Who doesn’t like spaghetti and meatballs? But you know me… I love to add my own twist to the classic recipe. My Mediterranean turkey meatballs have more flavor than you can imagine, are incredibly juicy, AND healthy!
To make Mediterranean Diet friendly meatballs, a few simple rules:
- Add vegetables to the meat (enter: spinach)
- Add a bit of healthy cheese for a flavor punch and added calcium (enter: feta)
- Don’t hold back on aromatics, spices and herbs (enter: onion, garlic and mint).
- Bake, don’t fry.
Not only are these healthy and easy to make, these are possibly the best turkey meatballs you’ll ever taste! So let’s get cooking!
Ingredients and Substitutions for Healthy Turkey Meatballs
Here is what you’ll need. This recipe’s very versatile, and I’ll suggest a few ways to modify it.
- Ground turkey: a healthier protein choice than ground beef or pork. I like to use 93% lean, which feels like an ideal balance of juicy and healthy. You can substitute ground chicken.
- Fresh spinach: a nutritious leafy green that is low in calories and will sneak some fiber and vitamins into your meatballs. I use fresh spinach in this meatball recipe but you could use frozen spinach and just defrost it ahead of time.
- Feta cheese: a high-protein cheese that is low in fat and calories and a good source of calcium and phosphorus. As a substitute, you could use goat cheese.
- Whole wheat panko breadcrumbs: they add texture to the meatballs and are a whole grain. Regular whole wheat breadcrumbs would also work.
- Egg: another source of complete protein and vitamins. It helps to bind the ingredients together.
- Fresh mint: adds flavor and freshness to the meatballs. Mint is high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. As a substitute, you could use fresh basil or dill, or even dried oregano.
- Garlic and onion powder: your classic aromatics. I chose to use powder here as it is less pungent than fresh garlic or onion, and doesn’t add any extra liquid that might make the meatballs fall apart.
- Salt and pepper: season to your taste!
- If you would like to make these healthy turkey meatballs spicy, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper! Just beware of spicy meatballs 😉
How to make our Mediterranean Turkey Meatballs
How to serve Mediterranean Turkey Meatballs
These healthy meatballs can be served as an appetizer or entrée. Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce or over a bed of pasta and tomato sauce for a tasty meal. You can also serve them in a pita bread or on a bun for a fun sandwich.
For those looking to add some fun to their dinner table, you can even serve these little balls of goodness on toothpicks for a more whimsical presentation.
So, try these very best turkey meatballs today, and you’ll thank me later!
Other recipes to try
Mediterranean Turkey Meatballs
- Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add a tablespoon olive oil and the spinach. Cook until wilted.
- Transfer the spinach to a cutting board and let it cool down. Once cool enough to handle, chop it coarsely and place in a large bowl.
- Add all other ingredients to the bowl. Mix gently with your hands until well combined.
- Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drizzle lightly with olive oil.
- Take the mix out of the refrigerator and form balls using an ice cream scoop or a large spoon. Place them on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake 25 minutes at 400F (smaller balls will require less time). If you like them crispier on the outside, transfer the sheet to the upper rack and broil for 2 minutes.
- Serve with your favorite sauce.