Turkey, Spinach & Cheese Meatballs

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These turkey meatballs are a quick weeknight recipe the whole family loves. The addition of turkey sausage and cheese makes the meatballs tender and flavorful.

turkey meatballs

There’s always excitement at my house when meatballs are on the menu, but I wasn’t sure how the kids would feel about these turkey meatballs because, well, spinach. But they gobbled them up, spinach and all.

What makes the meatballs special is the addition of turkey sausage. Not only does the sausage make the meatballs tender, but it also adds great flavor without the need for a ton of other ingredients. To make life easy, I brown the meatballs under the broiler rather than in a frying pan. That means no stovetop splatters, and you can get the rest of dinner ready while the meatballs cook.

What you’ll need to make Turkey Meatballs

ingredients

How to make Turkey Meatballs

To begin, mix the egg with chopped spinach, scallions, and garlic.

mixture-1a

Add the ground turkey, turkey sausage, bread crumbs, mozzarella cheese and Parmigiano Reggiano.

mixture-2

Mix until evenly combined.

mixture-3

Form the mixture into 1-1/2 inch balls.

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Broil the turkey meatballs until golden, about 10 minutes.

broiled-meatballs

Then simmer in the sauce for 10 minutes more.

simmering-meatballs-in-sauce

That’s all there is to it. Enjoy!

Turkey-Spinach-Cheese-Meatballs-1

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Turkey, Spinach & Cheese Meatballs

These turkey meatballs are a quick weeknight recipe the whole family loves. The addition of turkey sausage and cheese makes the meatballs tender and flavorful.

Servings: 4 - 6 (makes about 30 meatballs)
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 40 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 ounces baby spinach, chopped (3-1/2 cups whole; 1-1/2 cups chopped)
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, finely sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.25 pounds 93/7 ground turkey (I use Shady Brook Farms)
  • 1.25 pounds Italian turkey sausage, removed from the casings (I use Shady Brook Farms)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella (preferably whole milk but low-fat will work)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce, homemade or good quality store-bought

Instructions

  1. Preheat the broiler and set an oven rack on the second-highest rack. Line a baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil and grease with the olive oil.
  2. In a bowl large enough to hold all of the ingredients, beat the egg. Add the chopped spinach, scallions, and garlic and stir until evenly combined. Add the ground turkey, turkey sausage, mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano and bread crumbs. Using your hands, mix until evenly combined. Shape the mixture into 1-1/2 inch balls and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Broil the meatballs until golden brown on top, about 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the tomato sauce in a large pan on the stovetop. Add the broiled meatballs and simmer over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the meatballs are fully cooked.
  5. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: These can be frozen in their sauce for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, reheat the meatballs in their sauce on the stovetop over medium heat until hot in the center.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 509
  • Fat: 27g
  • Saturated fat: 8g
  • Carbohydrates: 18g
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 49g
  • Sodium: 1409mg
  • Cholesterol: 194mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • I want to make these for a large group, about 30 people. Could I make the meatballs the day before, store in fridge and then reheat them in the sauce in the oven day of?

    • — Ashley on May 3, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure – hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on May 4, 2021
      • Reply
  • 10/10 omg these are so good! Such a delicious, healthy-ish version of a meatball.

    I used spicy sausage, because that’s what I had on hand, and love the kick. Will try with the mild next time.

    • — Stephanie on April 27, 2021
    • Reply
  • Can I mix ground turkey and chicken sausage? My store was out of Italian turkey sausage.

    • — Lisa on April 12, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure Lisa, that will work. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 12, 2021
      • Reply
  • We loved these meatballs. Moist and perfect! I ended up spraying them with olive oil and flipping them mid broil. I’ll probably use a little less scallion next time, but that is just a personal preference.

    • — Katie R. on April 9, 2021
    • Reply
  • substituted asiago for mozz., and can of collards for spinach. Placed meatballs on rack in a 400 degree oven. Brushed with olive oil and baked for 15-20 minutes at 165 degrees.

    • — Christine on April 6, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    If you wanted to bake the meatballs instead of broiling, at what temp and for how long

    Thank you for all your delicious recipes.
    Pat Ryan

    • — Pat Ryan on March 20, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Pat, If you want to bake them, I’d use the guidance from this recipe. Please LMK how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on March 22, 2021
      • Reply
  • These are delicious and easy to make. My husband also enjoyed them, though while I was making them he kept complaining about the “green stuff.” (Only sort-of tongue in cheek.) Once I formed all of the meatballs I could fit on a sheet pan, I did have more meatball mixture than I thought I would. We are a family of four, and we ate the sheet-pan’s worth with a few meatballs left over. I ended up discarding the extra mixture because I was too tired to make more meatballs and I knew I wouldn’t make them later.

    • — Anne Scott on March 18, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn!
    I have two pounds of ground turkey and cannot find turkey sausage. How can I make up for the lack of sausage? Is it okay to use all two pounds of the ground turkey?
    Thanks!

    • — Ellie on March 5, 2021
    • Reply
    • They won’t be quite as tender and juicy with all ground turkey, but you can get away with it. I’d add some Italian seasoning to the mixture (I’d guesstimate you’d need a heaping tablespoon). You’ll also need to add salt if the Italian seasoning doesn’t include it. Hope that helps and that you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 6, 2021
      • Reply
  • As expected, another awesome recipe from Jenn. I had been wanting to make these for a while, and I finally tried these last night with a friend. I had a little scoop I’ve used for cookie dough that seemed to be just the right size, so I used that to scoop each meatball and my friend “rounded” them out. We did have a small mishap. Sharing in case this helps someone and in case Jenn has additional suggestions. We reused a pan with the foil for the final 6 meatballs, and ended up with a small fire on the pan, overheating the oven, and generating lots of smoke. We were able to pull the pan out and the fire went out. No damage, lots of smoke. And eventually got the house aired out with windows open and fans on. I don’t have a good kitchen vent (on the list for a future kitchen). So, a few mental notes I made: 1) don’t reuse a foil on pan, 2) use grapeseed or canola oil rather than EVOO (higher heat point), 3) move pan down to 3rd rack rather than 2nd one. All in all they turned out awesome. I used a little of my saved tomato basil sauce from the summer (Jenn’s recipe) as a little “spoon over” the meatballs. And, we also made the parmesan potatoes. YUM. And I plan to freeze the extras in small serving sizes for future dinners.

    • — Nicole on February 14, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made these meatballs today. I used ground turkey and ground turkey sausage.
    They came out so tasty and delicious! Next time I will make a double batch so I can freeze some. Thank you Jenn for another great recipe.

    • — Leslie Richards on February 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • This recipe is amazing! I was looking for a healthier meatball option, and this is it. Unfortunately my food store was out of turkey sausage, so I used 2 packages of ground turkey instead. I thought the meatballs might lack some flavor because of the change, but man was I wrong! The meatballs were incredibly tasty even without the sausage. They were juicy, not dry at all, and even my 3 year old ate some. Thank you for this recipe, it’s definitely a keeper!

    • — Suzanne on February 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • I’ll admit, I don’t even like meatballs, at all. But these…I’m so glad I decided to give this recipe a try. So much flavor! Even when I forgot the breadcrumbs, still good, just a bit dense, whoops! This is another go-to meal for us, it’s a great way to mix up a boring weeknight when you don’t want rice or pasta. Meatball subs!

    • — Lindsey B. on January 30, 2021
    • Reply
  • Outstanding, versatile meatballs. We made them for the first time this week and regret not having tried the recipe sooner. The addition of spinach is a nice surprise; turkey resulted in an extra succulent texture. Next time, we’ll plan on doubling the recipe to enjoy more leftovers.

    Jenn is a gem – looking forward to making everything on this site. I’ve recommended the cookbook and the website to countless people who quickly adopt both as their go-to resource for delicious meals.

    • — Lydia on January 30, 2021
    • Reply
    • ❤️

      • — Jenn on January 30, 2021
      • Reply
  • A delicious, quick, and easy dinner recipe! Plus a healthier alternative to regular meatballs. Homerun

    • — Meaghan on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • I’ll start by saying that I really don’t like turkey, but I LOVE these meatballs! Since they’re a bit time consuming to make, I usually double the recipe and freeze a bunch of them. They freeze wonderfully and are great to have on hand for a quick meal. And they are kid-approved which makes me like them even more!

    • — Melissa Quinn on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is my go to recipe for meatballs. I love that it’s made with turkey and the spinach is a really nice addition. Served with pasta and Italian Salad for a perfect Italian dinner.

    • — R Ryan on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • These meatballs are yummy and I love that they are baked. My husband asks me to make them constantly, help!!

    • — Mary R on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made these meatballs last night and they were amazing! We have a garlic allergy so I left that out and they were still so tasty. It will be one of our new favourite meals. Thanks again Jen for making me look like a good cook!!

    • — Corinne on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I make this recipe often. Why do I like it? I make a double batch and freeze the extra. I cook them first, top with a lil sauce, place single layer on wax or parchment paper and let them individually freeze before I put them in a ziploc bag. That way they you can take out just the right amount for a meatball sandwich, snack on a few, or of course top pasta. The spinach adds a vege to something not typically made with veges in it and the feta cheese has a more intense flavor than other cheeses so need less of it – saving fat calories over using other types of hard cheese.

    • — Joanne Reg on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • These are absolutely delicious! Everyone loved them and I love how easy and how many this recipe makes!

    So many of my favorite recipes come from Jenn Segal

    • — Margaret Anenen on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • These turkey meatballs are in my regular rotation. They are delicious and make your house smell amazing! Also, I go on cooking frenzies and freeze what I make for quick meals on busy nights. I have two homes and always have these meatballs in both freezers! Being on this website is a blessing … Jenn’s food is so good.

    • — Linda R. on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Try this recipe. You won’t be disappointed! Texture and flavor are great. Good as “leftovers”, too.

    • — Margaret on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • These meatballs are perfect as stated! I’ve even been able to convince a few ground turkey nay-sayers with this one. Nice and tender, not dry at all. They’re absolutely delicious with a good marinara sauce, even served over spaghetti squash for a nice, light weeknight meal.

    • — Elise J on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is one of my picky grandchildren’s favorite recipes! Easy to make, health, and delicious.

    • — Sherry on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This was sooo yummy! I had to substitute dairy free cheese but that worked out well!! Would definitely make again.

    • — Pam on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • These are great! A good way to sneak some greens into my kid’s dinner, and they can be frozen and re-heated for a quick dinner!

    • — MaryEllen on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I make these every Christmas for our annual cocktail party and they are always a big hit! Sometimes have trouble finding ground turkey and turkey sausages, in which case I substitute with ground chicken or Italian sausages if necessary. Perfectly moist and flavourful. Thanks for this great recipe, and thank you for the step by step instructions, so easy to follow!

    • — Emilie on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This recipe is super easy and definitely utilize the freezer directions to use those extra meatballs for another meal! My husband has an issue with tomato sauce, so I substituted the sauce in Jenn’s Swedish Meatballs and it was a huge hit!

    • — Sherry on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • These are a favorite! They freeze well and I always have a package in the freezer for a quick meal.

    • — Debbie on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
    • I love, love, love these meatballs! They are so light, juicy and full of flavor. I often serve them with zucchini zoodles . A definite go to recipe in my house!

      • — Patty Wojnar on January 28, 2021
      • Reply
  • My go-to recipe. Easy, flavorful and healthy. For two of us, the recipe makes enough for freezing half for another night. I cut the amount of cheese back but still great!

    • — Carol on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • These meatballs are top 3 of recipes that EVERYONE in our family like. I’ve never added the spring onions because I always forget to buy and only use a pound of each of the meats because that’s how it usually comes. I sub pepper Jack for mozzarella cuz we like spicy. But seriously, these meatballs are so flavorful and delicious and EASY!!

    • — Kelly on January 27, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have ingredients to make these meatballs. Unfortunately I have to watch my oxalate intake [kidney stones 🙁 ], so I cannot use spinach. What are your thoughts on using arrugala (low oxalate) in these meatballs? Thank you for your time.

    • — Mary on January 17, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure, Mary, arugula should work here. Please LMK how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on January 18, 2021
      • Reply
      • Thank you for your response. I am starting them now.

        • — Mary on January 20, 2021
        • Reply
      • Hi Jenn. I used arugula instead of spinach. The meatballs were excellent. Got another question. I would like to make these again & freeze just the meatballs. How long should I broil these? I don’t want to freeze these with sauce as it would be difficult to take out just what I want. Thank you for your advice. Most of all, thank you for a wonderful website. You are a culinary genius.

        • — Mary on January 24, 2021
        • Reply
        • Thanks for your kind words and glad they came out well! I’d broil them for about 20 minutes (but if you notice they’re getting too browned, I’d move them down one notch in the oven. Hope that helps!

          • — Jenn on January 26, 2021
          • Reply
  • Wonderful recipe. We love meatballs and are trying to eat lighter so these are a nice change from my usual (beef & pork sausage) stand-by. Really did not take long to mix this all up. I found that 3 meatballs is an ample serving size for us. I divided the meat mixture and froze dinner portions in vacuum bags. Like gold in the freezer for busy days.

    • — Kathie on January 17, 2021
    • Reply
  • What would be a good substitute for the egg in this recipe? I plan on making these for someone with an egg allergy.

    • — Carol on January 7, 2021
    • Reply
    • Two of the best substitutes I’ve heard about (I haven’t personally tried either of them) are a combination of water, oil, and baking powder, and carbonated water. Scroll down to the bottom of this article for more information about both. I would assume many recipes would also work with some kind of store-bought egg substitute. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on January 8, 2021
      • Reply
      • Thanks so much for your quick response. I always feel confident following your recipes and your advice. Always! Thanks.

        • — Carol on January 14, 2021
        • Reply
  • I have been making Italian meatballs for over 55 years. I learned the recipe as a young bride from my Italian mother-in-law (who was born in Italy and was a great cook!) Everyone loved my meatballs and always said they were the best they ever tasted. However, after trying Jenn’s recipe for Spinach, Sausage and Turkey meatballs, I never looked back. I just LOVE these meatballs and will be making them from now on!

    • — Lisa A. on January 7, 2021
    • Reply

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