Baked Turkey Pesto Meatballs

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These baked turkey pesto meatballs are the perfect weeknight dinner. They are easy to prepare with fresh, healthy ingredients and are also kid approved. Get your whole family involved in preparing this simple meal and enjoy the finished product together!

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This is one of my favorite easy recipes to make for our family. It is extremely quick to throw together and is a great way to sneak in veggies for picky eaters. The end result is delicious meatballs that are healthy and extremely versatile. You could serve these with rice, zucchini noodles, or your favorite pasta. Other creations I have seen are with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese in a healthy meatball sub, or even made into minis for an exceptional pizza topping! The possibilities are endless with these meatballs.

Another thing I love about these pesto turkey meatballs  is how involved you can get your kids in cooking your dinner! They love to get involved in placing the pesto ingredients into the food processor and pressing the buttons to blend everything together. Kids also love to roll the meatballs out with their little hands to help you. It really helps get them interested in the foods they eat and introduce them to nutrition and healthy recipes at an early age! These meatballs are also so easy, having your kids help in the kitchen can easily be a weeknight meal and not just reserved for culinary adventures on the weekend.

baked turkey pesto meatballs in bowls
baked turkey pesto meatballs in bowls

What are Baked Turkey Pesto Meatballs?

As the name suggests, these are delicious meatballs with a new spin! They use basic ingredients to make a traditional basil pesto which is then combined with ground turkey to create the most delicious healthy meatballs that you won't believe are healthy too! While this is not one of your standard meatball recipes, it is definitely going to be a standard recipe you will make on repeat in your home!

What Do I Need to Make This Baked Pesto Turkey Meatball Recipe

This recipe uses minimal ingredients and does not contain bread crumbs to keep the carbs in this recipe low. Turkey pesto meatballs are easily amended, so you can always add more items in such as bread crumbs or egg whites if you wish. While the full ingredient list is available in the recipe card below, here is a checklist of the ingredients you will need to make one of the most delicious recipes for dinner tonight!

  • Pound of turkey
  • Fresh basil
  • Toasted pine nuts
  • Fresh lemon zest
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Shredded parmesan cheese
  • Garlic cloves
  • Olive oil
  • A pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper
baked turkey pesto meatballs in a bowl
baked turkey pesto meatballs in a bowl

How to Prepare Your Baked Turkey Pesto Meatballs

While the full recipe instructions are available below, here are some tips to make the best meatballs that are also healthy!

  • First, we will need to prepare our creamy pesto sauce for the meatballs! Add your basil, pine nuts, lemon zest, lemon juice, parmesan, garlic cloves, olive oil, salt and pepper to a food processor. I recommend slicing the basil and garlic cloves before placing them in the food processor. Pulse the pesto ingredients in the food processor, then hold down on high until well combined.
  • In a large bowl, form turkey mixture using a wooden spoon to mix turkey and homemade basil pesto until well combined. If you have extra time, I recommend letting your ground turkey come to room temperature so that it is easier to form mixture of the pesto and turkey. It will also be more comfortable on your hands when you handle the turkey mixture!
  • Next, we will roll out our meatballs! Heat oven to 425 Fahrenheit and place oven rack to the middle position. With wet hands, roll golf ball sized meatballs from the turkey meatball mixture. Place meatballs in a single layer onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. If you have extra time, place the rolled meatballs in the fridge for a few minutes to firm them up. This is important, because it will help keep them formed in a ball while cooking. Bake them in the oven until cooked through.
  • Once cooked, use oven mitts to remove the sheet pan from the oven. Then use tongs to remove the meatballs from the rimmed baking sheet and place on your pasta or other dish. Top with any extra pesto you have. If you are making these to meal prep, you can refrigerate them in an airtight container and reheat in the microwave the next day. Enjoy!

Do I Have to Make Fresh Pesto for This Recipe?

I recommend that you make your own pesto, as it is one of the main meatball ingredients and it gives a fresher flavor. You can also use jarred pesto to achieve big flavor!

I have been making these on repeat in our house - I even made them last night! I cannot stress enough how delicious these are and how easy they are to make. You will absolutely love these meatballs with whatever you pair them with. Enjoy these tonight!

baked turkey pesto meatballs in bowls
baked turkey pesto meatballs in bowls

Other Recipes You Will Love

While I love how much flavor these meatballs have, I cannot make them for every meal. For some variety, here are some other popular and easy dinners for you to check out!

Baked Turkey Pesto Meatballs

These baked turkey pesto meatballs are the perfect weeknight dinner. They are easy to prepare with fresh, healthy ingredients and are also kid approved. Get your whole family involved in preparing this simple meal and enjoy the finished product together!

Author:
Kirsten

Ingredients

  • 1lb ground turkey

For the Pesto:

  • 1 + 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (approximately 1 lemon)
  • 1/3 shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Add all of the pesto ingredients into a food processor and combine at high speed until well combined and a smooth consistency.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the ground turkey and the pesto until well and evenly incorporated.
  3. Roll the turkey pesto mixture into golf ball sized meatballs and place evenly spaced onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the turkey is cooked through and starts to turn golden brown. Serve with rice and veggies or your favorite pasta. Enjoy!

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