Kel’s Tasty Turkey Meatballs for Pasta, Pizza and Pitas

Meatballs in marinare are served!

I normally buy ground turkey breast that is at least 99% fat free, but the other day Harris Teeter had 93% lean ground turkey on sale for $3.98 per pound, which was a great deal and saved me a little more than $1.00 per pound. Yaaay! Immediately I thought I’d make turkey burgers for dinner because with the extra little bit of fat they would be juicier. However, for some reason when I got home I asked Brad what he would prefer – turkey burgers or meatballs, and he quickly responded, “Meatballs.”

Actually, meatballs turned out to be a great choice, since I got three meals for two out of one pound of meat: turkey meatballs in marinara sauce over pasta; meatball-stuffed pita sandwiches; and homemade garlic-herb crusted pizza with meatballs, green peppers, olives and onions (recipe to be posted soon.)

Rock this turkey meatball pie!

These meatballs have the right balance of seasonings that you may forget they are made from ground turkey. The addition of the paprika gives them a nice, smoky kick. Great choice, Brad!

Ingredients (makes 30 meatballs)

Kel's Turkey meatball ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground turkey (93% lean)
  • ¾ cup sweet onion, diced small
  • ½ cup celery, diced small
  • ¾ cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon smoked hot paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup fine dried bread crumbs
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl except for the dry bread crumbs and the olive oil.

Turkey meatball ingredients in bowl

Heat a small amount of oil in a large skillet. Make one meatball, roll it in the bread crumbs and brown on all sides until cooked through.

Roll turkey meatball in breadcrumbs

Let it cool on a paper towel to absorb any grease and then taste it to see if the mixture needs more seasonings. If so, adjust seasonings as necessary and then form meatballs out of the rest of the mixture. You should have about 28 to 30 meatballs when you’re done.

Make your meatballs

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Roll the meatballs into the dry breadcrumbs.

Roll meatballs in breadcrumbs

You will probably need to cook these in a couple batches, 4 to 5 minutes per side, until they are nice and brown on the outside and cooked all the way through.

Brown meatballs in skillet

Add more of the olive oil to the skillet if needed before cooking the second batch. Drain meatballs on paper towels to absorb any grease.

bunch of turkey meatballsAs I mentioned earlier, these meatballs go great as a topping on homemade garlic and herb pizza dough. Add pizza sauce, cheese, green peppers, onions and black olives for one awesome pie!

Kel's Turkey meatball pizza

Or, put the meatballs in a spicy marinara sauce, simmer for half an hour or so, and serve over pasta.

Turkey meatballs in marinara sauce

Got leftovers from that? Heat the meatballs and sauce, melt some cheese on top and fill pita bread with them and other toppings of your choice.

Kel's turkey meatball pita sandwich

Bon appétit!

Eat, drink and be merry!

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1 Response to Kel’s Tasty Turkey Meatballs for Pasta, Pizza and Pitas

  1. Pingback: Kel’s Homemade Italian Pizza with Turkey Meatballs | Kel's Cafe of All Things Food

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