These Healthy Meatballs are a quick easy meal for any night of the week. They take less than 30 minutes from start to table and work for almost any special diet too.
Think you need to give up meatballs if you’re avoiding grains? You don’t since this healthy meatball recipe has no breadcrumbs, but still holds together well and tastes great.
The recipe is so simple you can have healthy turkey meatballs any day of the week, making for a great easy meal prep even picky eaters will love.
Of course, if you aren’t eating keto or low carb and not needing to avoid grains, you can use gluten-free breadcrumbs for a delicious gluten-free turkey meatball recipe as well. We’ve made them both ways and they are simply great each and every way.
Here’s how to make these delicious meatballs.
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- Mixing bowl
- Deep skillet
- Baking sheet
Following is a basic ingredient list. See the recipe card below for amounts and more information.
ground beef, turkey, or sausage. For best results use a combination of beef and sausage.
sweet yellow onion
egg (or egg alternative)
parsley (fresh or dried. Use 1/3 the amount if using dried.)
basil (fresh or dried. Use 1/3 the amount if using dried.)
almond flour / almond meal / or grain-free bread crumbs
chicken broth (optional) – can also use beef broth or vegetable broth
olive oil for skillet
green onion or fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
Following are basic directions and step by step photos. See the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.
In a bowl, add turkey, sausage, chopped onion, garlic, bread crumbs (or almond flour), basil, parsley, whisked egg, salt, and pepper. Mix. Make meatballs.
In a skille, heat the olive oil. Add meatballs. Cook until golden brown. Remove from skillet.
Add ½ cup chicken broth and deglaze the plan.
How to Freeze
You can freeze these paleo meatballs alone, but you can also freeze the meatballs with the sauce. To do so, place an appropriate number of meatballs and sauce in a freezer bag, then lay the bag flat.
Squeeze the air out of the bag, seal it, and then lay flat in the freezer. Make a big batch of this recipe and freeze them for easy meals you can have ready in no time.
Instead of the onion you can use 1 tablespoon minced dried onion or 2 teaspoons onion powder.
If you want to make gluten-free meatballs, but don’t need to be low-carb, you can use gluten-free breadcrumbs in place of the low-carb breadcrumbs.
If you’d like to make plain ground turkey meatballs without marinara, you can still deglaze the pan even with the meatballs still in the pan. Simply add the chicken broth to the pan with the browned meatballs, stirring them gently. Then cover the pan and cook as directed.
In place of breadcrumbs from the store, you can use the crumbs from any keto bread (like this Focaccia Flax Bread) or almond meal or almond flour, but for best results use breadcrumbs.
Special Diet Alternatives
This recipe work for those on a paleo diet or the whole30 diet or a keto diet, and also for those who are dairy-free. For an egg-free option, use a flax egg or chia egg, and even a gelatin egg should work.
These meatballs are great served so many ways. How about….
- made in a smaller size and served as an appetizer
- with jarred or homemade marinara
- served over cauliflower rice, with or without sauce
- served on top of spaghetti squash
- served on top of vegetable noodles made from sweet potatoes, eggplant, or zucchini noodles
- with any kind of sauce you’d like
- in a roll as a meatball sub
- How does the recipe change if I want smaller meatballs?
You can make any size you like, however this will change the amount of meatballs you get and the cooking time.
- Can I use dried herbs?
Yes, you can substitute fresh herbs with dried. Simply use about 1/3 – 1/4 of the amount of each spice.
- How can I store the meatballs and spaghetti squash?
The meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or frozen as outlined above.
- What substitutions can I make for the meat?
You can substitute the turkey or both the turkey and the sausage with ground beef, or you can use all turkey, or use all italian sausage.
- Can I Make These Turkey Meatballs in the Oven?
Yes–simply place the meatballs on a cookie sheet or other baking pan and bake until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F (about 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.)
Healthier Meatballs without Breadcrumbs (keto with egg-free option)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground italian sausage (or more beef or other meat. Turkey, pork, bison, etcetera, could also be used.)
- ¼ sweet yellow onion finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic grated or finely minced
- 1 egg (whisked)
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley (use 1 teaspoon if using dried)
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil (use 2 teaspoons if using dried)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup almond flour (almond meal or grain-free bread crumbs. See Recipe Notes)
- ½ cup chicken broth (optional)
- 3 ¼ cups
Easy Marinara Sauce(or your favorite sauce)
- olive oil for skillet
- green onion or fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
- In a large mixing bowl, add turkey, sausage, chopped onion, garlic, bread crumbs (or almond flour), basil, parsley, whisked egg, salt, and pepper.
- Mix the meatball mixture together by hand until just combined, taking care to not over mix.
- Make 15 meatballs approximately 1½ inches in size.
- In a skillet on medium heat, add the olive oil. Once heated, add meatballs. Keep an eye on them to prevent them from sticking to the skillet.
- Cook 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from skillet.
- In the now empty skillet, add in ½ cup chicken broth and deglaze the plan.
- Add the meatballs and marinara sauce, stirring slowly so as to maintain the meatballs' shape.
- Cover and let cook for 15-20 minutes until meatballs are cooked through to a temperature of 160 degrees fahrenheit.
- Instead of the onion, you can use 1 tablespoon minced dried onion or 2 teaspoons onion powder.
- If you want to make gluten-free meatballs, but don’t need to be low-carb, you can use gluten-free breadcrumbs in place of the low-carb breadcrumbs.
- If you’d like to make plain ground turkey meatballs without marinara, you can still deglaze the pan even with the meatballs still in the pan. Simply add the chicken broth to the pan with the browned meatballs, stirring them gently. Then cover the pan and cook as directed.
- In place of breadcrumbs from the store, you can use the crumbs from any keto bread (like this Focaccia Flax Bread) or almond meal or almond flour, but for best results use breadcrumbs.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.