Turkey Pesto Meatballs

While I wouldn’t say that I am a New Year’s resolution gal, I do appreciate the opportunity to re-center myself, reflect on how I am spending my time, and identify places where I need to pay more attention.

Last year, at the start of 2015 we tightened our spending, as we were in the midst of wedding planning. During those months I went through a huge meatball phase which I called Meatball Mania!  Meatballs were fun to make, filling, and held up well both for lunches and frozen for later in the month.  I am hoping to bring back some of these gems throughout this winter season and also add some new ones to our table.

There are several resources out there for meatball making, but I particularly like this one, as it highlights mistakes to avoid.

meatballs 2


  • 2 pounds of turkey
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons oregano
  • 3 teaspoons of parsley
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 8 teaspoons of pesto
  • Salt & pepper

Steps & Notes:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Put turkey into a big bowl and add egg, spices & breadcrumbs
  3. Add the pesto
    • At the end of the gardening season I picked all of the basil out of my urban porch garden and made a huge batch of pesto. I freezed it in ice cube trays which kept it fresh for this recipe.
  4. Mix everything with your hands
  5. Roll into 1.5 inch balls
  6. Place on a rack on a baking sheet (see picture)
    • This allows the heat to fully surround the meatballs and I’ve found it to be an important element of makin’ meatballs
  7. Bake for 25 minutes
  8. Serve with a red sauce, quinoa, and some cheese! 

This gave us 21 meatballs.

Notes & Next Steps:

  • Another option is to roll each meatball in a ‘topping’ before baking. This topping is a combination of 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, 3 teaspoons of parsley, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • These were super tasty, but I could have added a bit more salt
  • Other meatballs on my ‘to make’ list:
    • Chicken Jalapeno
    • Swedish meatballs
    • Sweet and Sour Meatballs
    • Meatball subs
    • BBQ meatballs (I’ve seen a few crock pot recipes for this)

meatballs 1



  1. Oooh fantastic! I love turkey and pesto. I’m sure this recipe would be amazing with some bread, pasta, quinoa, even rice! YUM.


  2. I made Italian meatballs just last night and loved the tips given here especially the measurements as I usually just eyeball tossing in the herbs, breadcrumbs and cheese


    1. I’m glad it was helpful. I typically am a ‘just mix it in’ gal, but I’ve been working to document recipes here so that I can refer back to over time as I build my ‘toolbox’ so to say. Do you have any favorite meatball flavors? Also, do you put cheese inside of yours?


  3. Yummmmmmmmmmm,….I want to lick my screen,…..really! Yum!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They were SO good!


  4. I made them & loved every bite! Deilcious! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow – this just made my day to hear that you made them and enjoyed them! Thank you for the note.


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