This turkey meatball recipe is addicting! Simple, irresistible, and incredibly versatile. These gluten-free turkey meatballs are great as an appetizer, a main course (like Spaghetti and Meatballs in Marinara sauce), or in a homemade meatball sandwich.
About Turkey Meatballs
The first time I made these gluten-free turkey meatballs I intended to use them for a spaghetti and meatball recipe.
However, after my husband and I tried these that night, we kept munching on. Ooops. Sorry, not sorry. 😉
I can’t recall what else we ate instead that night, but chances are it was something like this salad which is always on our meal rotation.
However, I do remember that we used the leftover turkey meatballs to make a simple meatball sandwich the next day.
Ever since then we have these ‘turkey balls’ regularly on our menu. Just the other day I used them to make my cheesy Turkey Tater Tot Casserole (it is as good as it sounds). But we’ve also had them over spaghetti with marinara. They never disappoint.
- Ground Turkey.
- Butter. We’ve been on a Kerry Gold kick for a few years (my husband’s Irish, so I guess we’re biased)
- Fresh Sage. You’ll find this in the vegetable aisle in your local supermarket. Mine has a small container that has more than enough fresh sage leaves.
- Red Onion. I also love to make this recipe with shallots or sweet onions. The day I took the pictures for this recipe I only had red onions, and it was delish. No matter which onion you pick, you really can’t make a mistake.
- (Unblanched) Almond Flour.
- Olive Oil. You can also use avocado oil or grapeseed oil.
How To Make Turkey Meatballs
- Add the ground turkey into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- CHOPPING. Finely dice 1/2 an onion and mince 2-3 cloves of garlic. Remove the fresh sage off the stem and tear into smaller pieces.
- SAUTÉING. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter until the butter makes tiny bubbles. Add the fresh sage and cook for 2-3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the sage leaves. Next, add the onion and the garlic into the sage-infused butter and sauté over medium-low heat until soft; about 5-7 minutes. Add the mixture into the bowl with the ground turkey and combine it well.
- ALMOND CRUMBS. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and add 1 cup of unblanched almond flour. Cook over medium-low heat until golden brown. Stir regularly. Season with salt and pepper
- SHAPING TURKEY MEATBALLS. Add the almond crumbs to the ground turkey mixture. Combine well, but make sure that you don’t overwork the meat. Use your hands to form the meatballs. I like smaller meatballs. If you make them larger make sure that you extend the cooking time. ALWAYS make sure that the internal temperature is at or above 165°F.
- COOKING THE MEATBALLS. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil (avocado oil works well, too) over medium-high heat. Once the oil is sizzling hot, add the meatballs and cook for 6-8 minutes (depending on the size of your meatballs), flip over and cook for an additional 6-8 minutes.
More Simple Recipes
- Greek Salad. This light and creamy chopped salad work great as a side salad.
- Kale Pesto. Try dipping the turkey meatballs into THIS pesto. YUM
- Dill Dip. One of my favorite creamy dips.
- Strawberry Pudding. A simple dessert to round off dinner.
Turkey Meatball Notes and Cooking Tips
Infusing butter with fresh sage is a simple way to pump a lot of flavor into the turkey meatballs.
After you remove the sage leaves from the stem, be sure to tear them at least once. This will release the flavor and help you infuse the butter.
What if you can’t find fresh sage in the supermarket? You can use dried sage in a pinch, but you won’t get the burst of flavor you’ll get if you’re using fresh sage. Also, try fresh rosemary.
In my house we love garlic. And in fact, I often sneak in an extra piece of garlic here or there. I think that garlic adds such nice flavor to the meatballs.
However, if you are making these meatballs for a crowd, I recommend you reduce the amount of garlic you add to this recipe.
Stovetop vs. Oven
You can cook the turkey meatballs both on the stovetop or in the oven. Stovetop cooking is a bit quicker. If you’re cooking the turkey meatballs on the stovetop, make sure to turn your them at least once, so they get a nice brown coating.
If you plan to cook the turkey meatballs in the oven, preheat the oven to 375°F. The meatballs will take about 15-20 minutes to cook to temperature. If you are cooking frozen meatballs add 10 minutes in the oven.
No matter what technique you’ll use, make sure that the external temperature is at least 165°F.
I’ve come to prefer the almond flour ‘breadcrumbs’ to traditional breadcrumbs. Use unblanched almond flour instead of blanched for this recipe.
Unblanched almond flour includes (tiny) pieces of the almond shell and has more texture than the blanched flour.
If you are calorie-conscious, you can substitute the tablespoon of butter with a couple of tablespoons of water when you make the breadcrumbs.
Freezing The Turkey Meatballs
Meatballs are great for freezing. You can freeze them either cooked or uncooked. If you are freezing them uncooked, add the raw meatballs onto a parchment-covered baking sheet, spaced evenly apart and flash freeze them. Once frozen add them to an air-tight container.
- 1 pound ground turkey meat
- 4 tablespoons butter divided
- 1/4 cup sage loosely packed
- 3 cloves fresh garlic
- 1/2 Red Onion
- 1 cup almond flour unblanched
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- Add ground turkey meat into a large mixing bowl and set aside. Next dice half a red onion (or shallot) and mince 2-3 fresh garlic cloves. Remove the fresh sage from the stem and tear the leaves into smaller pieces.
Sage Infused Butter
- Next add the red onion and the minced garlic to the sage-infused butter. Sauté over medium-low heat until the onions and the garlic are soft. About 5-7 minutes. Add to the mixture to the ground turkey meat.
- Melt the remaining butter and add the unblanched almond flour and cook until the almonds are golden-brown and crumbly. Season with salt and pepper.
Cooking The Turkey Balls
- Add the toasted almond crumbs to the ground turkey mixture. Combine with the rest of the ingredients but don't overwork the meat. Shape the meat into about thirty ½-inch turkey meatballs.