Baked Turkey Meatballs with Spinach + 10 Ideas for Meatballs

We’re been using ground turkey, instead of ground beef, for quite a while now. One of the favorite recipes in our house is for my Baked Turkey Meatballs with Spinach. They are healthy, full of flavor, and I LOVE that I don’t have to stand at the stove frying them.

Below you will find my recipe for Baked Turkey Meatballs with Spinach. The most common way we enjoy them is in my Oven Baked Meatball Sandwiches – which are super easy. But even if meatball sandwiches aren’t your thing, I have our 9 other favorite ways of eating meatballs right after the recipe.

Easy Dinner Idea: Oven Baked Meatball Sandwiches

UPDATE: There have been so many great comments on this recipe! One of the biggest question was about the calorie count on these and one of my readers determined them to have 60 calories per meatball — I’m sure this will vary depending on each how you make them, but this is great to know. Also, I’ve had readers who have successfully used fresh spinach, rather than frozen spinach, so if you want to give that a try, go for it!

Baked Turkey Meatballs with Spinach

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional - adjust to your preference)
  • 16 oz frozen chopped spinach (defrosted, drained, and squeezed to remove excess water)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 2 1/2 lbs lean ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a large baking sheet by spraying with cooking spray. I actually line my baking sheet with foil and then spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a frying pan on medium heat, heat olive oil until hot. Then add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Sauté until onion is tender (about 5-6 minutes total time).
  3. Add spinach to pan and combine with onion mixture. Add Worcestershire sauce and chicken broth and mix well to combine. Cook until most of the liquid has cooked out (evaporated). I don't have much liquid in my pan after I combine all these, but it will depend on how well you drained your spinach. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, bread crumbs, and egg. Add cooled onion/spinach mixture to the meat. I do all of this step with my hands, but you can use a spoon if you prefer.
  5. 5. With your hands, create meatballs that are about 1 - 1 1/2 inches in diameter and place them on the baking sheet. Leave a little bit of space between each meatball. When you are done shaping your meatballs, you will probably have about 40-42 meatballs from this recipe. Don't need that many? Freeze them after baking or cut this recipe in half (but I say freeze them and then you've done the work only once and have a future meal).
  6. Bake until your meatballs are cooked through with an internal temperature of 160 degrees F - which was about 20 minutes for my oven. Remove from oven and serve as desired.
http://homecookingmemories.com/baked-turkey-meatballs-with-spinach-10-ideas-for-meatballs/

Our Top 10 Ideas for Meatballs

1. Meatball Sandwiches (cooked meatballs in a hoagie roll with a tomatoe based sauce and mozzerella cheese)
2. Served on top of pasta with pasta sauce
3. Covered in casserole dish with pasta sauce and mozzerella cheese; baked until hot & bubbly
4. Used as the main filling in calzones (wrapped in a pizza-type dough and baked)
5. Placed on a skewer before or after baking (fun for the kids)
6. Make and cook very tiny meatballs, only 1/2 inch in diameter (reduce baking temp/time as necessary) and top pizza with them
7. Place cooked meatballs in crockpot and simmer in favorite sauce; serve with toothpicks
8. Replace the chicken in your favorite soup with cooked meatballs instead (turkey meatball noodle soup, anyone?)
9. Slice cooked meatballs and use as filling in Italian quesadilla with mozzerella cheese in a tortilla
10. Make big meatballs (2-3″ diameter) bake in muffin tins; adjust cooking time as necessary

What are your favorite ways to serve meatballs?

Comments

  1. says

    Howdy – I tried these, and OH MY GOODNESS. My husband is currently eating them straight off the cookie sheet! I would love to link to your blog for this recipe, if I may? My blog is a work in process, but I am hopeful!
    (Oh and the hubby said to try them with soy sauce, and its really good! Tastes like pot stickers filling! I might try to make potstickers with this!)
    Thank you!!!

    • says

      Thank you so much, Anita! And the soy sauce idea sounds great…I will definitely have to try that. And using the filling for potstickers is also a good idea that I never considered. And you are welcome to link to my blog. Thank you for visiting and commenting!

  2. lydia says

    i made this to night for dinner for my family and soon to be hubby, he loved them as much as my kids did! I love the meat balls !! i think that this will become a hit for saturday nights in my house! :) thanks for sharing this.

  3. Ashley says

    Hi!!!! I plan on making these tonight, but I was wondering if fresh spinach could be used instead of frozen?!
    Thank you!

  4. Alivtina says

    What do u mean exactly “160 degree internal”? I shouldnt do it 400 degrees? Please let me know, bit confusing for me thx;)

    • says

      Hi Alivtina,
      The oven will be set to 400 degrees F. But the inside (internal) temperature for a finished meatball would be about 160 degrees F. So, if you have a meat thermometer and inserted it into the middle of the meatballs when they are supposed to be done, you should see a temperature of about 160 degrees F.

  5. Angie says

    Just made these for dinner and they were delicious!! I cooked up some wheat pasta, and added the meatballs and some pasta sauce into a casserole dish with skim mozzarella on top and broiled till the cheese was melted… Awesome!! And pretty healthy too, with such few bread crumbs added. Thanks for the recipe! These will be a staple at our house!

  6. Patty says

    I made these tonight and they were awesome! Thanks so much for the recipe – I did use fresh spinach like someone else mentioned.

  7. says

    I found this recipe on pinterest and after a dozen of pinterest fails these were by far the best meatballs ever. Thanks so much! We’ll be having them again and often!

  8. Jenn says

    I’m a little late getting here, but I finally tried these tonight and they were excellent! Will definitely be making again. Thank you for sharing :)

    • brandie says

      Hi Casey,
      One of the recent comments above (by Erin) was nice enough to work it out on caloriecount.com and said that it’s 60 calories per meatball (if 42 made from the batch). 3 g of Fat (/8g saturated), 28mg Cholesterol, 116mg Sodium, 2.4g Carbohydrates, 6.2g Protein. Hope that helps!

  9. Veronica says

    Tried this tonight. AMAZING! We tried one off the cookie sheet to see what pasta/sauce we should make and ended up eating ALL the meatballs lol didnt bother making pasta or sandwiches or anything…just ate the meatballs. Even my toddler who hates meat ate these!

  10. Arleen says

    One of the very best recipes for using ground turkey. I just made them for the 2nd time.
    Can’t wait to make them for my kids when we go to California!
    Yummmmmm

  11. says

    We made these this week and LOVE them. They were so delicious! I did make half the recipe this time, but will for sure make the full one next time. Thank you for sharing this yummy, healthy meatball recipe!

  12. Tonya says

    Is there any reason I couldn’t make these up, roll into balls and freeze – before they were baked? Then thaw and cook as needed?

  13. Holly Sieger says

    Just tried these and will definitely make them again. Looking for recipes that get more veggies into our diet. Love that these have spinach in them, genius!

  14. Sarah says

    I was wondering, is there any reason you couldn’t bake these using ground beef? I have spinach in my freezer, but no turkey! I’m *very* new to cooking, so this might be a newbie question! =P

    • says

      Hi Sarah! While I haven’t used this meatball recipe with ground beef, I’m sure it would work great too. If you do give it a try, let me know how it turns out!

      • Sarah says

        Delicious! I also had to sub applesauce for eggs because my daughter has an allergy, which meant seriously adjusting the cooking time. But the flavor is out of this world! Thanks for the recipe!

        • susan says

          Sarah, my granddaughter is also allergic to eggs. I use applesauce instead of eggs also. How do/did you adjust cooking time for these?

  15. Lisa says

    Dang these were delish!! I did make the full batch and had a ton of extra. I decided to freeze the extra raw meat in cupcake wrappers to thaw and bake in the future. We ate these all by themselves, no sauce, no pasta and they were fab! A side of roasted red potatoes and asparagus rounded out this dish perfectly! Thanks for sharing!

  16. robin leclerc says

    hi!..found your meatball recipe on pinterest and as we are trying to eat healthier thought we’d give them a try…sounds delicious and i love reading the reviews…thanks to erin above for the caloriecount.com link to figure out how “healthy ” (or not..lol) some of my other recipes are…keep cooking girl!

  17. Charlotte says

    Thanks for the recipes! They r soooooo good!
    How do you usually reheat them? I don’t have microwave. Should the oven work? At what temp? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Charlotte! Glad you liked them! And yes, heating them up in the oven should work. If it was me I would probably just put them in at the same temp and keep them in just long enough that they are heated. But I’ve never actually heated them in an oven, so I’m not sure how long it would take.

  18. Beth says

    Made these over the weekend, but since I do not like turkey I used ground chicken, bread crumbs made from “Ezekiel 4:9″ bread (fitting in with the detox diet I am presently on) and fresh chopped baby spinach. So yummy! I cut them up cold in a salad for lunch – really delicious.
    Thank you

  19. katie says

    I just made this in the form of a meatloaf, as I was feeling too lazy to roll meatballs. ;-) It cooked up perfect, my only change was using frozen kale instead of spinach, because thats what I had in my freezer! Thanks for a great recipe. Kids are gobbling it up!

  20. Donna says

    I made these for my 3 and 4 year old boys for dinner tonight. They were amazing and the boys ate so much, thank you for the recipe. They were also super easy to make and I love that they are baked. My boys are gluten free so we used gluten free quick cook oats instead of breadcrumbs and they were still fab!

  21. Mary says

    Mmm…fresh spinach from the garden worked perfectly. Rinsed and chopped it then threw in when your recipe told me to. These were delicious by the way. Thank you!

  22. Kavitha says

    Made these last night for dinner and they came out great! I had never made a meatball before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I added more red chilli pepper flakes because I love spicy, but it didn’t seem to produce the kick I wanted. I plan to make this again with diced jalapenos to give me that spice.

    Thanks for the recipe, I’ll be making this often! And I took your advice on freezing the extra :)

  23. Aalisa says

    These are so great! Always looking for ways to get my 13month old to eat meat and healthy veggies (and lets be honest my husband too) and he totally loved these! Thanks!

  24. Jessica says

    Thanks for the great recipe. I found it on Pinterest. I made burgers out of half of the mix, and meatballs out of the rest. My family (including young kids) loved them!

  25. Beth says

    Do you mind if I post this recipe on my blog with a few changes I did? I used minced dried onions because I have picky eater with onions, used fresh spinach and ground beef ( b/c that’s what I had). They are delicious! My blog isn’t a food blog, it’s just life updates from me but theses are so good I’d love to share them. I’ll reference and put a link to your page.
    We are going to try them in meatball sandwiches tonight.

    • says

      Hi Beth,
      Sure! As long as it’s your adapted version and you write the instructions to match your version, that would be perfect. And giving credit to my post is very much appreciated. Thanks for trying them and for leaving a comment!

  26. Ray A says

    These meatballs are so great!! and so easy! I never even thought about making something so simple but it’s so good! My boyfriend threw some balsamic vinegar on his before we put them in the oven, it caramelizes when it bakes so it gives it both tang and sweetness, amazing!

  27. Patty says

    Just made these and they are OUTSTANDING!!!!!!! They are a thing of beauty when baked:) Great flavor & texture. Can’t wait to have them tonight with my homemade sauce. My husband said this would be good as a meatloaf….will try that next time. I did add some shredded asiago cheese to mix and used fresh spinach…the extra liquid evaporated just fine.

  28. Stacy says

    Found you on pinterest and will be checking out the rest of your site! I hve my first batch of these in the oven right now, how would you suggest to thaw if I wanted to freeze these after baking for freezer meals? Thanks in advance!

    • says

      Hi Stacy! I actually wouldn’t thaw them before cooking, if you freeze them. I would remove them from the freezer and cook them right from there — just heat up on a baking sheet until hot. Or if using in spaghetti and meatballs or meatball sandwiches, I would put the frozen meatballs right into my sauce as it was heating. Hope that helps!

      • Stacy says

        Thanks, I tried simmering them in sauce after being frozen and they came out great! My hub loved them! You have a new fan. And these will be a staple in my freezer. Thanks again for the healthy, yummy meal idea!

      • Stacy says

        Thanks, I tried simmering them in sauce after being frozen and they came out great! My hub loved them! You have a new fan. And these will be a staple in my freezer. Thanks again for the healthy, yummy meal idea!

  29. Barbie says

    This recipe is wonderful! I made them with 10 oz spinach and substitutedhalf a cup each of grated carrot, zucchini, and yellow squash. I have already ate 3 off the pan!

  30. says

    These are wonderful!! One of my boys was not too thrilled that I was making them because they had spinach in them but once he tasted them he declared that every Saturday is now Turkey Spinach Meatball day!! HAHAHA

  31. Patty says

    These meatballs were great! I added golden raisins and used instant mashed potato buds instead of bread crumbs. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  32. Erica says

    Made these for dinner tonight and made a spicy tomatoe sauce to go with – served with pasta. They were really delicious. My family are all trying to eat healthily so they were a big hit. I also like the fact that I didn’t have to stand and fry them on top of the stove. I will definitely be making them again. Found the recipe on Pinterest. Thank you.

  33. Michelle K. says

    The house smelled wonderful while these were baking.
    I used fresh spinach, gluten free panko bread crumbs and gluten free Worcestershire sauce.
    I also have a meatball spoon which making these a cinch. No mucky hands.
    DELISH!

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