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.
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!
- The turkey meatballs can either be baked or pan-seared.
- The turkey meatballs can be made ahead and frozen. Great for meal prep!
- The BEST Flavor! The sundried tomatoes, basil and pecorino are a delicious addition here!
- Egg-free and Gluten-free!
- 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.
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
Chop the onion, garlic, sundried tomatoes, fresh basil and add them to a bowl with the ground turkey.
Season with salt and pepper.
Mix with a fork, knead a couple of times, and with wet hands, form into 10-12 meatballs, the size of a golf ball.
Pan-sear in a little oil, or bake them in a 425 F oven.
Simmer the turkey meatballs in the Marinara Sauce for 5 minutes, letting them cook all the way through.
Sprinkle with pecorino or parmesan if you like. You can also place them in bake in the oven in the sauce.
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:
- Baked Zucchini with Pecorino
- Zucchini Noodles with Garlic, Basil, and Olive Oil
- Spaghetti, Linguini, or Angel hair (fast!)
- Creamy Polenta or Instant Pot Polenta
- Sautéed Zucchini Ribbons with lemon and garlic
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
- High in Vitamin B12
- High in Vitamin B6
- High in Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
- High in Protein
- Great source of Selenium
- Low in fat
More Meatball Recipes you may enjoy!
- Zaatar Meatballs with Green Tahini Sauce
- Spaghetti and Beetballs! (Vegan Meatballs)
- Moroccan Meatballs with Pomegranate Glaze
- Thai Turkey Meatballs with Lemongrass Coconut Sauce
- Lamb Meatballs with Indian Curry Sauce
- Moroccan Meatballs with Pomegranate Glaze
- Meatball Soup with Turmeric, Spinach, and Lime
- Paleo Chicken “Wonton” Soup with Bok Choy
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.
- 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
- 2–3 cups marinara sauce
Preheat oven to 425F
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. 😉
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