Asiago Turkey Meatballs

I don’t make a lot of “regular” dinners…

I try not to make too much “blog only” food during the week, so the majority of what you see here on the site is what we’re eating. As a result, I don’t tend to make the same thing too frequently… And, I often opt for new recipes and flavor combinations.

Every once in a while I need to be brought back to reality. That’s where my husband comes in… He and I are good for each other. Last week when I asked him what he wanted for dinner, he informed me that he wanted spaghetti and meatballs. There are few dinners more “regular” than spaghetti and meatballs, but since I had asked his opinion, I decided to add it to the menu for the week.

My original intention was to make the “normal” meatballs with a combination of beef, pork, and veal.  I had good intentions, really I did, but when I got to the store, I found a 2 1/2 pound package of lean ground turkey on sale. It was a great deal, and would yield slightly more health conscious meatballs, so I decided to go with it. I also picked up some asiago cheese to make up for the turkey substitution.

In the end, both the hubs and I were pleased with the meatballs. We enjoyed our spaghetti and meatballs (made with homemade sauce that I had frozen over the summer and whole wheat pasta, of course), and I even had a few dozen meatballs leftover to stash in the freezer.  So, the next time a spaghetti and meatballs craving strikes, I will be ready!

Asiago Turkey Meatballs
(Makes about 4 dozen meatballs)

  • 2 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 large sweet onion (approx. 1 cup), finely chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (approx. 1/2 cup), finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 ounces asiago cheese, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425°F.  Line two half-sheet sized baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients.  Work with (clean) hands to gently mix until all of the ingredients are incorporated.  Be careful not to over mix!

Shape the mixture into balls, approximately 2 tablespoons each.  Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets.  Bake for about 30 minutes, until browned.  Serve with your favorite pasta and marinara sauce.  Top with additional asiago cheese, if desired.

21 Responses to Asiago Turkey Meatballs

    • Kayla – Thanks for stopping by. Asiago cheese is just another variety of cheese, and happens to be the one I chose to use in this recipe. It’s an Italian cow’s milk cheese that often has a flavor similar to a parmesan or romano cheese. Depending on how long it has been aged, it can have a dry crumbly texture like parmesan or if it is fresher, it can have a creamy, softer texture that melts better. If you prefer, you could substitute your favorite parmesan or romano cheese.

  1. Hey Jen;

    I just wanted to mention a good tip I picked up this year, similarly making meatballs. If you have the time and patience to brown them on a hot skillet before popping them in the oven, I think the sear does a good job sealing in flavor and gives them a bit of exciting texture.

    I haven’t tried making them with the cheese actually in them before–it’s something I’ll definitely have to give a try next time I have a meatball craving.

    Finally, leftover meatballs (chopped up) make a really good meat-addition to fried rice if you’re ever up for making that.

  2. I haven’t seen a turkey meatball look this good…ever. They look absolutely perfect. And I love that you baked them instead of searing in oil, which keeps them healthy too.

  3. OMG!!! I love these. Bookmarked! I love meatballs, especially turkey meatballs since eating about 20 of them makes me feel less guilty than if they were beef.

  4. We always make meatballs with ground turkey. Probably not quite as tasty as beef/pork/veal but it helps me justify eating just a few more :) Yours look great!

  5. These sound amazing!! We are trying to all some healthier meals to our rotation, this sounds alot healthier than the spaghetti we’ve been eating!! I will definitely be trying this.

  6. I’ll have you know I just made these and they are absolutely FAN-TASTIC!!!

    However, I made the following adaptations:
    -skipped parsley and bell pepper
    -used 1 egg, not 2
    -added grated carrots
    -I usually don’t measure so I don’t know how much bread crumbs I used, but I also used crush Ritz crackers
    -used grated asiago cheese as well as grated parmesan cheese

    The best meatballs I’ve ever had. I didn’t even notice that I used turkey, not beef.


  7. Made these a couple of nights ago w/homemade marinara. They were a huge hit! We had some friends for dinner w/their 1 yr. old and she loved them. Will def be making these again, thanks for sharing.