Turkey Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

Various types of meatballs are found all over the world.  And the types of meat varies by culture; pork, lamb, veal, beef or a combination of two or more of these meats. Meatballs are so versatile – you can go for spaghetti and meatballs, or a meatball hero, or perhaps a meatball lasagna. While my meatball style is more or less Italian, I’ve also made the Middle Eastern Kofta style. I typically like to use Turkey because of it’s leanness. This recipe includes turkey sausage and it  is easy to make, mouthwatering, and tender.   It’s baked in marinara sauce as opposed to regular tomato sauce.  I’ve made this recipe frequently and it is always a hit.  During our annual New Years Eve celebration, I make them smaller and serve them as an appetizer portion.  Guests will comeback for more no matter how you serve these.

I encourage you to make this simple, easy to follow recipe.  Your feedback, comments and questions are welcome.  Thanks for visiting.

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5 from 1 vote

Best Turkey Meatballs

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 9 to 12 people
Author Yasmin R


  • 3 pounds natural ground turkey
  • 1 pound fresh hot turkey sausage
  • 3 cups fresh bread crumbs (I use fresh Italian bread)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (and extra for greasing the pan)
  • 3/4 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh oregano finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup shallot finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated asiago cheese
  • 3 -32 ounce jars marinara sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

  2. Make the breadcrumbs.  Cut off the brown edges of the bread (about two thirds of a large Italian Bread).  Break up the bread into chunks and place in a food processor. Pulse until you achieve a desired bread crumb look - about one to two minutes.

  3. Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl.  Add the milk.  Use a spoon to combine.  Set aside.

  4. In a large bowl, add the ground turkey. Remove the thin skin from the sausage and add the skinless sausage to the turkey. Add the beaten eggs, two tablespoons olive oil, one tablespoon garlic, half-cup parsley, one tablespoon oregano, shallots, salt, black pepper, and the cheeses.

  5. Use your finger to gently combine all the ingredients into the meat.  

    Note: Be careful not to over mix. A minute to two minutes will be more than plenty.

  6. Grease two half-size aluminum tin pans with olive oil.  Or grease on full-size pan. Add the meatballs to the pan/pans

    Note: If using foil tins place them on a large sheet pan for easy handling in and out the oven.

  7. Place the pans in the preheated oven. Bake the meatballs for 30 minutes.

  8. While the meatballs are baking, prepare the sauce.

  9. In a large five-quart Dutch oven pot over medium flame, heat two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Add the remaining parsley, oregano, and garlic.  Sauté until fragrent, about one minute.

  10. Add the three jars of sauce.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the flame to low simmer.  Simmer the sauce for about ten minutes.

  11. Remove the meatballs from the oven.  Use a large spoon to tun the meatballs over.  Add the sauce using a ladle.  Return the pans to the oven and bake for an additional fifteen minutes until nice and bubbly.

  12. Remove the meatballs from the oven.  Plate and serve with your favorite pasta.  Enjoy.

Recipe Notes

This is a great recipe for feeding a crowd and you can also cut the recipe in half to make it for four to six people. This is a convenient recipe to make ahead - prepare the meatballs a day ahead or early in the day - refrigerate until ready to cook. I've also used this recipe to make mini meatballs to serve as an appetizer.  The fresh breadcrumbs is a must.  It makes for a tender meatball without tasting a lot of breadcrumbs.   

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