Italian Turkey Meatballs

Total Time

Prep: 45 min. Cook: 4 hours


12 servings

Updated: Nov. 02, 2022
What's not to love about moist and tender homemade Italian meatballs? Because they're made with lean turkey, they're lower in saturated fat, too! —Mary Berg, Lake Elmo, Minnesota
Italian Turkey Meatballs Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 3 slices white bread, torn into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • SAUCE:
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes in puree
  • 2 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Hot cooked pasta
  • Additional minced fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese, optional


  1. Preheat broiler. Combine bread and milk in a large bowl; let stand until liquid is absorbed. Add next eight ingredients; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls; place on a greased rack of a broiler pan. Broil 5-6 in. from heat until lightly browned, 4-5 minutes.
  2. For the sauce, in a 6-qt. slow cooker, mix the next nine ingredients. Add bay leaves and meatballs; gently stir into sauce.
  3. Cook, covered, on low until meatballs are cooked through, 4-5 hours. Discard bay leaves. Serve with pasta; if desired, sprinkle with additional parsley and Parmesan cheese.

Can you freeze Italian Turkey Meatballs?

Omitting additional parsley and Parmesan cheese, freeze cooled meatball mixture in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Microwave, covered, on high in a microwave-safe dish until heated through, stirring gently and adding a little water if necessary. If desired, sprinkle with additional parsley and Parmesan.

Nutrition Facts

3 meatballs with 2/3 cup sauce: 239 calories, 8g fat (2g saturated fat), 85mg cholesterol, 588mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 4g fiber), 22g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1-1/2 starch.