This Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs recipe makes the BEST healthy homemade turkey meatballs – serve with spaghetti for a delicious, kid-friendly meal!
These healthy turkey meatballs are super easy to make with my tips and tricks. Then they get smothered in an easy homemade tomato sauce – a foolproof family dinner recipe.
We are big fans of meatballs around here. My kids love them, I love them, my husband tolerates them…
Kidding, he enjoys them, too! he just thinks they’re too much work 😉
But honestly, with my repertoire of time-saving tips and tricks? They aren’t too much work at all!
Here we’re using ground turkey for lean meatballs you can serve any night of the week – healthy comfort food at its best!
This Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs Recipe
- is easy to make with simple ingredients you can get at any regular grocery store
- makes for a healthy, kid-friendly meal
- can be served over regular spaghetti for a family dinner, or over zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash for a low carb meal
While I admittedly don’t make spaghetti too often with little kids in the house (the MESS is unreal!!!), my kids absolutely love it when I do.
And they love it even more if I serve meatballs with their spaghetti 😉
Sometimes I wonder if they really like the meatballs, or if it’s just the spaghetti getting them excited… They definitely get just as excited about my One Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce. So maybe it is just the spaghetti, ha!
How to Make Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs:
Read on for the detailed steps, or scroll down for more tips to make this recipe foolproof and the printable recipe card.
1 – Prep: Preheat the oven to 410°F and line a baking sheet. If you baking parchment isn’t nonstick, you need to lightly grease it OR spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
Then prep all the vegetables before doing anything else – it makes this recipe SO much easier! Prep the veggies for the sauce now, too!!
For the meatballs, finely (!) chop a SMALL onion – really, a small one. 3-4 tablespoons chopped is enough, you’re not making onion balls. Mince some garlic. AND if you’re too lazy/life is too crazy, use onion and garlic powder instead. Been there, done that…
The prep work is the most involved thing when it comes to this recipe, so once you’ve done that it’s really just a case of shaping and assembling.
2 – Make the meatball mixture: This is the thing I do right after my prep work when I make this recipe!
Simply throw everything for the meatballs into a bowl and TAKE YOUR HANDMIXER with the dough hook attachments and mix everything up.
I always use this method for burgers, meatloaf, meatballs… It’s so quick and you don’t need to dirty your hands.
If you don’t have a hand mixer with dough hooks, you can get one here! (This is an affiliate link and I earn a commission for purchases made after clicking through.)
2 – Shape the meatballs: Using about 2 teaspoons of meat mixture per meatball, shape the meatballs. I like using a cookie scoop to portion out the dough, it’s so much faster!
You can get a 2 teaspoon cookie scoop here! (This is an affiliate link and I earn a commission for purchases made after clicking through.)
Place the meatballs on the lined baking sheet.
3 – Bake the meatballs: Now, bake the meatballs for 8-10 minutes. They don’t need to be cooked through at this point, only browned.
4 – Make the sauce: While the meatballs are in the oven, make the sauce.
Using an oven-safe skillet, sauté the vegetables you prepped for the sauce. Deglaze the pan (this just means you’re pouring liquid into the hot pan), scraping any browned bits off the bottom – this is so much FLAVOR right there!
Then, add all other ingredients to the sauce and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the meatballs are ready.
5 – Finish the meatballs: Place the meatballs in the sauce and bake them for 10-15 minutes, or until bubbly and the meatballs are no longer pink in the middle.
If you want a thinner sauce, cover the skillet with a lid in the oven. For a thicker, chunkier sauce, leave the skillet uncovered.
6 – Make the spaghetti: While the meatballs are baking, prepare the spaghetti according to package directions. Serve with the finished meatballs (and a nice dose of grated parmesan!)
Tips for Foolproof Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs:
- if you’re short on time, use a large jar of store-bought marinara sauce in place of the homemade tomato sauce
- you can mix the spaghetti with the sauce if you like – my kids hate pasta mixed with the sauce, so that’s why my spaghetti look a little pale in the photos 😉
- do chop the onion for the meatballs quite finely, to you’ll end up with large chunks in the meatballs – not so pleasant to eat
Can you freeze these turkey meatballs?
Yes, you can! That way it takes way less time to whip this up.
Make a 3x or 4x batch to make it worth your time!
How to freeze the meatballs:
Bake the meatballs for 15-20 minutes, to bake them through.
Cool them to room temperature, then bag them up in batches. Label with the name and use-by date (freeze for up to 3 months) and freeze.
How to reheat the meatballs:
To reheat, plop them straight in the simmering sauce and cook until piping hot in the middle!
Note: You can also pre-make and freeze the sauce (or use a jarred marinara) for even quicker dinner prep.
When freezing a recipe, always remember:
- make sure to use containers or bags suitable for freezing
- label with the name and use-by date (freeze for up to 3 months)
- reheat until piping hot all the way through before serving
What do You Serve with Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs?
Since you already have your starch and your protein, you don’t need much else to go with this dish!
Though I suppose a garlic bread is never wrong… 😉
Our favorite sides:
For more Spaghetti and Meatballs sides, see my post here: What Sides Go Well with Spaghetti and Meatballs?
More Delicious Ground Turkey Recipes You’ll Love:
- Greek Turkey and Zucchini Meatloaf
- Instant Pot Turkey Pumpkin Chili
- Greek Turkey Meatballs
- BBQ Turkey Meatloaf
And if you liked these recipes, there’s plenty more to make family meals easier for you! Be sure to join my FREE recipe circle here to get easy recipes by email.
P.S: If you tried this recipe, why not leave me a comment below to let me know how you liked it?
I LOVE interacting with you and hearing about your experience with my recipe. Also, by adding a comment and star rating you’re helping Savory Nothings grow and get even better for you!
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For the Meatballs
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 small onion (finely chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
- 1 large (egg)
- 4 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- black pepper (to taste)
For the Sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 stick celery (finely diced)
- 1 small carrot (finely diced)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1/3 cup red wine (optional (use broth or water as a substitute))
- 1 (14-oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 (14-oz) can tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup (OR honey, OR sugar)
- salt & black pepper (to taste)
For the Spaghetti:
- 1 pound spaghetti
To Make the Meatballs
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 410°F. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
- Make meatballs: Place all ingredients for the meatballs in a medium mixing bowl and mix well (I use a hand mixer with dough hook attachments for this!), then shape into approximately 2 teaspoon sized balls. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake meatballs: Bake the meatballs for 8-10 minutes or until browned (no need to bake them through just yet).
To Make the Sauce:
- Sauté the vegetables: Heat the oil in a large, oven-safe skillet. Add the onion, garlic, celery and carrot and cook for 2-3 minutes or until starting to soften.
- Season and deglaze the pan: Stir in the tomato paste and Italian seasoning. Cook for another minute or until it smells amazing. Pour the red wine (or broth/water) into the pan, scratching the browned bits off the bottom.
- Simmer the sauce: Add both tomatoes, the maple syrup and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 5-10 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring from time to time.
Finish the Dish:
- Place the baked meatballs in the finished tomato sauce. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until bubbly and the meatballs are no longer pink in the middle. If you want a thinner sauce, cover the skillet with a lid in the oven. For a thicker, chunkier sauce, leave the skillet uncovered. Cook the spaghetti according to package directions while the meatballs are baking, then serve everything together.