Healthy Baked Turkey Meatballs with Spinach
These easy and nutritious baked turkey meatballs are the perfect weeknight dinner! They can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen until ready to use (perfect for busy schedules). Chopped spinach lends added nutrition and moisture (and nobody is the wiser). To serve, warm the meatballs in marinara sauce, then pile them on top of spaghetti or polenta, or stuff them into hoagies with mozzarella and basil. Mmm, mmm, it’s an old-school meal that’s damn tasty, especially on a busy weekday.
Servings: 4 people
- 1 pound ground turkey, preferably dark meat
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot (from 1 small shallot)
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ½ cup packed baby spinach leaves, finely chopped
- ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs (regular or gluten free)
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 24 ounces marinara sauce
Preheat the oven to 450˚F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the turkey, shallot, garlic, oregano, egg, spinach, panko breadcrumbs and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Mix everything together using a fork until evenly combined. Using a light touch, form the meat into1 ½-inch balls (they’ll be sticky) and place them on the baking sheet (you should get 15-16 meatballs). Do Ahead: The meatballs can be covered with plastic wrap (right on the baking sheet) and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Let sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes before baking.
Bake the meatballs for 8 minutes. Using tongs, flip the meatballs over. Continue baking until cooked through, about 4-5 minutes longer (the internal temperature should read 165-170˚F). Do Ahead: Once cooled, the baked meatballs can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Defrost the meatballs in the refrigerator overnight, or reheat them directly in marinara sauce until warmed through.
To serve, simmer the meatballs in marinara sauce until just warmed through. Pile the meatballs on top of spaghetti or polenta, or stuff them into hoagies. Buon appetito!
Do Ahead: The meatballs can be refrigerated in the sauce for up to 5 days.
- I prefer using dark meat turkey, which will result in juicier, more tender meatballs. However, you can use white meat turkey or even ground chicken instead.
- You can swap out the shallot for minced onion or scallions.
- A heavy duty sheet pan is one of my kitchen essentials and makes cooking these meatballs a breeze. These pre-cut parchment sheets are also an awesome time saver.
- You can use homemade or store-bought marinara sauce. If using store-bought, I usually go for Rao's, which has minimal ingredients, no added sugar, and tastes homemade.
- For a slow cooker version, check out these Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs!