This super-easy Turkey Meatball Recipe utilizes the power of the air fryer to give you an oil-free, lightened up version of a classic meatball without sacrificing flavor. They're perfect on top of spaghetti or even on their own as a snack or appetizer!
👩🏻🍳 Why You'll Love This Recipe
For the longest time, I only made store-bought frozen meatballs, and then I realized how easy it is to make your own. Not only that, but ground turkey meatballs are much leaner than beef, so they're better for you!
They also taste incredible and come out so crispy and delicious from the air fryer, but they're still nice and moist on the inside. Trust me, once you start making these, you won't miss those frozen meatballs!
This turkey meatball recipe is perfect for spicing up a quick spaghetti dinner or even to serve on their own. The red pepper flakes give them a little kick and they're so flavorful.
I recommend trying them with my Chicken Pesto Pasta for a complete and filling meal, but they'll go perfectly with just about any classic pasta dish!
🥘 Ingredients Needed
- ground turkey - a great lean substitute for ground beef, and with all of the seasonings and flavors in this turkey meatball recipe, you won't even notice the difference!
- garlic salt
- Italian seasoning - a fast and easy way to pack a lot of flavor.
- red pepper flakes - these definitely give your meatballs a kick, so feel free to reduce the amount or omit entirely.
- Worcestershire sauce - provides an extra punch of umami flavor.
- milk - helps all of the ingredients come together and form a workable mixture.
- Parmesan cheese - gives your meatballs a bit of cheesiness.
- bread crumbs - I used seasoned bread crumbs to give my ground turkey meatballs extra flavor.
- Combine ground turkey, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce, milk, Parmesan cheese, and bread crumbs in a bowl.
- Portion out the mixture into mounds of about 1 ½ tablespoons. Roll them between your hand to create balls.
- Drop the meatballs in the air fryer basket, making sure to leave room between them for even frying.
- Air fry for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F. If you want more even browning, you can flip them at the halfway mark, but I usually just let them go!
The number one reason for this happening is overworking the meat before it's cooked. Be sure to roll the meatballs loosely and not apply too much pressure to the meat. It can be helpful to mix all of the other ingredients thoroughly, then add the ground turkey and stir just until combined.
One way to prevent this is to soak some pieces of bread and add them into the mixture, which help to hold the meatballs together. You may also want to roll the meatballs in some flour before air fryer to help prevent sticking, which could also cause them to fall apart when removing from the air fryer.
These ground turkey meatballs are pretty versatile so they go with just about anything. Serve them with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable, on rolls with your sauce of choice for a delicious sandwich, over rice, or even cut up on top of a salad.
One sure-fire way to know is to use a meat thermometer and check to see if they've reached an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F. You can also check visually by cutting one in half and making sure the meatball isn't pink and is more or less the same color all the way through.
💭 Other Helpful Tips
- These ground turkey meatballs can also be made in the oven if you don't have access to an air fryer. Pop them on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes at 450 degrees F.
- If you're still finding your meatballs are falling apart, mix an egg into the meat mixture to act as a binding agent.
- Use a small ice cream scoop as a tool to make all of your meatballs roughly the same size, which will help with even cooking.
- These meatballs are great to make in large batches and freeze to reheat
This turkey meatball recipe is so easy to prepare with only a few steps and 10 minutes of cook time. You can have them put together and in the air fryer by the time the water boils for your pasta!
- You could also try this recipe with ground chicken, another ground meat that's a bit leaner than ground beef but still nice and flavorful.
- Feel free to adjust the amount of red pepper flakes to your liking. If you enjoy spicy food, increase the amount. If spicy food isn't your thing, reduce the amount or even omit them altogether.
- For extra nutrition, roughly chop some spinach and add it to the meat mixture.
🥗 Suggested Companion Dishes
This turkey meatball recipe goes great with so many dishes, but here are a couple of suggestions. For this Easy Ground Turkey Pasta Broccoli Dinner, just eliminate the step where you cook the ground turkey and substitute these ground turkey meatballs instead. If you're looking for a super light meal, serve them with this Chipotle Lime Edamame on the side, or crumble a couple of meatballs on top of this Kale Caesar Salad!
🦃 More Turkey Recipes
- Brie Grilled Cheese with Turkey - take your grilled cheese to the next level with this classy and upgraded version of the classic sandwich.
- Crock Pot Turkey Legs - this recipe has been in my family for a few generations now and it's still impossible to beat the flavor of a good old fashioned turkey leg.
- Thai Turkey Burgers - a twist on the turkey burger you know and love, these burgers are bursting with flavor!
Turkey Meatball Recipe
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📋 Recipe Card
Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs
- Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.1 pound ground turkey, ½ teaspoon garlic salt, 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, ⅓ cup milk, ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, ½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
- Portion the mixture (I like to use a small cookie scoop - about 1 ½ tablespoons) and roll between your palms to form 1 to 1 ½ inch meatballs.
- Place the meatballs in the air fryer basket, leaving room for air circulation.
- Air fry at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes. If you wish, you can flip them at the halfway mark for more even browning (I don't usually bother to do that, however).
- No air fryer? You can bake these in the oven! Place the meatballs on a baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.
- Control the spiciness by adjusting the amount of red pepper flakes. These definitely have a little kick but if you like really spicy food, add more. Similarly, you can reduce the amount or even eliminate them altogether if you don't want spicy meatballs.
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