These whole30 turkey meatballs are what you need next Sunday afternoon! This healthy recipe is packed with nutrients and protein to fuel you up for the rest of the day and the best part is: it only takes under 30 minutes to prepare this dish! Meal prep can’t be easier than that! This recipe is also entirely gluten-free (thanks to almond flour and zucchini noodles), flourless, paleo and dairy-free.
So, yeah! This Sunday afternoon was also pretty busy out here. We made protein cookies, some muffins for the kids and prepared a dozen hard-boiled eggs, as its the only thing the kiddos will eat for breakfast. Its been like that for a couple weeks…
Ain’t that convenient, though! Unless they change their mind and decide hard boiled eggs are boring tomorrow, who knows. (Kids right… 😆!)
Aaaand I also prepared and shot this beauty of a recipe right here! Last week’s Egg Roll in a Bowl recipe was pretty awesome, but this recipe here, wow. So good!
Like I said in the intro, this dish has all it takes to qualify as the perfect meal prepping recipe. Quick, easy and soooo delicious.
The kids devoured their plate like they hadn’t been fed for DAYS, and asked for more!
Kid-friendly, healthy recipe ready under 30 minutes? Score!
I mean, look at those colors! You know you want to dive in… Well, I know I do!
Ingredients to make these Italian Whole30 Turkey Meatballs
- Ground Turkey. Goes without saying, right? Nevertheless, you should buy dark meat if you can. But don’t stress if you can’t find any, the recipe will work fine either way. You could also replace turkey with ground chicken, pork or beef.
- Almond Flour. I always replace breadcrumbs with almond flour in any recipe that calls for it. It is an amazing low-carb and gluten-free substitute.
- Egg. To make sure the meatballs hold together. Ground turkey/chicken won’t hold together very well on its own(not enough fat!).
- Garlic Powder. You could use fresh garlic instead. I prefer using powder as it speeds up the process!
- Nutritional Yeast. You could use parmesan cheese instead. I decided to use nutritional yeast to accommodate people who can’t tolerate dairy.
- Onion. For taste and a little bit of moisture. Any kind will do.
- Dried Oregano. For taste. You could use fresh chopped oregano, I’m sure it would taste awesome.
- Dried Basil. Same as oregano.
- Fresh Parsley. I used fresh parsley for taste and texture. Could be replaced with dried parsley.
- Zucchinis. To make those awesome zoodles!
- Marinara Sauce. Make sure the brand you pick is whole30 compliant. Watch out for any added sugar! If whole30 isn’t your thing, then I guess any brand will do.
How to make Whole30 Turkey Meatballs with Zoodles
1. Preheat your oven to 400F.
2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Mix all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl until well combined, using your hands. (Messy I know, but it’s the best way)
4. Roll the meat into 1-inch balls using your hands and place the meatballs on the baking sheet, leaving about an inch of space between each of them.
5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in the center of one of the meatballs indicates 165 degrees. Some people will flip the meatballs at the 10-minute mark. I did not and they came out perfect.
6. Meanwhile, spiralize the zucchinis and place them raw in the meal-prep bowls. No need to cook them. They will cook when you heat the dish later on.
7. Take the meatballs out of the oven and let them cool for a few minutes.
8. Meanwhile, open the marinara sauce jar and spread some sauce on top of the zucchini noodles.
9. Place 3-5 meatballs in each bowl.
10. Store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. I do NOT recommend freezing zoodles as they will become watery and mushy when thawed. Meatballs can be kept frozen for up to three months in an airtight container.
How to cook Turkey Meatballs in a Pan
Baking meatballs is the easiest and most efficient way to cook them. I recommend making 1-inch balls (larger meatballs will require more baking time) and placing them in rows. Just make sure you either carefully grease the pan or use parchment paper so they don’t stick. Alternately, you could bake the meatballs directly in the sauce. Also, make sure to leave some space between the meatballs (at least an inch).
How to make Turkey Meatballs Without Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs contain gluten and are particularly calorie-dense, hence why many people replace them in recipes that call for them. The best breadcrumb substitute that I know of is almond flour. It is low-carb and very healthy. That is what I am using for this particular recipe and any recipe that would normally require breadcrumbs.
Can you Cook these Meatballs on the Stove?
Sure, simply use a large non-stick pan and a little bit of olive oil. Place the meatballs in the pan and cook over medium heat, flipping them occasionally. Cooking time will differ, so the using a meat thermometer is highly recommended. Your meatballs will be ready when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
Can Turkey Meatballs be a Little Pink on the Inside?
Again, to make sure that your turkey meatballs are properly cooked, I recommend the use of a meat thermometer. It is a surefire way to make sure that your meatballs have reached the minimum recommended temperature of 165F. According to the USDA, turkey meat may remain pink, even after reaching 165F internal temperature.
*CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO PIN FOR LATER*
Whole30 Turkey Meatballs with Zoodles and Marinara Sauce
Perfect either as a healthy weeknight meal or as a meal prep for a week's worth of lunches, this kid-friendly recipe will impress you with its rich flavor.
- 4 zucchini large
- 24 oz marinara sauce 1 jar
- salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400F.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, mix all of the meatball ingredients until well combined, using your hands.
Roll the meatball mix into 1-inch balls and place them evenly on the baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch of free space between each of them.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the center of a meatball indicates 165F.
Meanwhile, spiralize the zucchinis. If meal prepping: Place them evenly into the meal prep bowls, raw. Top them with cold marinara sauce. If you are going to eat this dish right away, sauté the zucchini noodles in olive oil over medium heat for about 2 minutes and heat the marinara sauce before serving.
Top each bowl with 3 to 5 meatballs. Sprinkle some fleur de sel and freshly cracked pepper on top.
Store for up to a week in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer. NOTE: I do NOT recommend freezing the zucchini noodles as they will get watery when thawed.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without the use of any additional toppings.