Your weeknight dinner game just got a whole lot tastier with these baked paleo turkey meatballs! They're soft and tender and made without breadcrumbs. Naturally gluten free and paleo and Whole 30 compliant.
A word of caution - these aren't your mama's meatballs. You know the ones...
These are different. They're made with fresh and wholesome ingredients without any breadcrumbs. Plus they're turkey based which makes them naturally lower in fat. They also pair well with just about anyting!
Gluten Free Turkey Meatballs
- Naturally gluten free, dairy free, paleo, and Whole 30 compliant
- Made in under an hour
- Great for meal prep
- Freezer friendly
- Kid approved
Healthy Turkey Meatballs Ingredients & Notes
- Ground turkey - The base of the meatballs. Use low fat anywhere from 90 - 97% fat free for this recipe. This is because we add the fat back in with the eggs and olive oil.
- Olive oil - This helps keep the meatballs nice and soft when baked and not dried out. Use any type of oil like avocado or coconut if needed.
- Coconut aminos - Adds some flavor the meatballs and gives them a nice brown coating when baked. This is a common Whole 30 and paleo ingredient and can be found in most grocery stores in the sauce or dressing aisle.
- Nutritional yeast - Provides some added flavor to the meatballs. Feel free to omit if needed.
- Almond flour - Used instead of bread crumbs to bulk up the meatballs. Swap with any flour you want if needed. If using coconut flour, only use ¼ cup.
How to make Turkey Meatballs without Breadcrumbs
These turkey meatballs come together in no time at all. All you need is a mixing bowl, a cookie scoop or large spoon, and a baking sheet.
Step 1 : Combine ingredients
Add all meatball ingredients to a bowl and mix well with a rubber spatula or with your hands. You can also use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
Mix until the ingredients are well disbursed in the turkey.
Step 2 : Shape into balls and bake
Use a 2-inch cookie scoop or a large spoon to scoop the dough into balls. I like to use a cookie scoop so I know each meatball will be the same size and therefore require the same baking time.
Roll the meat in between the palms of your hands to roll it into a ball. Yes, your hands will get messy. If needed, place some olive oil on your hands to prevent the meat from sticking.
Place the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for each clean up. Leave about an inch in between each one. Bake in the oven until brown all the way around.
There will be some extra grease around each meatball once they are baked which is common. Remove the grease by trimming around each meatball with a small knife or twist each meatball while hot and transfer to a rack to cool slightly.
How long to bake turkey meatballs
Turkey meatballs need to cook for about 20 minutes in the oven to cook all the way through. To check for doneness, insert a meat thermometer and verify that they are at 165 F. If you don’t have a thermometer, insert a toothpick into the center of a few meatballs and make sure they feel set ll the way through. If they feel soft at all, they need a few more minutes.
How to Serve Baked Turkey Meatballs
Possibly the best thing about these turkey meatballs is that there are so many pairing options. Here are a few of my favorite ways to serve them:
- With cauliflower "mashed potatoes" for a lighter meal (this is what I paired them with in the images)
- On top of whipped garlic mashed potatoes for a cozy meal
- Served on a platter with toothpicks as an appetizer - place a bowl or marinara and/or labneh for dipping
- Serve on top of chickpea pasta with marinara sauce or a dairy free alfredo
- Add on top of my vegan butternut squash mac and cheese
- Swap the traditional spaghetti noodles with baked spaghetti squash for a Whole 30 and gluten free meal
Paleo Turkey Meatballs Storage
Keep these baked paleo turkey meatballs in an airtight container in the fridge where they will keep for up to a week. When ready to enjoy, warm them up in the microwave for 20 seconds and serve as desired.
How to freeze meatballs
To freeze for later, make the meatballs as directed but don't bake. Place each prepared meatball on a baking sheet with parchment paper and place it in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. This will solidify the meatballs so they don't stick together in a container.
Once chilled, store the raw frozen meatballs in an airtight container or a freezer bag. They will keep for 3 months frozen. Thaw when ready to enjoy and bake as directed.
Paleo Meatballs FAQs
Almond flour is a healthy substitute used instead of breadcrumbs in this recipe. Any gluten free flour will work as well. If using coconut flour, only use ¼ cup.
The eggs bind all the ingredients together so the meatballs form a ball.
Yes, any kind of ground meat will work in this recipe. Opt for a leaner style if possible (anywhere from 90 - 97% fat free) in this recipe.
Yes, these are Whole 30 compliant.
Yes, turkey meatballs will have some carbs. Many recipes call for breadcrumbs or flour which is where the bulk of the carbs come from.
You either overcooked them or you didn’t add enough fat to the meatballs. In this recipe, we add a little olive oil to ensure a flavorful meatball.
When you bake turkey meatballs, some of the protein, called albumin, can run out from the meatball onto the baking sheet. If this happens just scrape it off before serving.
I personally prefer baked meatballs as it’s a healthier option that is still delicious.
For more healthy dinner ideas, check out my:
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Paleo Turkey Meatballs without Breadcrumbs
- 2 lb ground turkey - 90 - 97% fat free
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 2 cloves garlic - chopped
- ⅓ cup white onion - diced
- ½ cup almond flour
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- 1 stem thyme
- Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients. Mix well with a rubber spatula or with your hands. You can also use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment if needed.
- Use a 2-inch cookie scoop or a large spoon to scoop the mixture. Roll it into a ball with the palms of your hands. If needed, add a little extra olive oil to your hands to help prevent the meat from sticking to your hands.
- Place each meatball on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for each clean up. Leave about an inch in between each one. Bake in the oven for 20 - 24 minutes until the meatballs are brown all the way around. To test if they are done, stick a toothpick into the center of one. If it feels set, they are done.
- Trim any excess grease around the bottom of the meatballs with a small knife or twist each meatball while warm to remove the grease and place on a rack to cool down slightly. Serve as desired and enjoy!