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These are the most tender and flavorful Italian style turkey meatballs. Sooo delicious! And they’re also healthy and gluten free.

Italian Style Turkey Meatballs

  • Author: Lisa
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 mins
  • Yield: 4-5 1x


These turkey meatballs are extra tender and flavorful and naturally gluten free, made with lean ground turkey, grated sweet potatoes, chickpea flour and tomato paste.


  • 1 pound ground turkey (I suggest using dark meat or half white meat, half dark meat)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion (1/2 a medium onion)
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced garlic (2 medium cloves)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup finely grated and chopped sweet potato. Grate it on a box grater, using the largest holes and then chop it finely on a cutting board.
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper or double the amount for more of a kick (I recommend Aleppo pepper or Maras pepper, if you can find it. Otherwise, use black pepper)
  • 3 tablespoons garbanzo bean flour or garbanzo bean & fava bean flour Or substitute bread crumbs, if you like.
  • 2-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil (such as light olive oil or canola)


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground turkey, onion, garlic, egg, tomato paste, sweet potato, salt and pepper. Stir with a fork until everything is well mixed. Sprinkle in flour and stir or knead with your hands until just combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 1/2 hour or up to 4 hours. If you omit this step, the mixture will be mushy and harder to shape into balls. The longer you chill the mixture, the easier it will be to roll the meatballs.
  2. Set a large plate on your work surface. Roll all the meat into balls - a heaping tablespoon at a time. Set the meatballs on the plate as you go. If your hands get sticky, fill a small bowl with ice water and dip your hands in periodically. If your hands are cold and wet, the meat is less likely to stick to them.
  3. Once all the meatballs are rolled, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat, in a large heavy skillet, preferably cast iron or non-stick. Once the oil is nice and hot, add half the meatballs and sauté them for 5 minutes or so, turning them gently with a spatula every minute or so, to brown them on all sides. Transfer the browned meatballs to another plate. Cook the rest of the meatballs, adding more oil if the pan is dry.
  4. Return all the meatballs to the skillet or to a saucepan, if you need a large vessel, and add 4 cups of your favorite marinara sauce and 1/2 cup of water. Gently simmer the meatballs in the sauce for 25 minutes, until they're cooked through. Serve with pasta or spaghetti squash or zoodles.
  • Prep Time: 40 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Italian-American

Keywords: Italian style gluten-free diary-free turkey meatballs