Turkey Meatballs


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These turkey meatballs are seriously the best! They’re garlicky, herby, and simmered in a heavenly maple mustard sauce for a soon-to-be favorite weeknight dinner.

Turkey meatballs in a pan with maple mustard sauce with a spoon.

What is there not to love about meatballs? They pack a ton of flavor in one single bite, are so easy to make, and are meal-prep friendly. My classic beef meatballs, chicken meatballs, tuna meatballs and pork meatballs are always reader favorites. But when the weather cools and autumn hits – it’s all about these turkey meatballs.

They’re infused with fresh rosemary and thyme, and when they roll around in that sweet mustard sauce they become highly addictive. Bonus — because these meatballs are made with ground turkey they’re a leaner meat, so they’ll fill you up without weighing you down, similar to my turkey burgers!

Ingredients for turkey meatballs on a table

Turkey Meatball ingredients

This truly is an easy meatball recipe with a delicious sauce that makes it taste like a million bucks. Here’s what you’ll need.

  • Ground Turkey: I’m using ground turkey for a lean option. But you can also use ground beef, pork, chicken, or a blend of two meats.
  • Egg & Almond Flour: These act as the binder to help hold the meatballs together.
  • Onion: A bit of finely diced onion melts into the meatballs and adds that perfect punch of flavor.
  • Garlic: Most meatball recipes include two garlic cloves, I add four garlic cloves. The more garlic the better (in my opinion).
  • Herbs: Fresh rosemary and thyme are what give these lighter meatballs a delicious, aromatic flavor.

Now comes the best part… this maple Dijon meatball sauce. It’s sweet and savory with a silky-smooth texture that coats the balls perfectly.

  • Chicken Broth: You can use either chicken broth or turkey broth.
  • Dijon Mustard: The mustard thickens the sauce and adds that notable spicy flavor.
  • Maple Syrup: I love to use maple during the fall, but you could use honey as well, for a honey mustard spin.
  • Mayonnaise: Just a little bit of mayo adds a delicious aioli-like flavor to the sauce!

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

Turkey meatball ingredients in a glass bowl

How To Make Turkey Meatballs

Want to know why I love this recipe? There’s very little slicing and dicing involve. All you have to dice is half of an onion and chop a few herbs – that’s it!

  • Make the turkey mixture. The secret to tender meatballs is to not over mix them. Which is why I always opt for hand-mixing over any other kitchen appliance. Just add the meatball ingredients to a medium bowl, and dig in with your hands!
  • Form the meatballs. To make sure you get meatballs that are uniform in size, use a medium cookie scoop. Then roll a ball between your hands and place them on a plate.
Forming turkey meatballs and placing on a white plate
  • Sear the meatballs. Heat up some oil in the pan and cook half of the meatballs (so that you don’t crowd the pan). Transfer those to a plate, cook the second half, and remove them to the same plate.
Searing turkey meatballs in a pan
  • Make the sauce. Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth, then add the Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and mayonnaise. Whisk the sauce until it’s creamy.
  • Combine it all together. Add the meatballs back to the pan, toss them in the sauce, and finish the meal off with a sprinkle of fresh herbs!
Turkey meatballs in a sauce in a pan with a spoon

How To Serve Turkey Meatballs

I love to serve these over rice with a side of roasted vegetables. But there’s endless ways to eat these turkey meatballs.

Pouring sauce over turkey meatballs with a spoon


Not only do these turkey meatballs taste amazing fresh out of the oven, but they’re even better as leftovers. They can be prepped ahead of time and frozen so you don’t have to spend extra time in the kitchen on a busy weeknight.

  • To store: Simply put any leftovers (or the whole batch) in an airtight container and store in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
  • To freeze: If you plan to store these for longer, you can freeze them for up to 3 months.
  • For reheating: Make sure to thaw the frozen meatballs overnight in the fridge. When you’re ready to reheat, add them to a pan on the stove or microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, until warmed through.

More Easy Dinner Ideas

You can always count on one-pan meals to make dinner a breeze. Give these options a try when you need to get a tasty dinner on the table fast.

If you make these turkey meatballs, let me know how they turned out! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below. Your review will help others in the community.

Turkey Meatballs with Maple Mustard Sauce

4.96 from 72 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


Garlicky, herby turkey meatballs covered in a heavenly maple mustard sauce makes for one delicious and easy dinner idea. Watch the video below to see how I make them in my kitchen!



For The Meatballs

  • pound ground turkey
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 ½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

For The Sauce


  • To a large bowl, add the turkey, egg, onion, almond flour, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Use your hands to mix everything together, until fully combined.
    Mixing turkey meatball ingredients in a bowl
  • Measure out 1 1⁄2 tablespoons of mixture (or use a medium cookie scoop) and roll the mixture between your hands, forming approximately 30 meatballs. Place the meatballs on a plate.
    Raw turkey meatballs on a white plate
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add half of the meatballs to the pan and brown on all sides, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the first batch of meatballs to a plate, add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, and repeat with the remaining half of meatballs. Once the second meatballs are cooked, remove them to the plate as well.
    Cooking turkey meatballs in a large pan
  • Deglaze the pan by adding the chicken broth, and use a spatula to scrape up any bits off the bottom. Then add the Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and mayonnaise. Whisk everything together and let the sauce simmer until it's creamy. Add the meatballs back to the pan and warm through. Garnish with additional fresh chopped herbs before serving.
    A large pan filled with turkey meatballs in a maple mustard sauce

Lisa’s Tips

  • What can I use instead of almond flour? If you’re looking for a nut-free binder, you can use a gluten-free flour blend.
  • How can I make the sauce thicker? Add 1 teaspoon of arrowroot powder (mixed with 2 teaspoons of water in a slurry first) to help thicken it up as it simmers in the pan.
  • Can I bake the meatballs instead? Absolutely! Just place the meatballs on a baking sheet and bake them for 20 to 25 minutes at 400°F (200°C), until they’re perfectly browned on the outside and cooked through. While the meatballs are cooking, make the sauce in the pan and add the meatballs in when they’re done.


Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 617mg | Potassium: 451mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 104IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Meatball Recipe, Turkey Meatballs
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally published October 2021, but updated to include new information for your benefit!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Love theses Turkey Meatballs, they are a staple in our household. Pair well with my basil marinara sauce and lemon cream sauce.

  2. Loved these. I didn’t have almond flour so I substituted oat flour and they were delicious. My husband even liked them and he is not a turkey meatball fan normally.5 stars

  3. I don’t always love ground turkey, but this recipe made me love it. My boys gobbled this up – it was all eaten up at dinner that night – not a leftover to be found!5 stars

  4. I only have AP flour, bread flour, rye flour, and semolina flour… would any of those work? I want to make this tonight and have all the other ingredients! Sounds delishy!

  5. Outstanding recipe Lisa! These were soooo good! I made them and served it to a somewhat picky eater and he ate them right up. He is gluten free and can’t eat high acidic foods. We had these with a baked potato and side salad. This was perfect! Cannot wait to try the chicken meatballs!5 stars

    1. Oh wonderful! So happy you both loved the recipe, Katherine! That sauce is extra delicious on top of a baked potato too. ;)

  6. Hello Lisa I tried the turkey meatball recipe and yes it was quite tasty. Because I serve it over mashed potatoes I modified the recipe slightly by adding a tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken it a little. Great recipe. I’m a cook by nature and have always found it difficult to follow recipes and that’s probably because I’m so excited a to cook and do it by eyeballing things. Thank you

  7. 12/10 Doubled the recipe and tripled the sauce. Served with rice and your sautéed spinach. Excellent dinner, will make on repeat!5 stars

  8. Love these meatballs! The sauce is so delicious that I doubled the ingredients for the sauce so there was extra!5 stars

  9. My husband absolutely loved these! The sauce was like a delicious gravy. I served over mashed potatoes and it felt very decadent, yet healthy because it’s turkey5 stars

    1. I’m happy you both loved these turkey meatballs, Leah! And yes, that sauce is super tasty… drizzle it on everything! ;)

  10. Hi Lisa!
    I’m so excited to make these when family comes home for Christmas!
    Question, do you think these would freeze well, then thaw, and bake them while making sauce??
    Thank you for all your hard work making life healthier & easier for us!!! ☺️

  11. Fantastic! Loved it and has my husband’s approval too. Worked well being modified due to lack of ground Turkey. I used chicken instead. I cooked the ground chicken w/o making meatballs. (Lack of energy on my part. Didn’t add the egg or almond flour.) But I did made a double batch of the sauce. YUM! We’ve had it for 2 meals. Once on rice and once on a baked sweet potato. Love this recipe! Thank you Lisa for sharing it. I will definitely be making this recipe again❣️5 stars

    1. Did you just brown the chicken as you would ground beef? I would like to try making this recipe without making them into meatballs. Probably put it over rice.

  12. Delicious. My family loved this (kids too) and my husband absolutely love it and asked for it to be added to our list of favourite suppers! Thanks Lisa. (:5 stars

  13. So good!! I just read that you can bake the meatballs and I will next time. Turning them in the pan was difficult. They were not round so balancing them on edge proved difficult. I was ready to be frustrated with this recipe – a first for Downshiftology recipes. But nope! It turned out so delicious my family was raving about it. Next time I’ll also make some brown rice and double the sauce to drizzle over it. You can get more scrapings by mashing a couple meatballs and doubling the rest of the sauce ingredients. The seasonings were all perfect. So delicious! Thank you for another recipe. My family loves them all and I’m not a great cook and I’ve been able to pull them all off.5 stars

    1. So happy you and your family loved these turkey meatballs, Sandra! And yeah, they can be a little difficult to balance if they’re not round, but sounds like you got it done with flying colors. Woot!

  14. I made these meatballs for my parents. My mom is a notoriously picky eater, and she ate her entire serving. I served them over mashed potatoes, and it was a big hit. We all agreed that the star of the show was the maple mustard sauce. They specifically requested this be worked into the dinner rotation.5 stars

  15. My family loved the this, but i came across a few problems, one my meatballs were a little dry but i am thinking its because i omitted the onions (we were out) and I’m not sure what happened but my mayo would NOT blend in so we had chunks of mayo floating around lol do you know where I went wrong? I’m going to try again next week! :)

    1. Hi Kelly – the onions are definitely necessary to keep the meatballs moist. And I’m not quite sure about the mayo, as I’ve never had that problem before. Hopefully your next try goes better!

  16. Simple ingredients, simple method, absolutely delicious!
    (I swapped out the onions for sauteed leeks, celery and carrots)5 stars

  17. These are so delicious and super easy! When I made the second time I doubled the recipe and put half in the freezer <35 stars

  18. I made these for Thanksgiving instead of a whole turkey and they turned out great. I used a mini chopper (food processor) to chop the onions and garlic. The mayonnaise I used wouldn’t melt into the sauce after about 30 minutes, so I had to put the sauce in the blender to mix. I think that was probably more to do with brand of mayonnaise that I used.  The meatballs still tasted great though.5 stars

  19. Excellent recipe for otherwise bland ground turkey! I found myself out of maple syrup after my trip to the store so I substituted organic light agave. It was delicious! ☺️💙5 stars

  20. One of my absolute favorites of yours!! I doubled the recipe and froze half the meatballs for the next time! So much flavor!! 

      1. I haven’t tested this recipe without eggs yet, but you could maybe use a flax egg.

  21. This was a perfect Thanksgiving appetizer last year! The flavors in this recipe are amazing! I’ve made them 3 times now and I prefer to use a small cookie scoop to make smaller meatballs and found I was able to cook them easier and faster, even though it took longer to roll. I found the meat harder to work with as it got warmer so I work in batches and keep it in the fridge while I roll and cook. Super easy to heat up in a pan with some sauce the next day IF there are leftovers. I cooked them all the day before the holiday and warmed up in a pan which made Thanksgiving day easier. These were a hit, thanks for such a great receipe!5 stars

  22. Enjoyed these delicious meatballs tonight. The sauce is especially wonderful too. 
    Appreciate the time you out in to perfecting the recipes so we can confidently prepare and serve them. 5 stars

  23. Absolutely delicious! Served with sweet potatoes and a little cranberry on the side for my husband. I had mine on top of a bed of Quinoa and kale and it was to die for. Lisa, I would love to try this recipe/ ingredients with quinoa and kale for a unique stuffed pepper recipe. With your blessing of course … maybe add horseradish cheddar on top. How would you recommend doing this to impart the best flavors and texture?

    1. Sounds delicious! I would keep the recipe as is and cook the ground turkey with the kale together.

  24. So good and super easy! I baked the meatballs and added them to the sauce. Served with quinoa and steamed broccoli. Prefect for a quick and healthy weeknight dinner plus we have leftovers! This will be on regular rotation!5 stars

  25. I baked these in a large oven proof skillet, then removed the meatballs to a plate while I finished the sauce in the pan on the stove (eventually returned the meatballs to the pan). It was a good compromise and allowed me to still have brown bits on the bottom for extra flavoring in the sauce, but didn’t require me to stand over the stove to brown the meatballs. The meatballs are moist and super flavorful (even using dried equivalents of the herbs) and the simple sauce is SO good. Thanks for a great recipe!5 stars

  26. These were absolutely delicious.  I forwarded the recipe to a friend told her to give them a try. We really liked the sauce,  Happy I chose to do the in the pan version.  Served on top of mashed potatoes with a cauliflower and Savoy cabbage sautéed with vinegar 5 stars

  27. I finally got around to making these. Really tasty and the sauce was a breeze to put together and added just the right touch. I will be having these again soon. 5 stars

  28. My husband and I have made these and they are great! We did half italian sausage and half turkey last time, so I’m looking forward to trying it with just turkey. Do you have a suggestion for an alternative sauce/dressing if we are eating Whole30?5 stars

    1. Using half Italian sausage actually sounds super delicious! As for the sauce, I’ll have to get back to you on that, since maple syrup is a key part of what makes this sauce so good!