A go-to meatball recipe is always handy to have in the home recipe box. This recipe for Italian-style Turkey Meatballs has been my go-to for years. Gluten-free, lean, plenty of flavors, and simple to prepare.
In place of breadcrumbs and egg, this recipe calls for cooked quinoa, a naturally gluten-free grain, and protein-rich superfood. Quinoa helps hold the meatball together and also adds a boost of additional protein.
Growing up in an Italian household, meatballs were made from a mixture of ground beef, pork, and veal. While Italian flavors of basil, parsley, garlic, and Parmesan are used in this gluten-free meatball recipe, the meat is different. In place of the traditional meat mixture, we use natural lean ground turkey for a lighter and healthier spin on traditional Italian meatballs.
You can form meatballs that are "spaghetti and meatball" dinner size, or roll them into a smaller, appetizer portion. It takes less than 30 minutes to bake in the oven, or you can partially bake and finish cooking the meatballs by simmering on low in a slow cooker or a pot of marinara sauce. You can also serve these gluten-free Italian style meatballs as small party bites paired with a delicious pesto dipping sauce.
These meatballs freeze well, so you can store in an air-tight container or freezer friendly Ziploc to enjoy at a later time.
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- 1/3 cup cooked white quinoa (cooled)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/3 cup fresh basil (finely chopped)
- 1/3 cup fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley (finely chopped)
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese (grated) (confirm gluten-free)
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- Cook quinoa according to package directions. Let cool before combining with the other ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat (We're a big fan of Silpat).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients. Using your hands, mix together until well combined.
- Roll about 2 tablespoons of meat mixture into appetizer size meatballs, or 3 to 4 tablespoons for dinner size meatballs.
- Arrange meatballs on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle a light dusting of garlic and onion powder over top the meatballs.
- Bake meatballs for 20 to 25 minutes in the oven, or until completely heated through. Alternatively, you can bake for 15 minutes, then finish cooking the meatballs in a pot of simmering marinara sauce or slow cooker until cooked through.
Note: To prevent foodborne illness, be sure to cook meatballs all the way through ( for turkey, an internal temperature of 165 F).
Reminder: Always make sure your work surfaces, utensils, pans and tools are free of gluten. Always read product labels to confirm the product is gluten-free. Manufacturers can change product formulations without notice. When in doubt, do not buy or use a product before contacting the manufacturer for verification that the product is free of gluten.