Healthy Turkey Meatballs
Updated: Jan 22
Gluten free, dairy free, soy free and nut free
Recipe by: Jennifer Coatanroch
This recipe was born last year when my 3 year old son asked for spaghetti and meatballs. He’s never had spaghetti and meatballs (I know, my poor son...). So I’m sure he either saw it on a TV show , or someone at pre-school brought it in for lunch.
So I took this as an opportunity to create a healthy version of his request. Since I’d already tried to pass off eggplant meatballs to him without success, I figured I would cave in and use turkey. I’ll keep working on a vegetarian, kid-approved version though.
I used a combination of oats and breadcrumbs to increase fiber and protein, but feel free to use whichever combination you have on hand. It would work just as well with all bread crumbs or all oats. Be sure to use certified gluten free oats if gluten free. And I used nutritional yeast to add a cheese-like flavor while keeping it dairy free.
I decided to bake the meatballs not only because it's quicker, but also: no splatters of oil on the stove top, no oil needed to cook them so they are lower in fat, and you can do other things (wash dishes, prep a salad, set the table) while they are in the oven since you don’t have to keep turning them. Win, Win, Win!
This a great meal to pull together on a weeknight, and you could even double the batch and freeze some for another night.
Serving ideas: These would be great over whole grain spaghetti, spaghetti squash, in a sub, over a salad, thrown into a soup, or as-is on their own.
Pairing ideas: Pinot Noir, Beaujoulais, Chardonnay...
Over spaghetti squash for me, and over whole wheat spaghetti for the boys. I wanted to skip the pasta calories for a glass of wine!
Healthy Turkey Meatballs
Kid-approved, quick, easy, and healthy!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Yield: 20 meatballs _________________________________________
Equipment needed: 1 large mixing bowl,
half sheet pan
1 pound ground turkey or chicken breast
1 egg, whisked
1 teaspoon Worcester sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce of choice, optional (I like Veracha)
¼ cup oats (GF if necessary) (1/2 cup oats if omitting breadcrumbs)
¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs (GF if necessary, or skip the breadcrumbs and double the oats)
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley, or 4 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
Pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with a non-stick baking mat or parchment paper.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk one egg, checking for shell pieces before adding the remaining ingredients.
Add all of the remaining ingredients to the bowl, and mix well.
Spoon out a heaping tablespoon of mixture, roll into a ball, and place on baking sheet. You should be able to get 20 small to medium sized meatballs.
Cook for 19-20 minutes, or until cooked through.
Serve over whole grain spaghetti, spaghetti squash, salad, etc.