These Healthy Turkey Meatballs Without Breadcrumbs are juicy little protein bombs packed with flavor. They’re super easy to make and ready in just 40 min. Add a little tomato sauce, crumble them in a salad, or just wrap them up and bring them on a hike or picnic. However you decide to eat them, they taste great!
How to make healthy turkey meatballs without breadcrumbs
Most turkey meatball recipes call for breadcrumbs, but I don’t have the patience to make breadcrumbs from scratch and it’s almost impossible to buy any that don’t have a lot of unnecessary ingredients (like sugar! Why would you put that in your breadcrumbs??).
Instead of breadcrumbs, I simply use good old-fashioned oats in my healthy turkey meatballs. You don’t have to do anything to the oats except fold them into the ground turkey meat, and they do the job perfectly. And these are the juiciest turkey meatballs I’ve ever had!
Here is how to make clean eating turkey meatballs:
Step 1 – Chop onion, garlic, and celery finely (or use a food processor) and put it in a large mixing bowl.
Step 2 – Add ground turkey, egg whites, oats, and spices to the bowl and mix thoroughly. Make sure there are no pockets of spices or oats in the mix.
Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to use a ground turkey with a bit of fat in it. You can get 99% lean ground turkey but it doesn’t have a lot of flavor and tends to get a little dry when cooked. I typically use the 93% lean ground turkey but the 85% lean taste even better and doesn’t have that many calories more per serving.
Step 3 – Chop spinach, peppers (clean out the stem and seeds first) and parsley. The pieces should be the size of a dime. Add the veggies to turkey mixture and combine well.
Step 3 is where you can get creative. You don’t have to use the same veggies and herbs that I do. If you have something else in the fridge that you want to use, go for it!
Step 4 – Roll the turkey mixture into 15 balls (about the size of golf balls) and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes at 350F (175C), until cooked through.
That’s it! I told you that making healthy turkey meatballs without breadcrumbs is easy!
Spice it up!
You can use this recipe as a template for all kinds of different-tasting meatballs. The spice combination I used was really delicious, l but you can add just about any spices you like and still get a good result (well, if you really go crazy with the spices, the result may be more “interesting” than good 😀 ).
A classic taste combination for turkey meatballs is just paprika, oregano, pepper, and garlic powder, so if you want something really simple, that’s a good place to start.
Add a little sauce
I often just eat the turkey meatballs as-is for a quick snack, but it definitely doesn’t hurt to cook up a little whole-wheat pasta and put some tomato sauce and perhaps even a little parmesan cheese on top.
Because these baked turkey meatballs are almost pure protein, adding a few carbs and a little fat just turns them into a perfectly balanced meal that your whole family will love (or you can be like me and eat them all yourself…).
Tips for making healthy turkey meatballs
- Make a big batch! The meatballs can be stored in the fridge for several days or frozen to use later. Just put them in a ziplock and defrost them when you need them. They taste great both cold and reheated.
- Use fresh herbs. I have made them with dried herbs as well and they still taste great, but fresh herbs like parsley or basil take the flavors to a different level.
More healthy turkey recipes
I LOVE turkey! It’s such a tasty lean protein and I use it in a lot of different recipes. The turkey patties with avocado are one of my all-time favorite recipes, while the turkey chili is the perfect easy meal for a cold winter night. The marinated turkey breast is really easy to prepare ahead, so it’s perfect for a mid-week meal.
When you’ve tried these healthy turkey meatballs without breadcrumbs, please don’t forget to let me know how you liked them and rate the recipe in the comments below!
- 20 oz. ground turkey
- 3.5 oz. fresh or frozen spinach
- ¼ cup oats
- 2 egg whites
- 2 celery sticks
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ green bell pepper
- ½ red onion
- ½ cup parsley
- ½ tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. mustard powder
- 1 tsp. thyme
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- ½ tsp. chipotle pepper
- 1 tsp. salt
- Pinch of pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C)
- Chop onion, garlic, and celery very finely (or use a food processor) and put it in a large mixing bowl
- Add turkey, egg whites, oats, and spices to the bowl and mix thoroughly. Make sure there are no pockets of spices or oats in the mix
- Chop spinach, green peppers (clean out the stem and seeds first) and parsley. The pieces should be the size of a dime
- Add the vegetables to the bowl and mix it all together
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Roll the turkey mixture into 15 balls (about the size of golf balls) and place them on the baking sheet
Bake for 25 minutes, until cooked through