Flavorful turkey meatballs that are easy, healthy, and filling! This recipe is Whole30 compliant and makes a great snack or meal.
**Recipe photos have been updated as of July 2017. The original recipe has also been tweaked slightly after reader feedback!**
Over the weekend Kyle and I had the pleasure of watching my niece, Addie. Addie is a year and half old, full of energy, and loves to eat!
In preparation for her visit, I wanted to make some things to have on hand so that I could focus on playing with her and not on cooking. I’m also preparing to do my first Whole30, so I’ve been planning and testing out recipes for that.
Not only are these meatballs healthy and Whole30 compliant, but the flavor is unbelievable! Addie gobbled them up – as did Kyle and I!
I’ve been contemplating doing Whole30 for a while now. I’ve read so many great success stories and I’m excited to start! Kyle has agreed to do it with me and we have decided to start Monday, October 19th. If you want to know more about Whole30, just check out the website (linked above) and if you’d like to do it along with us, let me know!
I plan on sharing a lot of tips and tricks along the way as well as recipes, so if you’re contemplating doing it, stay tuned for more info!
Back to the recipe….
Meatballs are going to be a staple during Whole30 because they can be made a million different ways (I already have a bunch of ideas), make a great meal or snack, and provide satiety. This recipe tastes just like traditional meatballs, but without the breadcrumbs and cheese that most recipes usually contain.
I used ground turkey because that’s what I had on hand and I’ve found I actually prefer it to beef. I feel as though the flavors come through more with the ground turkey and this recipe produces perfectly juicy meatballs – not dry! Just be sure you are using a ground turkey that includes the dark meat, you’ll want the extra fat to keep them moist.
The technique I use for this recipe is a little different than most traditional recipes. I brown the meatballs and then bake them. In the past, I’ve browned them and then added them into tomato sauce to continue cooking. However, because these are grain free, they are a little more delicate to work with. Once they cook, they firm up and can stand up to a hearty tomato sauce.
If you don’t want to be bothered with the two-step cooking process, you can simply scoop the meatballs directly onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake them. However, they won’t have a deep brown color as they would from browning them on the stove. Since I had planned on keeping the meatballs separate from the sauce, I wanted them to look as pretty as possible.
If you plan on covering the meatballs in tomato sauce, I would recommend just baking them and avoiding the two-step process!
These meatballs are the perfect make-ahead option. You can make a huge batch and have them on hand all week for easy meals and snacks. They also freeze well!
- 1 Egg, beaten
- 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste*
- 1 Small/Medium Onion, peeled and grated
- 3 Cloves Garlic, finely minced
- ¼ Cup Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- Salt & Pepper
- ¼ Cup Almond Flour
- 1 ½ Pounds Ground Turkey*, a mixture of white and dark meat
- Extra-Light Olive Oil
- Tomato Sauce, for serving
- Fresh Basil, for garnish
- Combine the beaten egg, tomato paste, grated onion, garlic, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper, and almond flour. Mix well and then mix in the meat.
- Preheat the oven to 400º.
- Heat a nonstick skillet over high heat and enough of the olive oil to coat the skillet. Using a medium or large ice cream/cookie scoop*, scoop out the meatballs and drop them directly into the pan. Let them cook for about 30 seconds or until brown, then flip them over using a spoon (I found this was the easiest in order to keep them intact). Cook them until brown on the other side, about 30 seconds, and then transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil. Repeat with remaining meat – you’ll end up with about 18-20 meatballs using a large scoop, and about 30-35 with a medium scoop.
- Transfer the meatballs to the oven and bake for about 20 minutes for the large size, or 15 minutes if you used a medium-sized scoop. The meatballs will be firm to the touch when finished.
- Serve with tomato sauce.
- *Make sure the tomato paste doesn't have any additives or sugar!
- *Ground chicken, beef, or pork will work well too!
- *The cookie scoop makes it super easy to just scoop them right into the pan.