Last Updated May 19th, 2022 at 08:50 am by Lisa
OVEN-BAKED (not fried) Skinny Turkey Meatballs and Sauce are light healthy homemade meatballs from scratch and packed with nutritious veggies! This is a great dinner recipe to make ahead in quantity and is freezer friendly...
Meatballs and Sauce are one thing, but Skinny Turkey Veggie Meatballs and Sauce could change your life.
When I heard about this meatball technique I got so excited because I had never made homemade meatballs (guilty as charged buying them frozen). Meatballs seemed too complicated for some reason. But are they?
Well fear not, these are fun and easy. Yes there are a few steps, and that's ok because you can make these and freeze them for a day when you don't have time to figure out what to make for dinner, and look like a complete kitchen genius ; ).
These little gems might also either get you married off OR will make someone you love feel so special. As a matter of fact, this entire recipe website started because of this homemade meatball recipe. Turkey meatballs are actually quite healthy, and a cleaner version of most recipes by using low-fat turkey meat and secretly stashing the veggies inside. And don't even think to tell anyone, they don't need to know!
I serve these on a hot bowl of steamy pasta, and oh this sauce seriously is so easy and good, why you won't want the stuff in the jar ever again. But you could skip the pasta all together, your choice!
The last and maybe best part is that you can really try different veggies in here if you wish, have fun, and relax it's only a meatball for goodness sakes.
This recipe is dedicated to a group of ladies that I relaxed in the desert with, and promised would be my first recipe up on Delicious Table. So go get those boyfriends/husbands gals!!! UPDATE:
one two three of those ladies are now married!
Warning: Meatballs can cause boyfriends, girlfriends, and marriage.
Makes 44 - 2 " meatballs
How To Make Turkey Meatballs and Sauce:
Step 1: Mix Veggies
Pulse batches in Cuisinart or grate on box grater:
1 sm onion, 5 carrots, 5 celery stalks
½ cup finely chopped basil
½ cup finely chopped parsley
Mix all finely chopped veggies in small bowl
Step 2: Saute' the veggies
Heat large pan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and saute the veggies for 3 minutes on medium-high heat and turn off the heat. Take out ½ veggie mixture and place back in the large bowl.
Sauteing the veggies brings a depth of flavor and makes them soft and perfect for fluffy, tasty, meatballs.
I love and use Le Creuset Dutch Ovens, one of my favorite pans in my kitchen.
Step 3: Mix Turkey Meatballs
In that large mixing bowl, take ½ sautéed and cooled veggie mixture above and mix with 3 lbs ground turkey (or for not as skinny use ground beef, hot Italian pork sausage, etc), 1 cup breadcrumbs (or ground almonds) and ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Stir or mix with 2 forks to "fluff" the meatball mixture.
Step 4: Scoop Turkey Meatballs:
Use a 2" ice-cream scoop on a sheet pan lined with parchment or foil
Step 5: Bake Meatballs In The Oven:
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake meatballs 25-30 minutes until golden brown with crispy edges.
What Is Ground Turkey Internal Temperature?
The internal temperature for ground turkey meatballs should be 165 degrees. I use a ThermoWorks professional thermometer.
Step 6: Make The Meatball Sauce
In a saute pan mix other ½ veggie mixture, 1 large can of diced tomatoes, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, 1 small can tomato paste. Stir and simmer for 20 minutes.
Step 7: Serve Meatballs and Sauce
- Cook Spaghetti Noodles per package Instructions.
- Ladle Meatball Sauce on hot noodles, place 2-4 meatballs on spaghetti noodles, top with grated parmesan cheese.
PRO TIP: Since this makes so many meatballs and sauce, freeze extra skinny turkey veggie meatballs on sheet pans either cooked or uncooked and place in zip bags or use a Food Saver vacuum sealer for fast easy future meals. The pasta sauce freezes well too!
More of My Ground Turkey Recipes:
Skinny Turkey Veggie Meatballs and Sauce will always be a special recipe for many reasons. This recipe started Delicious Table and is my first recipe. True Story: My friends made me hold up my hand and swear I would publish it on a website. Okay yes, wine was involved, and it might have been happy hour! But hey, if they hadn't encouraged me...I wouldn't have jumped in and built this community of recipe and food fanatics.
I will forever be grateful to my sweet friends for their support and encouragement to begin a recipe website and "blog". At the time, I didn't even know what a food blog was... or how to turn on my big scary camera, or what the heck social media was. Once this recipe went up on the website, I was in love with sharing my food with the world. Enjoy!
All The Best Dishes,
More Of My BEST Dinner Recipes:
Turkey Meatballs and Sauce
- 16 ounces uncooked spaghetti
- 3 pounds lean ground turkey or swap in ground beef or Italian pork sausage
- 1 medium yellow onion 2 cups roughly chopped
- 6 whole carrots 2 cups roughly chopped
- 6 stalks celery 2 cups roughly chopped 2-3" pieces
- ½ cup finely chopped basil
- ½ cup finely chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup breadcrumbs (or sub ground almonds)
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 6 oz small can tomato paste
Make The Meatballs
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Rough chop veggies in batches and pulse in a food processor or grate on a box grater. 1 small onion, 5 carrots, 5 celery stalks. Process veggies in batches, and place ground vegetables into a large bowl as you go.
- Next dice ½ cup finely chopped basil, and ½ cup finely chopped parsley into the mixing bowl, toss together.
- Heat a large pan or heavy skillet, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and saute the veggies 3 minutes on medium high heat, keep stirring, then turn off the heat.
- Place the sautéed veggie mixture in a large mixing bowl, and cool. Next, add 3 lbs ground turkey (or ground beef, Italian pork sausage etc.), 1 cup breadcrumbs (or ground almonds) and ½ cup grated parmesan cheese.
- Stir and completely mix with 2 forks to "fluff" the meatball mixture.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a 2" ice cream scoop (cookie scoop) to portion the meatballs. The scoop makes the meatballs all the same size and is faster than hand rolling. If you certainly can roll them with clean hands, that works just fine.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown with crispy edges. Use a meat thermometer food safety, turkey is cooked at 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make The Spaghetti and Meatball Sauce
- Cook spaghetti noodles per package instructions, keep warm but don't overcook or leave in the boiling water.
- Heat butter and olive oil in a large heavy pan, add diced onions, saute until soft 5 minutes, then all 6 seasonings, canned tomatoes, and tomato paste.
- Stir until the marinara sauce thickens about 10-15 minutes. Keep marinara sauce warm.
- Ladle Sauce on hot noodles, place 2-4 meatballs on noodles, top with parmesan cheese.
- Store leftover sauce and meatballs in an air-tight container, use within 3 days or keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Freeze extra skinny turkey veggie meatballs on sheet pans either cooked or uncooked and place in zip bags or use a Food Saver vacuum sealer for fast easy future meals.
- The pasta sauce freezes very well, to reheat add frozen sauce to a pan with a small amount of water and reheat until hot.