Spicy Braised Turkey Meatballs | Fresh Tastes | PBS Food

What Pairs Well with Zoodles and Noodles? Give Spicy Braised Turkey Meatballs a Shot

Spicy Braised Turkey Meatballs

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My favorite thing to make at the beginning of each week is a big batch of turkey or chicken meatballs. They are SO delicious and they keep in the fridge really well. I love to warm them up and spoon them over spaghetti squash or some zoodles or, if I’m not trying to eat super healthy, a big bowl of perfectly cooked pasta. Yum.

Spicy Braised Turkey Meatballs

The tomato sauce is my favorite super fast sauce to cook up. It takes 20 minutes tops and it’s so full of flavor. Of course, you could use your favorite jarred marinara sauce too. That would save you a big step.

Spicy Braised Turkey Meatballs

These meatballs are on the healthier side so there is no cheese or breadcrumbs. This means that you shouldn’t work the meatballs too much. And a cookie scoop works best in forming them. Now that I’ve made a whole lot of meatballs without the bread crumbs, milk and cheese, I honestly don’t miss it!


Spicy Braised Turkey Meatballs

Want to make a big batch of something to last the whole week? Try these healthy turkey meatballs! No cheese, no breadcrumbs. (Recipe Credit: Adrianna Adarme of Fresh Tastes)



  • Meatballs:
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Oil, for searing the meatballs
  • Sauce:
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 (24-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herb blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Italian parsley, as garnish


  1. To make the meatballs: In a medium bowl, add the onion, garlic cloves, Italian parsley, ground turkey, large egg, salt and crushed red pepper. Mix ingredients together until barely combined. Form balls using your hands (or a cookie scooper—my preferred preference) and set aside. Repeat until you’ve worked your way through all of the meatballs.
  2. In a medium pan, set over medium heat, add a few tablespoons of oil. When hot, sear the meatballs on all sides, in batches if needed. Transfer to a plate or baking sheet and repeat until you’ve worked your way through all of the meatballs.
  3. To make the sauce: In a medium saucepan, set over medium heat, add a teaspoon of olive oil. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the garlic and tomato sauce and crushed red pepper flakes. Give it a stir and bring to a simmer. Mix in 1/4 cup of water just to loosen the sauce a bit and then salt to taste. Add the meatballs and cover the pot, simmering them for 10 to 15 minutes. Garnish with the Italian parsley and serve. I like to eat these over zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash. And of course, I really love them over regular ol’ pasta, too.

Yield: Makes 12 to 14 meatballs

Adrianna Adarme - PBS Food Fresh Tastes BloggerAdrianna Adarme is a food blogger and author living in Los Angeles, California. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, everyday recipes from her kitchen. She recently authored her first cookbook, PANCAKES: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack. She’s a lover of breakfast, pie (and sometimes even pie for breakfast), corgis and cute things. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

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