5 from 2 votes
Healthy Turkey Meatballs and Sauce
Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs in Sauce
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 10 mins
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins

You'll love my Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs in Sauce! This healthy turkey meatball recipe uses oats instead of bread crumbs, but no one will notice!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: gluten-free meatballs, healthy turkey meatballs, meatballs in sauce, turkey meatballs
Servings: 8
Calories: 289 kcal
Author: Cooking with Mamma C
  • 6 garlic cloves (peeled & sliced thinly)
  • 1 large onion (peeled & chopped)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes (I like Tuttorosso or Cento San Marzano)
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes (mashed with a potato masher)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1/3 cup whole grain oats (use gluten free if needed)
  • 3 teaspoons dried parsley (optional)
  • 1 large garlic clove (chopped)
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1.2 lbs lean ground turkey
  1. Chop a large clove of garlic and set it aside for the meatballs. Slice six cloves of garlic and chop the onion. Heat olive oil in a large pot on medium high. Add onions and cook until soft (around five minutes), stirring occasionally. During the last two minutes, add the garlic slices to the pan and stir them to combine with the onions.
  2. While the onions are cooking, mash the whole, peeled tomatoes in a bowl. After the onions are soft, add the mashed tomatoes to the pot, along with the crushed tomatoes. Stir to combine and add the bay leaves, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  3. When the sauce comes to a boil, lower the heat and loosely cover the pot with a lid, using a wooden spoon resting on the edges of the pan to keep the lid propped open a bit.
  4. For the meatballs, while your hands are clean, place a large spoon within reach of the pot. Place the oats in a small bowl and pour the water over them. Stir and let soak for a couple of minutes. In a large bowl, lightly beat the egg with a fork and add the parsley, chopped garlic, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and the oats/water mixture. Add the meat to the bowl and mix all the ingredients gently with your hands.
  5. Shape the mixture into meatballs about two inches wide. Gently place the meatballs into the sauce (place a couple at a time on the large spoon and transfer them). Wash your hands well and stir the sauce gently with the wooden spoon, being careful not to break the meatballs. Wash the wooden spoon and rest it again on the rim of the pot, so it props the lid. (Do not taste the sauce until the meatballs are fully cooked.)
  6. Stir the sauce occasionally to prevent sticking, being sure to gently scrape along the bottom of the pot. After 35 minutes, check to see if the meatballs are done by cutting into the largest one. If it is cooked through, the sauce can be tasted going forward. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked meatballs to a serving bowl and cover with foil. Continue cooking the sauce for another 20 minutes.
  7. Serve the meatballs and sauce over pasta or in hoagies. Store leftover sauce and meatballs in the refrigerator for up to three days, or freeze separately (as long as your turkey was not previously frozen).
Nutrition Facts
Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs in Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 289 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 66mg22%
Sodium 882mg38%
Potassium 1029mg29%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 25g50%
Vitamin A 670IU13%
Vitamin C 29.3mg36%
Calcium 216mg22%
Iron 4.5mg25%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.