one; sigh! I love meatballs and this recipe looks fantastic. I'm a big turkey fan and actually like turkey burgers more than beef. Thanks for the tip!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Thank you Bill! My family prefers ground turkey over beef as well. ^_^

    • profile image

      ignugent17 4 years ago

      Yum yum looks so good and my plate is ready for my servings.

      Thanks for sharing Mama Kim 8.

      Voted up and more!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I use ground turkey a lot..this recipe sounds really good. I was getting bored with all the old ones. Thanks for sharing..Vote UP.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Thank you Meldz!! I'm sorry I took so long to reply! If you came over for dinner I'd fill you up so much you'd need to be carried home ^_^ Thank you so much for your wonderful comment and votes! Always lovely to hear from you my friend.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Carol, I too use a lot of ground turkey... I almost always sub ground beef with it. I'm so happy you like this recipe ^_^ Thank you for your lovely comment and vote!!

    • Laceylinks profile image

      Mary Green 4 years ago from Alabama

      My daughter and I love spaghetti and meatballs, but I usually use beef meatballs. I'm definitely going to try the turkey kind, I think it would be healthier, don't you?

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Lacey, Absolutely healthier ^_^ My family actually prefers the turkey taste as well. Thank you for your great comment and I hope you and your daughter enjoy!

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 4 years ago from Thailand

      Unfortunately a meat that is very hard to find in this part of the world. However, the meal looks awesome! Maybe when I'm on holiday in the UK next ...

      Shared, up and useful.

    • viewfinders profile image

      viewfinders 4 years ago from God's own country(kerala)

      Looks great,going for a try....

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Fantastic idea! Have to try it soon. I am always looking for new ideas for meal, don't want my family to get bored, LOL.

      Thanks, voting up and useful.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Brett, If there is chicken available then you could use that... and it's even better if you grind it yourself ^_^ Even my Korean mother in law likes to make her mandu with ground chicken... it is THE best mandu EVER! ^_^ Maybe.... I'll write a hub for it someday.

      Thank you so much for your comment and wonderful support!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Viewfinders, Thank you! I hope you enjoy ^_^

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      La Thing, Food never tastes as good when your bored ^_^ lol. I hope you and your family enjoy! Thank you for your great comment and the votes ^_^

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 4 years ago from Essex, UK

      Sounds like a great idea for those who want a healthier option to beef. And a well written recipe too. (I like the look of the sauce too!) Mmm - Starting to feel hungry! Alun.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Thank you Alun! ^_^ The sauce is a traditional tomato basil with about a 1/4-1/3 ratio of heavy cream added while warming it up.

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 4 years ago from Essex, UK

      Thanks for the recipe! I'll have to get some cream.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      You won't be disappointed I'm sure Alun ^_^ Enjoy!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Nice healthy recipe. Would love to try it out. Voted up/useful and shared.

    • iguidenetwork profile image

      iguidenetwork 4 years ago from Austin, TX

      Turkeys are tasty and rich in protein but compared to beef they are more healthful. This is the spaghetti with meatballs that I'm sure I won't be at least guilty. Thanks for sharing, will definitely try it out for me and my family. Voted up and awesome.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Thank you Rajan!! I'm so happy you like it and thanks for all the support ^_^

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      I'm so glad you and I are on the same page Iguidenetwork! I hope you and your family enjoy and thank you for your great comment and votes ^_^

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