I love my classic homemade meatballs recipe, but ground beef is getting expensive lately! So when ground beef is out of budget or I’m craving a lightly lighter flavor, I’ll make these super easy Turkey Meatballs. These meatballs freeze well, so consider making a double batch and freezing half for a rainy day. Spaghetti and meatballs is the ultimate quick weeknight dinner, especially when you’ve got homemade turkey meatballs in the freezer ready to go. 😏
Ingredients for Turkey Meatballs
These turkey meatballs are incredibly easy to make and only require eight simple ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make them:
- Ground Turkey: I used 93% lean ground turkey, which keeps the flavor light but still has enough fat to keep the meatballs from drying out. I don’t suggest using 99% lean ground turkey as it may result in tough meatballs.
- Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs combine with the egg to help bind the turkey together to keep the turkey meatballs from falling apart. They also hold moisture, which helps keep the meatballs tender.
- Egg: The egg combines with the breadcrumbs to bind the meatballs together and prevent them from falling apart.
- Italian Seasoning: A simple store-bought Italian seasoning blend provides tons of herbal flavor to the meatballs.
- Other Seasoning: I’ve also added some garlic and onion powder for a little depth and of course the classics, salt and pepper!
- Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan gives an extra boost of rich umami flavor to the meatballs, making them extra satisfying and drool-worthy!
Baking is my favorite method for making meatballs because it’s hands-off, but you can also make these turkey meatballs in an air fryer or a skillet. Here is how to cook turkey meatballs with each of the three methods:
Oven Baked Meatballs: Bake the meatballs at 400ºF for 20 minutes. Or, bake for 15 minutes and transfer the meatballs to a hot skillet with butter to cook for the remaining five minutes, which gives them a nice golden brown exterior.
Air Fryer Meatballs: Preheat the air fryer to 400ºF. Cook the meatballs for 8 minutes, shaking once half-way through, or until cooked through and golden brown on the outside. Cook in batches to avoid overcrowding the basket and preventing airflow.
Skillet: Cook the meatballs in a skillet with olive oil over medium heat until browned on each side and cooked through (about 2-3 minutes on each side). Cook in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.
How to Freeze Meatballs
These turkey meatballs freeze really well and make for delicious weeknight dinners later. To freeze the meatballs, pack them in an air-tight container after cooking and chill completely before transferring to the freezer where they can be stored for about three months. To reheat the meatballs, simply add them to a pot of red sauce and simmer until heated through. Or, allow them to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then heat through in a skillet with butter or oil.
What to Serve with Turkey Meatballs
I love serving these meatballs with a simple tomato sauce over a bed of pasta, but they’d pair equally as well with an Alfredo sauce. You could also drop them into a pot of soup, like Minestrone. And don’t forget the garlic bread and a simple salad on the side!
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
- Add the ground turkey to a separate large bowl, then add the egg and breadcrumb mixture. Use your hands to mix everything together until evenly combined. Try not to overmix as this can make the meatballs tough.
- Divide and shape the meat mixture into 16 meatballs, about two tablespoons each. To easily divide the meat evenly, first divide it into quarters, then divide each quarter into four pieces.
- Place the shaped meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Transfer the meatballs to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through. If you prefer more browning, bake the meatballs for 15 minutes, then transfer the meatballs to a hot skillet with butter and sauté until brown, about five minutes. Serve and enjoy!
Air Fryer Instructions:
- Preheat the air fryer to 400ºF. Air fry the meatballs for about 8 minutes, or until well browned and cooked through. Shake the meatballs half-way through cooking to turn the meatballs and achieve even browning. Cook in batches to avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket.
Stove Top Instructions:
- Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add the meatballs (work in batches of about 8). Cook the meatballs in the hot skillet until browned on all sides and cooked through (about 2-3 minutes each side).
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How to Make Turkey Meatballs
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a bowl, combine ½ cup plain breadcrumbs, 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan, 2 tsp Italian seasoning, ½ tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper.
Add one pound of ground turkey to a bowl along with one large egg and the breadcrumb mixture. Use your hands to mix the ingredients together until evenly combined, taking care not to overmix.
Divide and shape the meat mixture into 16 meatballs, placing them on a parchment-baking sheet as you go. To divide them evenly, first divide the mixture in half, then in half again until you have four equal portions. Then take each portion and divide it into four, rolling them into meatballs as you go.
Once the turkey meatballs are all shaped, they’re ready to bake.
Bake the meatballs in the preheated 400ºF oven for 20 minutes, OR bake for 15 minutes and finish in a skillet to achieve more browning (shown baked for 15 minutes above).
I like to finish cooking the meatballs in a skillet with a little butter or oil to get a nice brown finish.
Enjoy the turkey meatballs as-is, or with your favorite sauce!