These Italian-inspired Turkey Meatballs with Sundried Tomato and Basil can be baked in the oven or pan-seared on the stovetop. Simmer them in your favorite marinara sauce for a few minutes, then serve over pasta or veggies for a fast, healthy weeknight meal. 

Italian-inspired Turkey Meatballs with Sun-dried Tomato and Basil can be baked in the oven or pan-seared on the stovetop. Simmer them in your favorite marinara sauce for a few minutes, then serve over pasta or with veggies, for a quick healthy weeknight meal

Here’s another quick and easy weeknight dinner that comes together in under 30 minutes—Turkey Meatballs with Sundried Tomatoes and Basil, simmered in your favorite marinara sauce.  Much leaner than beef or lamb, turkey meatballs are healthy, flavorful!

Here we paired them with our Baked Zucchini with Pecorino -so tasty! Serve them over your favorite pasta, or keep it low-carb and serve over zucchini noodles.

What we love about this recipe!

  1. The turkey meatballs can either be baked or pan-seared.
  2. The turkey meatballs can be made ahead and frozen. Great for meal prep!
  3. The BEST Flavor! The sundried tomatoes, basil and pecorino are a delicious addition here!
  4. Egg-free and Gluten-free! 
  5. Fast and Easy especially with store-bought Marinara Sauce!

And of course, you can make your own marina sauce; I love this Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce or make a simple marinara sauce on your stovetop. Either way, I think you’ll love this one.

These Italian-inspired Turkey Meatballs with Sun-dried Tomato and Basil can be baked in the oven or pan-seared on the stovetop. Simmer them in your favorite marinara sauce for a few minutes, then serve over pasta or with veggies, for a quick healthy weeknight meal

Turkey Meatball Ingredients

  • Ground turkey (or substitute ground chicken, ground beef, or lamb)
  • Onion- red, yellow, or white, or substitute shallots
  • Fresh Garlic- or substitute granulated garlic
  • Sundried tomatoes (packed in oil) or substitute rehydrated, sundried tomatoes
  • olive oil (use oil from sun-dried tomatoes if you like)
  • Fresh basil ( or substitute dried Italian seasoning)
  •  salt and pepper
  • parmesan or pecorino cheese (optional, but flavorful)
  • marinara sauce

How to make Turkey Meatballs

Step One:

Chop the onion, garlic, sundried tomatoes, fresh basil and add them to a bowl with the ground turkey.

ingredients in turkey meatballs

Season with salt and pepper.

mix turkey meatball ingredients together in bowl

Step Two:

Mix with a fork, knead a couple of times, and with wet hands, form into 10-12 meatballs, the size of a golf ball.

form into to balls

Step Three:

Pan-sear in a little oil, or bake them in a 425 F oven.  

pan sear the turkey meatballs

Or bake the Turkey meatballs on a parchment-lined sheet pan.

bake the turkey meatballs on a parchment lined sheet pan

Step Four:

Simmer the turkey meatballs in the Marinara Sauce for 5 minutes, letting them cook all the way through.

simmer the turkey meatballs in marinara sauce

Sprinkle with pecorino or parmesan if you like. You can also place them in bake in the oven in the sauce.

simmering the meatballs in marinara sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese

The internal temperature of Turkey Meatballs

Fully cooked Turkey meatballs should reach an internal temperature of 165F degrees. In this recipe, we brown the meatballs in the pan or oven, then finish cooking them off in the Marinara sauce.

What to serve with Turkey Meatballs:

Italian Turkey Meatballs with Sun-dried Tomato and Basil, baked and simmered in Marinara Sauce

Do you need to put eggs in meatballs?

No! Although it is common to add eggs and breadcrumbs to meatballs, it is not imperative. They will bind and hold together easily, without the addition of eggs or breadcrumbs, especially if the meat mixture is chilled.

Can you make Turkey Meatballs Gluten-free?

Yes! To keep these Turkey Meatballs gluten-free, we left out the breadcrumbs altogether.

How to make Meatballs more flavorful:

The addition of sundried tomatoes, fresh herbs (in this case, basil), pecorino (or parmesan), onion, and garlic all work together to elevate the flavor of the meatballs.


How to freeze and reheat meatballs

Freeze fully cooked meatballs (internal temp of 165F) in a single layer on a sheet pan. Move them to a zip lock bag or sealed container, removing as much air as possible, and store for up to 3 months. To reheat, either bake in a single layer in the oven at 35oF for 15-20 minutes, covered, or add directly to gently simmering marinara sauce, until heated all the way through, about 15 minutes.

Health Benefits of Turkey


More Meatball Recipes you may enjoy!

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These Italian-inspired Turkey Meatballs with Sun-dried Tomato and Basil can be baked in the oven or pan-seared on the stovetop. Simmer them in your favorite marinara sauce for a few minutes, then serve over pasta or with veggies, for a quick healthy weeknight meal. #bakedmeatballs #turkeymeatballs #italianmeatballs

Turkey Meatballs with Sun-dried Tomatoes

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 18 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: main, dinner recipe,
  • Method: stovetop, baked
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Gluten Free


These Italian-inspired Turkey Meatballs with Sundried Tomatoes and Basil can be baked in the oven or pan-seared on the stovetop. Simmer them in your favorite marinara sauce for a few minutes, then serve over pasta or with veggies, for a quick healthy weeknight meal.


Units Scale
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes, (packed in olive oil) chopped
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil (use oil from sun-dried tomatoes if you like)
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced (or 1 teaspoon granulated garlic)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated pecorino cheese or parmesan
  • 23 cups marinara sauce


Preheat oven to 425F

Place ground turkey in a bowl and break apart with a fork. Add the sundried tomatoes, olive oil, onion, basil garlic, cheese, salt and pepper and mix with the fork until relatively combined.

With a wet hand, knead the mixture a couple of times then roll to 10-12 equal-sized meatballs. This is easiest if the mixture is cold.

Bake or Pan-sear:

  • Bake: Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake at 425F for 10-12 minutes, or until they just start to get golden. Finish cooking them with the marina sauce (capturing all those pan juices) in an oven-proof skillet or baking dish, sprinkling with more pecorino. You cantop simmer them on the stove or place them back in the oven. Meatballs are done when they register 165F.
  • Pan sear: Using a non-stick skillet, over medium heat, heat enough oil to coat the bottom, and lightly brown each side of the meatballs, gently turning or giving the skillet a good shake. Once golden on most sides, stir in the marinara sauce, gently coating the meatballs. Dust with pecorino cheese and either simmer for 5 minutes, or place in a hot oven for 10 minutes, uncovered.

Check that the meatballs are cooked all the way through (internal temp =165F) and when done, let rest a few minutes, while you garnish them with torn basil leaves.

Serve alongside veggies, over pasta or with whole grain.


If serving this over pasta, increase marinara sauce by 1 cup for “extra saucy”. 😉

For a richer version, feel free to add 1 egg and 1/2 cup bread crumbs.

A little Smoked mozzarella, grated over the saucy meatballs, and baked in the oven is a also delicious option. 😉



  • Serving Size: 3 Meatballs with sauce
  • Calories: 312
  • Sugar: 7.4 g
  • Sodium: 1205.9 mg
  • Fat: 16.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 14.8 g
  • Fiber: 3.4 g
  • Protein: 27.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 88.3 mg

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  1. This is delicious! All of your recipes that I have tried (quite a few!) have been 5 stars. I love getting your emails with new recipes as well.

  2. Another delicious recipe. I added the egg and breadcrumbs, partially baked in oven then finished cooking in marinara sauce (also your recipe-yummy!). Served over pasta with a side salad for an easy and delicious Sunday dinner. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Made these tonight for dinner and couldn’t decide which sauce to make so I made both a marinara and a mushroom gravy for 2 lbs of turkey mixture and it made about 18 good sized meatballs. Baked them on a sheet pan for about 12 mins. and then transferred them to two separate casserole dishes with the sauces. Yum! Oh, and instead of regular spaghetti noodles, we baked a spaghetti squash and it was really good and a bit lighter.

  4. Another awesome recipe from Sylvia. I doubled this recipe and, per the notes, added fresh bread crumbs and egg. I used the oven method and then placed some of them in my own sauce to simmer. (The remainder I froze for later use.) They seemed quite firm in the sauce pan, and I was thinking I made a mistake with addition of egg. In the end, they were very tender and delicious. Such an easy recipe with so much flavor.

    1. Oh good to hear Valerie! Turkey is very lean and gives them that firmness I think…

  5. This dish is great! Went with the stovetop option and watched the meatballs with a food thermometer. Served over spaghetti–a perfect meal prep dish. This site is consistently on-point!

  6. This was amazing. Flavorful, down home Italian-tasting, and the zucchini was the perfect accompaniment. Thank you!

  7. Utterly delicious!!
    I am 84 and given an instant pot, but I don’t know what to do with it so I haven’t opened it at all! I am used to crock pot!
    Help! Love your vegan recipes!

  8. Yep these were great. I seared and then popped them in the oven for just shy of 10 minutes. Follows the written recipe, no breadcrumbs. Totally delicious and very satisfying. Next time I’ll probably add some red pepper flakes and rosemary. Thanks!

  9. Vey tasty, very flavorful, very easy! Thank you Sylvia for helping me cook delicious meals with little effort for me and my family.

  10. Hello Sylvia, You are amazing! I have followed you for the last 10 years and I love your recipes! Yesterday I made your awesome turkey meatballs and marinara sauce, and my husband LOVED it. Unfortunately, the turkey meatballs got a little bit too hard and I’m hoping you might be able to advice me how to correct it next time. I followed the recipe and baked them in the oven at 425F. The marinara sauce was the best ever. Thank you for all your wonderful recipes. 💕

    1. Because they have no egg and bread crumbs they are a little firmer. Next time you could add- 1 egg, and 1/2 cup bread crumbs ( more to desired consistancy).

  11. Love when a simple recipe is so incredibly satisfying and delcious! Used plant-based “meat” to make the meatballs and fresh rosemary and parsley instead of basil. Had a bag of spuds waiting patiently to sprout any day so made a creamy mash for serving, but looking forward to trying the baked zucchini as well. Thank you for such inspiring and yummy recipes.

    1. Great to hear Dana- can you tell me the Brand of plant-based meat you used? Might be helpful to others here!

      1. Sure…we used Beyond Meat (Beyond Beef Ground) and baked the meatballs at 375F for 12-13 minutes, turning the meatballs over half-way through.

  12. This recipe is fabulous – from the meatballs to the marinara and the zucchini complements the entire dish. My husband couldn’t get enough of the zucchini and he doesn’t like zucchini!

  13. Thank you for a great recipe. I used impossible burger meat and it was excellent so yes, it pairs well

    Nancy from the blue ridge mountains of Va.

  14. Greetings from Australia! This is a superb and easy to make dish! Tasty, healthy, filling and oh so economical. My mixture yielded 16 meatballs — yes I counted them correctly even while imbibing a glass of wine during the preparation stage — and they were still substantial in size! Thank you Sylvia for your beautiful blog and cooking insights. I feel like a chef!

  15. Really good! The sun dried tomatoes add some flavor in exchange for the lean turkey. (I actually blended them with the onions and garlic.) Added to my rotation. Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. That is a really good question Carol! I’ve never made meatballs out of it! So curious if this would work… if you try it will you let me know?

  16. Sylvia, you’re an angel in human form!!! Had NO idea what to make 4 dinner, received your email for this dish…ran straight to butcher for fresh ground turkey (had everything else). It’s simmering on the stove. House smells fantastic. Sauce is divine (hate jarred), now making the baked zucchini with the greek zucchini I bought yesterday at the produce stand. Cannot thank you enough❣❣❣❣

  17. Recipe and make your own marinara sounds great BUT your inspirational comments are superb. I am an 88 year old male and believe in every thing you said. I also believe that we are made up of body, soul and spirit. Once we stop listening to those that affect our body and start loving our selves and start thinking positive we will turn our spirit lose, we will live a more happy and productive life. It is then that it will flow over to others.
    Just my thoughts but certainly enjoyed YOURS.


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