Turkey Meatballs

$5.97 recipe / $1.49 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 2 votes
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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. 😏

Overhead view of a plate full of spaghetti with turkey meatballs on top.

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!

Cooking Options

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!

Overhead view of a bowl full of turkey meatballs with no sauce.
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Turkey Meatballs

5 from 2 votes
Homemade Turkey Meatballs are made with simple ingredients and are perfect for meal prep or a quick weeknight dinner.
Overhead view of a bowl full of spaghetti with turkey meatballs on top.
Servings 4 (4 meatballs each)
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 30 minutes



  • 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.

Baking Instructions:

  • 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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Serving: 4meatballsCalories: 213kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 31gFat: 5gSodium: 509mgFiber: 1g
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Close up of a turkey meatball on a fork with a bowl of pasta in the background.

How to Make Turkey Meatballs

Dry ingredients for turkey meatballs in a bowl, unmixed.

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.

Ground turkey, egg, and breadcrumbs in a bowl, unmixed.

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.

Meatballs being shaped and placed on a sheet pan.

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.

Shaped meatballs ready to bake.

Once the turkey meatballs are all shaped, they’re ready to bake.

Baked turkey meatballs on a sheet pan.

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).

Turkey meatballs browned in a skillet.

I like to finish cooking the meatballs in a skillet with a little butter or oil to get a nice brown finish.

Overhead close up view of turkey meatballs in a bowl, no sauce.

Enjoy the turkey meatballs as-is, or with your favorite sauce!

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  1. Super delicious!! Super flavorful! Definitely will be making a double batch next time to freeze!!

  2. These are amazing! I cooked mine in the oven to use less oil. I cooked it for about 25 minutes at 375 (no need for flour) and they came out nice and crispy on the outside and nicely cooked on the inside. I did add a good amount of red pepper flakes and sriracha to my meatballs so they had a nice kick to them but not overpowering. Skipped on the onions and went for onion powder and still tasted good!

  3. Trying these today. I needed to use up some ground turkey I’d gotten for just $0.23! So anyway I added a bunch of spices since I didn’t use the sausage. I think there was a little too much onion to hold together so I ended up picking some out while I rolled the meatballs. I cooked up a sample and it was yummy! I also opted out of the spicy. I’m very pleased, once again, with a Budget Bytes recipe!

  4. i would like to make the meatballs a little bigger, and put them in the oven instead of frying..how long do you suggest i keep them in the oven?

    1. Hmm, I’m not sure. I’d have to experiment with it. You could start with 20 minutes, then sacrifice one of the meatballs to see if it’s cooked through.

  5. Trish – Yep, I made some Asian meatballs later that I didn’t even bother frying. I just popped them in the oven and they turned out pretty good! If you skip frying then you can skip the flour step. That specifically causes a browning reaction with the oil during frying. Flour might make them kind of dry in the oven. Good luck!

  6. I wonder if you are able to cook these in the oven without even frying them at all, just not coat them in flour and pop them in?

  7. Just tried these and once again I absolutely love this recipe. I have not been disappointed yet with any of the recipes I have tried so far. Plan on trying more. :)

  8. Awesome recipe! Made these tonight and they were the best meatballs I’ve ever made or had! I subbed w/panko and feta since I didn’t have traditional breadcrumbs or parm on hand, but it turned out absolutely delicious! I also made them bigger and baked them off in the oven like you had said for an addl’ 15 mins and it was perfection! Thanks for this recipe. Everything I’ve made from your blog has been awesome! I will keep coming back!!!!

  9. We had these last night for supper and OH MY YUM!!! SO GOOD! We love everything that we’ve tried on your blog and will be trying more recipes! AND! my grocery bill was super cheap this week! YAY!

  10. Yep! They will still be quite moist inside… kind of like a burger. As long as your meatballs were about the size of a large marble and they are well browned on all sides, they should be cooked through. You will notice that they are more also firm than when they were raw. Hope that helps!

  11. I am having trouble figuring out if they are done or not. I have cooked them in the skillet for 10 minutes and all the sides seem to be brown. I just wanted to verify the inside is kind of moist, correcT?