These Tender Turkey Meatballs are easy to make from scratch and bake in the oven or in the Slow Cooker! Combine them with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese or serve them with brown gravy and mashed potatoes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Set aside and let cool. (This is optional but creates a more subtle flavor and texture.)
Crack the egg in a large bowl and whisk. Add 1/3 cup half and half, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, ½ tsp oregano, ¾ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, and ½ tsp red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
Add1/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan, 2 TBS parsley, and cooled onions/garlic. Stir to combine. The consistency will resemble a wet paste, this is called a ‘panade’ and it makes the meatballs flavorful and juicy.
Add the meat to the bowl and use a silicone spatula to gently mix until just combined. Don’t overwork the meat or the meatballs will be tough.
Roll into 20 (1 ½ inch) meatballs. Due to the nature of turkey meat, the mixture may be very sticky. I like to give them a gentle roll and flash freeze them for 3-5 minutes to let them firm up. Then I gently roll again until nice and smooth.
Cover a light 18 x 13 baking sheet with parchment paper or with a silicone baking sheet. If you don’t have either, you can lightly spray it with nonstick spray. Note that dark baking sheets attract more heat which could burn the bottom of the meatballs.
Place the meatballs on the baking sheet and bake for 22 minutes.
Remove them from the oven and increase heat to 450. Bake for 5 more minutes once the oven is up to temperature. This creates a little bit of color and texture on the outside.
Let them rest for 5 minutes prior to serving. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with marinara sauce or with mashed potatoes and my easy brown gravy.
Note 1: Half and Half is preferable to milk as the additional fat content will keep the meatballs juicy, as turkey is prone to becoming dry. Milk can be used if needed or preferred.
Note 2: If you don’t have turkey sausage, you can use regular ground sausage, ground pork, or use all ground turkey.
Note 3: Freshly grated Asiago, Romano, and Parmesan are all excellent cheese choices, or use a combination of all 3.
Note 4: Turkey Meatballs are safe to serve once the internal temperature reaches 165°.
Crock Pot Method
- Roll the meatballs and place them in a lightly greased Slow Cooker.
- Top with 32 oz. of marinara sauce and 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.
- Heat on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-7.
To Bake in Marinara Sauce
- Place 32 oz. of marinara sauce in a 9 x 13 baking dish and add the meatballs. Use a spoon to cover the meatballs with sauce and tightly cover with foil.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Remove foil and top with 2 cups of mozzarella cheese. Bake for 15 more minutes, until cheese is melted.
- If desired, broil for 1-2 minutes at the end to brown up the top. Use paper towels to dab any grease from the top.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with pasta or with sub rolls.
Calories: 72kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 33mg, Sodium: 232mg, Potassium: 126mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 119IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 36mg, Iron: 1mg