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Italian Turkey Meatballs are great for pasta, appetizers, or casseroles. This recipe is certain to be a new family favorite.
Italian Turkey Meatballs are a healthier version of traditional meatballs being much leaner than beef. This version is rich in flavor using dark meat turkey and sweet Italian turkey sausage which has a little more fat.
Why this recipe is great
This recipe is versatile and delicious. Not only is this the best meatball recipe you will find, it also makes meal planning easier. They freeze well whether cooked or raw, giving you control over how you use them.
Most of these ingredients you already have in the pantry and fridge.
- Lean ground turkey
- Sweet Italian turkey sausage
- Seasoned croutons
- Yellow onion
- Parmesan cheese
- Garlic, minced
- Italian dressing seasoning mix
- Dried Italian seasoning herbs
Use a food processor to grind the seasoned croutons for a fine crumb. This ensures that the meatball binds together and that there are no formed pieces of croutons within the mixture. The food processor can be used to grate the onion as well. Typically, I use a cheese grater to grate the onion but running them through the processor after the onion produces a nice mince.
How to make Italian turkey meatballs
This process could not be more simple. Start by removing the casing from the sausage then adding it to a bowl with the ground turkey. Next, add the onion, croutons, seasonings, parmesan cheese, garlic, and dried herbs. Beat the egg in separate then pour it over the other ingredients and mix well to combine. This can be done with a large fork or with your hands. You want to be sure that there are no streaks of meat without spices.
Once the meat is mixed well, form balls using a cookie scoop or kitchen tablespoon. I was able to get more than 65 meatballs using a small cookie scoop.
The best method for cooking turkey meatballs
Meatballs can be cooked in a number of ways. My preferred method is to steam the meatballs with a small amount of water then add a little olive oil to crisp and sear the outside. I find that the meatballs tighten and hold together better when steamed first.
Start by adding the meatballs to a cast-iron skillet over medium flame. Pour water into the skillet and place a lid. Let the meatballs steam for about 5 minutes then turn them. Remove the lid and cook another 5 minutes to allow the water to evaporate.
Next, drizzle the olive oil over the meatballs then toss with a spoon to coat. Let them crispy for 3-5 minutes. Check the internal temperature for 165° before removing them from the heat.
Way to serve turkey meatballs
We like to keep them on hand for quick Turkey Meatball Subs with Homemade Marinara. These Italian turkey meatballs are also great in barbecue sauce or gravy served with rice and green beans; one of my go-to meals.
How to store and reheat meatballs
Store cooked meatballs in the fridges for 3-4 days. The meatballs can also be frozen raw or cooked following the instructions below.
Raw meatball storage
Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Arrange the meatballs in a single layer. Gently place another piece of parchment over the meatballs and pop them into the freezer for 20 minutes to firm. Once firm, transfer the meat into labeled freezer bags. They will keep for 3-4 months.
Cooked meatball storage
Allow the meatballs to cool completely. Place them into labeled freezer bags. They will keep 3-4 months.
Italian Turkey Meatballs
- 1 lb lean ground turkey 93% fat free
- 1 lb sweet Italian turkey sausage casing removed
- 2 c seasoned croutons will equal 1 cup after grinding
- 1/2 c yellow onion grated
- 1/2 c parmesan cheese powder/grated
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 tsp garlic minced
- 2 tsp Italian dressing seasoning mix
- 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning herbs
- 1/2 c water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Add to a bowl the sausage, ground turkey, onion, ground croutons, seasonings, parmesan cheese, garlic, and dried herbs.
- Pour the beaten egg over the other ingredients and mix well to combine.
- Form balls using a cookie scoop or kitchen tablespoon.
- Place the meatballs to a cast iron skillet over medium flame and pour the water into the skillet. Place a lid and let the meatballs steam for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the lid then turn the meatballs. Simmer another 5 minutes to allow the water to evaporate.
- Next drizzle the olive oil over the meatballs then toss with a spoon to coat. Let them crispy for 3-5 minutes. Check the internal temperature for 165° before removing them from the heat.