Cheesy Turkey Meatballs

Ground turkey meatballs, pan seared, and finished in marinara sauce then covered with cheese and broiled in the oven. An easy and low carb way to get your meatball fix.

This recipe is , , with main ingredient
turkey meatball recipe

Every time I make these ground turkey meatballs on the FlavCity Instagram stories, you guys ask me for the recipe. So this blog post is long overdue, but it will be worth the wait. Ground turkey thigh meat seasoned perfectly, pan seared, and then finished in a zesty marinara sauce to finish cooking. You could stop there, but why not cover the turkey meatballs in shredded cheese and broil until hot, melted, and bubbly!

This recipe is low carb and keto approved because there are no breadcrumbs in the mixture. Ground turkey thighs are so soft you don’t need them. You may notice that this recipe is very similar to my ultimate Italian meatballs and sauce, which you could easily make keto by substituting the breadcrumbs for almond flour.

How To Make Low Carb Turkey Meatballs

To make the best turkey meatballs, add one pound of ground turkey thighs to a large bowl. I like to buy the organic ground turkey thighs from Trader Joe’s – they have a great price. Season the turkey with onion and garlic powder, 1 egg, parsley, dried oregano, pepper flakes, salt and grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese. There is no need to use breadcrumbs soaked in milk for this recipe because the texture of ground turkey is so silky, which makes the recipe low carb and keto compliant.

Roll the meatballs in the size of large golf balls and place them in the freezer for 20 minutes so they can firm up. Meanwhile, add you favorite marinara sauce to a pot big enough for the meatballs and bring to a simmer. You can use my red sauce from the Italian meatballs recipe or I like to buy Rao’s Marinara from Costco. The price is right and that sauce is by far my favorite!

Pan sear and gently simmer the turkey meatballs in the sauce for 25 minutes and they are ready. You can stop there, but I never know when to do that. So good ahead and add 1 cup of freshly grated mozzarella cheese over the top of the meatballs. Alternatively, you can use any good melting cheese you want such as brie style cheese or tallegio. Brie cheese is what I used for this blog post. The nutty flavor of the brie was divine and the cheese melted so well.

Pop the cheese covered turkey meatballs under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly and they are done!

turkey meatball recipe
Turkey meatballs covered in melted cheese

Can I Make Meatballs From Ground Turkey Breast?

Ground turkey breast is very lean and the meatballs will be dry if you use that. It is much better to use ground turkey thighs. The added fat helps prevent the meatballs from drying out and they are still leaner than ground beef.

Can I Freeze Cooked Turkey Meatballs?

Turkey meatballs freeze incredibly well. You can store meatballs in the freezer for 3 months or in the fridge for 5 days. When ready to eat, thaw and reheat in a 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes. It is best to reheat them with some marinara sauce so the meatballs don’t dry out.

Make sure to check out my other meatball recipes:

turkey meatball recipe

Ground Turkey Meatballs

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: ground turkey, meatballs, turkey meatballs
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 3 people
Calories: 167 kcal
Author: Bobby Parrish

This homemade turkey meatball recipe covered in melted cheese is so easy to make and low carb. Just be sure to season the ground turkey thighs aggressively and sear them in a hot pan to create even more flavor. The meatballs don;t even need breadcrumbs, so they are keto approved.



  • 1 pound ground turkey thighs
  • 1 heaping teaspoon each onion & garlic powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup finely grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese optional
  • Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 24 ounces of your favorite marinara sauce


  1. Make the turkey meatballs by adding the ground turkey to a large bowl along with the onion and garlic powder, egg, parsley, oregano, pepper flakes, grated pecorino cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, a few cracks of pepper, and mix to combine. Make sure not to overmix as that will make the meatballs tough. Dip your hands in some cold water and form the meatballs, should make 7 meatballs the size of a large golf ball. The mixture will be loose, so form them into balls the best you can and immediately place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, add the marinara sauce to a sauce pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Pre-heat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add the meatballs to the pan and cook until well browned, about 1-2 minutes. Flip and repeat, then go immediately into the marinara sauce. Gently simmer the meatballs for 20 minutes, making sure they are submerged in the sauce.
  3. At this point the meatballs are ready and you can serve, or you can turn the heat off the pan and cover the meatballs in shredded mozzarella cheese. You may have to transfer the meatballs and sauce to a shallow and wide pan so the cheese can evenly melt. Place the pan with the cheese covered meatballs 10 inches from the broiler set on high and cook just until the cheese is melted, don’t walk away.
  4. Remove from broiler, garnish with parsley, and enjoy! Turkey meatballs will keep in the fridge for 5 days or can be frozen for 3 months.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Marcos per meatball w/ cheese, makes 7:
165 calories
1.1 grams of net carbs
1.2 grams of total carbs
12.4 grams of fat
12.8 grams of protein
0 fiber

Macros per ½ cup of marinara sauce:
60 calories
4 grams of fat
10 grams of net carbs(12 total carbs)
2 grams of fiber
2 grams of protein

Nutrition Facts
Ground Turkey Meatballs
Amount Per Serving (1 meatball)
Calories 167 Calories from Fat 112
% Daily Value*
Fat 12.4g19%
Carbohydrates 1.2g0%
Protein 12.8g26%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

19 thoughts on “Cheesy Turkey Meatballs”

  1. Couldn’t find the macros on meatballs or linked homemade marinara sauce, help? Thanks For all your great recipes that help keep me on my KETO-track!

      1. I made these on my Instagram and tagged you yesterday! They were amazing and were super easy to make. A filling keto recipe for the win! I’ll be following your site for all my keto dishes from now on! Thank you!

    1. macros are there now, check below recipe! Click on marinara sauce in recipe, will take you to the page.

  2. Love love love your recipes. Tried to watch the “latest video” here on your page and an add played every 3 to 5 seconds. Even as I’m typing the comment box is covered by an add. Annoying! Back to your YouTube channel… there I can enjoy your video and delicious recipes with minimum interruptions. Like you better there. ?

    1. You could serve these meatballs alongside some fettuccine shirataki noodles from “Pasta Zero” by Nasoya (that’s my favorite brand of shirataki noodle). You could also serve it on a bed of cauliflower rice if you didn’t feel like the noodles.

  3. Sure, this required dirtying a number of pans, but oh so delicious! A keeper recipe for sure. Thanks Bobby!

    1. Bobby Parrish

      Some things are worth the effort and dirtied pans – in my book, this recipe is one of them! ? Glad you liked it! Keep on cookin’!

  4. Cheesy turkey meatballs are a 10++. I could only find Organic ground turkey at Trader Joe’s but no mention of thighs or parts type labeled on the package. Freezer tip was brilliant. Thank you for your amazing, flav keto recipes!?

    1. That’s the one!!! For some reason they don’t mention that it is thigh meat, but you made the right choice. Glad you loved them!

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