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Healthy Turkey Meatballs

4.73 from 11 votes

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Tasty keto and gluten-free turkey meatballs spiced with cumin, paprika and cilantro. Make these for a quick, protein-packed meal or snack.

Healthy Turkey Meatballs (Gluten-Free)

These healthy turkey meatballs are spiced-up with Middle Eastern spices and are so tasty! They’re my latest coup in the family dinner department.

The best turkey meatballs are packed with flavor, with one bite leading to the next one.

Ideally, they are juicy little nuggets, perfectly sized for popping into your mouth — that’s what these are.

Make tasty turkey meatballs

It turns out that the recipes for ground turkey that taste best are always seasoned with just the right amount of spice to keep them interesting.

They should never make you think of the words “bland” and “dry” when you take a bite.

Healthy Turkey Meatballs (Gluten-Free)

I’m forever craving bold spices and flavors, especially when pulling a meal together with just a few ingredients.

By which I mean they make a dinner option that’s far from boring, and get both the adults (and almost-adults) in the house excited about eating.

My recipe makes about two dozen gluten-free turkey meatballs without breadcrumbs.

They’re perfect to serve as a simple meal or as a snack or appetizer (make a batch and watch them disappear).

I cook them in one batch in a single pan — I use my favorite 12-inch nonstick skillet — but they’re just as easy to make in two batches in a slightly smaller pan.

Because they’re not oversized, the meatballs will cook through in about 10 minutes on the stovetop.

You can also double the recipe and add to your weekly meal plan.

All they’ll need is a quick reheat and you magically have a quick, healthy dinner or lunch with a good hit of tasty protein.

I love to plop them in a bowl for a quick salad I can throw together with a handful of refrigerator staples:

  • A small pile of arugula greens
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Salad sprouts
  • Crumbled feta cheese
  • A smear of thick, plain yogurt
  • My favorite Simple Green Sauce.
Spiced Turkey Meatballs (Gluten-Free)

Meatballs are definitely a hands-down menu fave in our family (and yours too, I’m guessing).

There’s something about their spherical shape that makes them especially appealing and friendly-looking.

When my kids were younger, I would serve them meatballs with tooth picks on the side and they couldn’t have been happier.

They thought stabbing each meatball was hilarious!

Somehow, it was even better than eating with their fingers, and it got them to clean their plates.

Healthy Turkey Meatballs (Gluten-Free)

The combination of seasonings and spices in this meatball recipe include ground cumin, paprika, grated onion and cilantro.

They would also make a very fine and tasty meatball if you substituted other ground meat like beef, pork or lamb in place of the turkey.

What to serve with Turkey Meatballs:

Serve them in bowl on top of your favorite healthy whole grain (brown rice, quinoa, etc.) and some roasted vegetables.

They’re also really delicious in a sandwich, stuffed into warm pita bread along with some salad greens and tangy yogurt sauce drizzled over them.

flavor Tip

For the juiciest meatballs, I recommend using ground turkey thigh in this recipe if you’re not counting calories.

That extra bit of fat in turkey thighs adds more flavor compared to breast meat, and keeps the meatballs from becoming too dry.

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Cumin and Cilantro Turkey Meatballs

Healthy Spiced Turkey Meatballs (Gluten-Free)

Karen Tedesco
Delicious bite-size Middle Eastern-spiced turkey meatballs with cumin, paprika and cilantro. Make a batch for a quick, protein-packed meal or appetizer. Keto and Gluten-free recipe.
Print Pin
4.73 from 11 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Meat
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 24 meatballs


  • 1 1/2 pounds (675 g) ground turkey, thigh preferred
  • 1/2 red onion, grated on a box grater
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus additional for garnish
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce


  • In a large bowl, combine turkey, onion, cilantro, garlic, egg, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Mix until combined, then form 1 1/2-inch diameter meatballs.
  • Heat the oil a 12-inch nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Arrange meatballs in pan and cook until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.
  • When the meatballs are cooked through, stir in the sriracha and a tablespoon or 2 of water to make a quick pan sauce.
  • Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.


  • Storing meatballs: Meatballs will keep in the refrigerator 3 – 5 days.
  • Tips: Wet your hands with a little water when forming the meatballs to make it less sticky.
  • For the juiciest meatballs, I recommend using ground turkey thigh in this recipe if you’re not counting calories.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 47kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 165mg | Potassium: 91mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 52IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg
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Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about making cooking fun and doable, with easy to follow tested recipes and incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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  1. 5 stars
    This is really easy to make and really flavorful and healthy.

  2. Amazing!!!! I feel like a chopped champion right now…just made these delicious, flavorful meatballs and the show stealing green sauce for a fresh, exciting, midweek dinner. So good!!! Definitely making these again, and that green sauce is becoming a staple. Thank you!!!!!

  3. These meatballs sounds so devine! I love the combination of herbs and spices. This is like a new take on meatballs, and I love it!

  4. Creolechic says:

    I love this recipe and use it all the time! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Deborah Dowd says:

    These look really yummy! And since I am suffering froma recent aversion to tomato sauce (some post-menopausal thing, I guess!) it is nice to see your lighter version.

  6. I love making meatballs! These look great. My boys ask for them all the time! Yummy recipe!

  7. Americans seem to love turkey in recipes. I have yet to try turkey mince, it is not as freely available here in Aussie Land. I usually make mine with a combo of beef and pork mince. Yours look great and I will have to give turkey a go.

  8. These do sound good and I know my kids would gobble them up. We love meatballs at our house!

  9. Bellini Valli says:

    A very health conscious choice using grojund turkey!!! I’ll bet these were delicious!!

  10. Farmgirl Susan says:

    These look delicious! Love the combination of flavors. Meatballs are such a fun food, aren’t they? : )

  11. Proud Italian Cook says:

    Karen, Thank you for leading me to your blog! very impressive! I had fun “visiting” and enjoyed many of your posts, I will definately be back! BTY, loved your website as a personal chef!

  12. These meatballs look great. I love the idea that kids will eat a healthier version of a traditional standby. I think i’ll try these for the big game

  13. K,
    I have been making turkey meatballs since my kids were big enough to eat them but I bake them and they come out so good and NO mess. I think I bake them at 350 or 375 degrees for about 15-20 mins depending on the size of them. worth trying because NO mess!!!

  14. Patricia Scarpin says:

    I have never tried turkey meatballs – these are making me hungry, Karen!

  15. I love the cilantro and cumin in the recipe! I must be a kid at heart because I want to become real friendly with the meatballs and put them in my stomach.

  16. Cindy. Lo. says:

    Cumin and paprika always make food even better!

  17. Sounds good to me! I know what you mean. I read quite a few blogs, and it seems like everyone is making meatballs. Maybe it’s the cold weather?

    I wish I was Italian, so I could call tomato sauce, gravy.

  18. slowlikehoney says:

    cilantro and turkey meatballs?! what a great idea, i wouldn’t have put them together. a nice dish for the superbowl weekend.