Italian Turkey Meatballs with Homemade Marinara Sauce

These zesty meatballs are juicy, easy to make and filled with so much flavor! Pair them with a side salad or your favorite pasta dish and you have one well rounded meal!
Easy Italian meatballs made with ground turkey and Italian spices and toss in a delicious homemade marinara sauce! They're perfect for a comforting weeknight meal!

If being in quarantine has taught me anything, it’s that I could live off meatballs! Seriously, I think I’ve made a batch a week so far and it doesn’t look like I’m stopping any time soon. But I have to say that these Italian turkey meatballs are definitely going to become a staple in my house now! They’re super juicy, full of big robust flavors and take little to no time at all to make!

These healthier meatballs are a great option for meal prep during the week! You can also pair them with your favorite pasta or a small side salad for an easy weeknight dinner too!

Ingredients

One of the best things about meatballs is that they’re so versatile and can be made with a variety of ingredients! I kept these balls a little simple today and used the ingredients below.

  • Ground turkey: I love using ground turkey in these because it provides a ton of protein without a ton of fat. That being said, you still replace it with ground beef, ground pork or even ground chicken.
  • Egg
  • Panko breadcrumbs: I always use panko for meatballs because it gives them that “melt-in-your-mouth” texture. You can also replace the panko with regular breadcrumbs or gluten free breadcrumbs. (Just note that your meatballs might be a little more dense than the original recipe.)
  • Water: This is a necessity! It helps to keep the meatballs moist.
  • Red onion
  • Green bell pepper: Can be replaced with a yellow, red or orange pepper too.
  • Parmesan cheese: Omit if dairy free.
  • Italian seasoning
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper
This homemade marinara sauce has been my go-to sauce recipe for years! It's easy, delicious and full of flavor!

How to make an easy homemade marinara sauce

Now you by no means have to make your own marinara sauce. These meatballs are just as good on their own or paired with your favorite store bought sauce too. But if you’re feeling a little extra and are in the mood for a killer homemade sauce, then I highly suggest trying my recipe below!

  • 1 15oz. can tomato sauce (I used one with no salt added)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 1/4 tsp red chili flakes (Omit if you don’t want your sauce spicy)
  1. First, spray your pot with non-stick cooking spray and add your garlic and onion. Turn the burner on the medium high heat and saute your garlic and onions for 1-2 minutes or until the onions are softened.
  2. Then add your tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and red chili flakes. Turn the burn down to medium low heat, stir the sauce and let it cook for 5-10 minutes or until it’s warmed throughout.
  3. Set it aside until your ready to serve with your meatballs or pour it into an airtight container to store it in the fridge.

Can I make these meatballs gluten free or dairy free?

Absolutely! My suggestions for these substitutions are below:

  • Gluten free: Use gluten free panko breadcrumbs or gluten free regular breadcrumbs. (If you can’t find either of these, you can also use super fine almond flour too. Just note that the texture will be slightly different if using almond flour.)
  • Dairy free: Simply omit the the parmesan cheese in the recipe. In all honesty, these meatballs are just as delicious without it! 🙂
Zesty, filling and oh so tasty! These easy meatballs are about to become your favorite Italian dish!

How can I reheat these turkey meatballs?

Whether you making meals for the week or going to an appetizer party, these meatballs are so easy to make ahead and reheat later. Here a re a few different ways for you to do it.

  • Microwave: Place the meatballs in a microwave safe dish and heat for 1-2 minutes or until warmed throughout.
  • Oven: Pour some marinara sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish and place your meatballs on top. Place the entire baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees and bake for 7-10 minutes or until they’re hot to your liking.
  • Stove top: Place the meatballs in a large pot and pour a small amount of marinara sauce over them. Place a lid on top of the pot and turn the burn on the medium low. Allow the meatballs to heat until they reach your desired temperature. (Make sure to stir them every now and then! Mine took about 10 minutes to heat up.)
  • Crock pot: Spray the crock pot with non-stick cooking spray. Place the meatballs in the bottom of the pot and pour some of your sauce over them. Close the lid and press and turn the crock pot on to low. Your meatballs should be hot enough within a hour.
This Italian meatball recipe is the best recipe you will ever find! These little meatballs are made healthier by using ground turkey and are loaded with veggies too!

What do I serve with Italian turkey meatballs?

While these meatballs are perfect for an appetizer/appetizer party, they also make for an amazing main dish as well. To round out the meal, I would suggest serving the following:

  • Side salad
  • Pasta (You can double the sauce recipe and use it to coat the noodles too!)
  • Spaghetti squash (Same as the pasta, you can double the sauce recipe here too!)
  • Steamed veggies
  • Roasted veggies
  • Roasted Potatoes
  • Garlic bread

We’ve been loving these Italian turkey meatballs lately and I just know you all will too! Can’t wait to hear what you think!

Hope you’re all having the best day loves!

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Italian Turkey Meatballs with Homemade Marinara Sauce

These zesty meatballs are healthy, easy to make and filled with so much flavor! Pair them with a small side salad or your favorite pasta and you've got one delicious meal!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Healthy, Italian, Low carb
Keyword: homemade, Italian, low carb, marinara sauce, turkey meatballs
Servings: 18 meatballs
Author: Caitlin

Ingredients

For the meatballs:

  • lbs ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp panko breadcrumbs (can be replaced with gluten free panko if needed)*
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • ½ cup red onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese (omit if dairy free)
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

For the marinara sauce:

  • 1 15oz. can tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ⅛-¼ tsp red chili flakes

Instructions

To make the marinara sauce:

  • Spray a small sauce pot with non-stick cooking spray and turn the burner on to medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and saute for 1-2 minutes or until soft.
  • Then add your tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and red chili flakes. Turn the burn down to medium low heat. Stir the sauce and let it cook for 5-10 minutes or until it's warmed throughout. Set it aside until your ready to serve with your meatballs.

To make the meatballs:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a broiler pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Mix all of your meatball ingredients together in a large bowl. Then form the mixture into 1 inch balls. Place the balls on your broiler pan and bake them for 25-30 minutes.
  • Once done, toss the meatballs in your homemade marinara sauce (or your favorite pasta sauce) and serve!

Notes

*You can also replace the panko with regular breadcrumbs too!

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