Turkey Meatballs with Spaghetti

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Turkey Meatballs by Angela Roberts

Turkey meatballs with spaghetti is right now today separating me from anyone else in my family. I guess you could say I am third second generation American, first generation ground turkey. I’m fairly late in the game when it comes to ground turkey or turkey meatballs, because like my family, some things like Italian meatball recipes, you just don’t mess with. However, loving food as much as I do, and writing about food, I have made a conscious effort to find ways to enjoy food every night of the week without weight gain. You can see my ground beef recipe for spaghetti and meatballs here, with a sauce recipe.

Ground dark turkey (the only ground turkey I recommend) is very low fat at 94/6 compared with even the leanest of ground beef, and if you know how to boost the turkey’s flavor, (I think I do), you can enjoy one of America’s favorite comfort foods guilt free. Don’t laugh when I tell you that one of my secrets is to add fat back in. Olive oil is a healthy fat and the ground turkey needs it for flavor and texture. You could skip that, but don’t expect me to come to dinner. Just kidding, sort of.

These little meatballs are easy to make and freeze so you can have a quick meal (that is still good for you) within mere minutes. Ingredients will matter here so please use a very good pecorino or parmesan that you grate yourself.

As far as a non-traditional recipe, these turkey meatballs are delicious that you may not even notice the difference.

The tomato sauce recipe can be found here.

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Turkey Meatballs with Spaghetti

Low fat turkey meatballs, Italian style.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
Author: Angela Roberts


  • 1 small onion
  • 1 pound ground dark meat turkey
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 clove garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese (or parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
  • few sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs made from stale bread
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper


  • Saute onion and garlic in 1 tablespoons olive oil. Cool.
  • Add onion and garlic and all the olive oil into the ground turkey.
  • Mix all ingredients together.
  • Roll into small meatballs 1 1/2 inch diameter.
  • Bake in oven at 375 for approximately 20 minutes, turning once.
  • (At this point you can cool and freeze meatballs for another day)
  • Finish in tomato sauce on top of stove.
  • Use your favorite tomato sauce, and cook spaghetti according to directions.
  • This is enough meatballs to accompany 1 pound of spaghetti.

Please follow me on instagram. If you make this recipe,  please tag me #spinachtiger.

If you love this recipe, please give it five stars. It means a lot. xoxo


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  1. I have also made turkey meatballs and I find that the turkey absorbes more of the liquid than beef. I also make miniture ones for parties…Great recipe…

  2. A household favorite here.. I’ve made my meatballs with ground chicken too!! Yummy goodness all the way around.. and too many often don’t give ground turkey or chicken a chance, but it’s really nice when you flavor it appropriately and as you said lower in fat.
    I had one cashier at my grocery store tell me that she hated ground turkey and that it could never taste good. It became my mission to change that “never” so I went home and as I prepared our dinners for the week, I made an extra turkey burger, a small lasagna and meatball spaghetti for her.. she called me the day after and said she would definitely not say “never” again when it came to ground turkey!

  3. I need to work more than ground turkey – I confess that I’m sort of scared by it, since people always seem to mention that it dries out so easily. These look wonderful, though – you know what a big fan of meatballs I am!

  4. I’ve been doing turkey meatballs for a while. I’m convinced it doesn’t matter what the protein is as long as all the other ingredients are thrown in the bowl … it’s the garlic, cheese, parsley and breadcrumbs that really bring the flavor. Don’t you agree?

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