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Mexican Turkey Meatballs

These juicy turkey meatballs are baked in the oven and served with blistered shishito peppers and quinoa.

This recipe is , , with main ingredient
Turkey Meatball Meal Prep with Quinoa

Ground Turkey Recipes


I love using ground turkey for my meal preps, it’s nice to switch it up a bit and turkey is leaner than beef but still has big flavor. This recipe for healthy ground turkey meatballs is easy to make, moist and juicy, and makes 5 servings fr meal prep. It’s not every day you see baked turkey meatballs that are seasoned with raisins and pepitas, but they add big flavors and textures to this recipe.

The meal prep is served with charred shishito peppers, get yours at Trader Joe’s, and my take on Mexican rice and beans using quinoa. The entire meal prep is easy to make and a great way to use ground turkey in a recipe. I would highly recommend using ground turkey thighs for this recipe, they have more flavor than breasts and won;t dry out as easily. Once again, I buy my at TJ’s, jeez..they need to start paying me for giving them so much love!

Here are some other ground turkey recipes you need to check out:
Loaded turkey Meatloaf with Cauliflower Rice Pilaf
Moroccan Turkey Kefta with Honey Glazed Carrots & Herby Couscous
Epic Double Turkey Cheeseburger with Low Carb Cloud Bread Bun

The Best Turkey Meatballs

I wanted to give these baked turkey meatballs a Mexican flavor, so I seasoned them with ancho chile powder(not too spicy), cumin, cilantro, and the kicker are the raisins and pepitas(Mexican pumpkin seeds). The combination of these seasonings add moisture, sweetness, and ensures that the baked turkey meatballs don’t dry out, something that can easily happen with lean ground turkey. Like I mentioned before, use ground thighs for this recipe, yu will thanks me later 😉

I think what gives the turkey meatballs such good flavor is a quick sear in a hot pan before getting baked in the oven. Yes, you can skip this step and place the turkey meatballs on a sheet tray ad bake them, but you are missing out the the opportunity to add massive flavor by searing the meatballs and forming a golden brown crust. Just like when you sear a steak, that layer of crusty goodness adds so much flavor, don’t you want that in your baked turkey meatballs people!?

Blistered Shishito Peppers

My wife loves to order shishito peppers whenever she sees them on a restaurant menu, don’t get me wrong, I love those sweet and spicy little peppers also, but I don’t like paying $8 for it. Once I realized that TJ’s sold shishito peppers in their store for $2 per pack, I won’t let Dessi order them at restaurants anymore! There I go again, you owe me one TJ’s.

All you have to do to make really tasty shishito pepers at home is have a smoking hot pan with a touch of oil in it. Toss the peppers in and let them blister for 4-6 minutes, until the exterior looks charred and the interior is soft. Get them out of the pan and season with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, and you will never order them out at restaurants ever again also!


Turkey Meatball Meal Prep with Quinoa

Turkey Meatballs with Quinoa & Black Beans and Shishito Peppers

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 5 meals
Author: WP Buffs Team

This turkey meal prep is my healthy take on the Mexican dish chile en nogada. The turkey meatballs are low fat and studded with raisins and pepitas. Instead of starchy rice, I used the superfood quinoa and mixed it with seasoned black beans and lime juice. The charred shishito peppers are slightly sweet and smoky, a well balanced low fat meal prep.



For the meatballs:

  • 2 pounds ground turkey thigh
  • 1.5 teaspoons each ancho chile powder & cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 tablespoons pepita seeds roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro or parsley chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • Grapeseed or avocado oil

For the quinoa & beans:

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 15.5 ounce can of black beans
  • ½ teaspoon each ancho chile powder & cumin
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro or parsley chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • Grapeseed or avocado oil
  • 12 ounces shishito peppers


  1. Cook’s notes: 1 cup of raw quinoa makes 3 cups of cooked quinoa. This recipe works best with leftover quinoa, so make it the previous day or at least 3 hours before starting the recipe. You can cool it down and let it dry by spreading the quinoa on a sheet tray and keeping at room temperature or the fridge.
  2. You can find shishito peppers at trader joe’s or sometimes at the bulk section of whole foods. If you can’t find, use roasted red peppers from the jar.
  3. Begin cooking:
  4. For the meatballs, add the ground turkey to a large bowl along with the ancho chile, cumin, cayenne, thyme, raisins, pepitas, cilantro, 1 teaspoon salt, and a coupe cracks of pepper. Mix very well using your hands, dip hands into water, and form into meatballs that are slightly larger than a golf ball, should make 15 balls. The water prevents the meat from sticking to your hands. Store formed meatballs in the fridge for at least 20 minutes so they can firm up.
  5. Meanwhile, pre-heat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes along with 2 teaspoons of oil. Add the onion along with ¼ teaspoon of salt and a few cracks of peppers. Cook for 6 minutes then add the garlic. Make sure to thoroughly drain and rinse the black beans then add them to the pan after the garlic has been cooking for 3 minutes. Add the ancho chile powder and cumin, mix well. Cook for 2 minutes then add all the quinoa, ¼ teaspoon salt, a few cracks of pepper, and mix well. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring often then turn the heat off and add the walnuts, cilantro, and juice of half a lime. Mix well and check for seasoning, you may need more lime juice and/or salt. Set aside.
  6. Pre-heat oven to 350 F and pre-heat a large pan(preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan and wait 30 seconds before adding half of the meatballs to the pan, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook on one side for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown, flip and repeat. Remove meatballs from pan and place on a sheet tray. Repeat with remaining meatballs. Place meatballs in the oven for 15 minutes, if you are not sure the balls are cooked through, cut one in half. Ground turkey can overcook and become dry very quickly so make sure to check the meatballs after 15 minutes.
  7. While the meatballs are cooking, pre-heat the same pan you used for the meatballs just below high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of oil to the pan along with all the peppers. Cook for 10-13 minutes or until nicely charred on all sides, stirring often. Turn the heat off and squeeze the juice of half a lime over the peppers and mix well, remove peppers from pan.
  8. Serve the meatballs with some of the black beans and quinoa and some peppers. Garnish with cilantro and lime zest, enjoy! Everything will last in the fridge for 5 days, the meatballs and quinoa can be frozen for 2-3 months, but the peppers can’t be frozen. The best way to reheat everything is in a 400 F oven for 10 minutes, if using the microwave, cover the container with a wet paper towel and make sure not to overheat, otherwise the meatballs will get dry.

Recipe Notes

Macros per serving of meatballs, makes 5 servings:
318 calories per serving
17.8 grams of fat per serving
3.24 grams of net carbs per serving
34.5 grams of protein per serving
0.4 grams of fiber per serving

Macros per serving of quinoa & rice, makes 5 servings:
245 calories per serving
5.4 grams of fat per serving
32.8 grams of net carbs per serving
10.1 grams of protein per serving
7.8 grams of fiber per serving

Macros per serving of shishito peppers, makes 5 servings:
32 calories per serving
1 gram of fat per serving
1.6 grams of net carbs per serving
3.2 grams of fiber per serving
8 grams of protein per serving

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