Now that it’s getting cooler outside it’s time to start using the oven more often. These baked turkey meatballs will be the perfect recipe to kick off this Fall weather.
I used lean ground turkey for this recipe and, of course, added a ton of veggies to increase the nutrition content and add some more texture. There are no bread crumbs, cheese or artificial fillers added – making this recipe naturally gluten free, dairy free and low in carbohydrates.
Each meatball is slightly seared in a pan to create a firm outer layer and then finished in the oven to cook through. I find that when I lightly sear the meatballs first it helps them not fall apart in the oven. The end result is a well cooked, lean meatball that is perfect served on top of spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, bean-based noodles (like Banza) OR simply eaten by themselves.
These oven baked meatballs are fast and easy to prepare and naturally gluten free and dairy free. You can serve them with pasta and tomato sauce or stick a toothpick in them and you have a quick and healthy appetizer. Perfect to make a large batch and freeze for future use. This versatile meatball has so many serving possibilities!
Preheat the oven at 350 degrees.
Heat and medium sized non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon avocado oil and cook carrots and onion together until the onion becomes translucent.
Add the minced garlic and continue to stir for about 1-2 minutes or until very fragrant. Be careful not to let the garlic burn. Turn off the heat and remove from the stove. Let cool completely.
In a large bowl add the ground turkey, egg, parsley, salt and pepper. Add the completely cooled veggies. Mix with your clean hands until all the ingredients are incorporated.
In a 8x10 baking pan spray with olive oil or any non-stick spray. Pour 1/4-1/2 cup tomato sauce at the bottom of the pan. Spread around until the entire bottom is coated with sauce. Set aside.
Using the same skillet that you cooked all the veggies in add 1 teaspoon avocado oil over medium high heat. Using an ice cream scoop (about 2 ounces) create 15-16 meatballs and cook in two batches - using the last 1 teaspoon of avocado oil for the last batch of meatballs. Cook about 2 minutes on each side (top and bottom). Don't worry about searing all the sides.
When the meatballs are cooked on both sides put them in the pan with the tomato sauce. It should make about 5 rows of 3 meatballs.
Bake at 350 for about 25-35 minutes or until cooked through.
Notes and other suggestions:
- Ground chicken can easily be substituted for the ground turkey.
- Do not recommend using extra lean ground turkey. You need a little fat to help these meatballs stay moist and not dry out.
- Baking times depend on oven.