This versatile Baked Turkey Meatballs in Tomato Sauce recipe is a great fresh and family friendly option to make for dinner tonight! Made with heart heathy oats these turkey meatballs bake in marinara sauce for an easy meal.
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Turkey Meatballs with Oats Baked in Marinara Sauce
This recipe for turkey meatballs is not your nana’s meatball recipe. These turkey meatballs were developed with a busy adult in mind, one who wanted a healthier option and ease of baking and not standing over a stove to brown the meatballs.
Simple ingredients like oats, milk, cheese, and more are mixed with ground turkey. And then formed into meatballs.
A casserole dish is then lined with marinara sauce where the turkey meatballs will be added and baked in the sauce. I found that baking in the sauce helps keep the meatball nice a moist and tender! Plus the meatballs are already sauced, it makes it easy to simply plop them on the plate once it is time to eat!
- Oats – These should be the Old Fashioned/Rolled Oat type (these are the same, it really just depends on labels). These types of oats are the type that appears whole and flat. In a pinch using instant/quick cooking oats will work as a sub. But do not use steel cut oats, that type will not work for this recipe.
- Milk – I recommend using cow’s milk here. For flavor I also recommend whole milk but any milk really will do.
- Egg – Used to help hold the meatballs together.
- Parmesan Cheese – For flavor and to help keep the meatballs together. I prefer to grate the parmesan from my own block to avoid any anti-caking additives, but you can definitely use the pre-grated for convince!
- Minced Garlic – Okay so I use like A LOT of garlic in these meatballs, sorry not sorry. As most of us might know ground turkey has a reputation for being a little bit flavorless. So the best way to combat that is by adding some reliable flavors. You would think that with a lot of garlic these would seem like they come out super garlicky but honestly I all during testing I did not find them to be over garlicky. If you find yourself not being able to handle garlic very well feel free to back off the amount a little bit.
- Fresh Parsley or Dried Parsley – I tested both. I will admit I prefer the fresh parsley, but that might not always be in your fridge right? So use what you have.
- Salt – For cooking I always recommend using Kosher Salt over Table Salt. The structures of the actual salt is different and kosher salt will dissolve better and more evenly into your food.
- Ground Turkey – If you aren’t overly picky I did find that the ground turkey that is 85/15 works a little better for meatballs because the fat content helps keep the balls together. If you want to use a ground turkey with less fat content that is okay but just note the meatballs might not keep their shape as well.
- Marinara Sauce – When picking out a marinara sauce I like to really read the ingredients list, it is one of those foods that can vary a lot on ingredients. For example some brands are going to be full of additives, sugars, and gross oils. I like to grab Rao’s (not sponsored) because they have a pretty clean ingredients list with simple things like tomatoes and olive oil. Although most, but not all labeled ‘organic’ are more likely to have a simpler ingredients list as well! Just read the back of a few to help you make the best choice for your family!
- Shredded Mozzarella – For topping the meatballs to add some cheesy goodness!
For a complete detailed list of the ingredients continue towards the bottom of the page.
Preheat the oven to 400º F.
Add the oats and milk to a mixing bowl. Let rest 2 to 3 minutes.
With the oats and milk add the egg, parmesan cheese, garlic, parsley, and salt to the bowl. Stir a few times to lightly mix everything.
Add the ground turkey to the top and gently mix everything together until it just holds together. Don’t over mix. I find that using your hands works best for this step.
Layer half the sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish.
Use a tablespoon to scoop and roll the turkey mixture into meatballs. Add meatballs in the dish.
Cover with tin foil and bake for 10 minutes.
Uncover and add the remaining marinara sauce in top of the meatballs, followed by sprinkling the shredded mozzarella over the meatballs. Cook uncovered another 10 minutes until the dish is bubbly and the meatballs hit a internal temperature of 165º F. Serve over pasta, on thier own, or with veggies.
Tips, Tricks, & Questions
Why are my turkey meatballs rubbery?
Rubbery Meatballs will happen if you over-mix the meatball mixture before forming it into meatballs. You will want all the ingredients to be just mixed so that it holds a shape, once you have achieved that stop mixing!
What can you serve with turkey meatballs?
These turkey meatballs are super versatile. I personally have served these to my family a couple different ways. First with some spaghetti, I used the remainder of the jar of marinara for the sauce. Second I served the meatballs as is along side some broccoli and a side salad. If you are looking for some side dish to serve with the meatballs you could check out:
- Oven Roasted Broccoli
- Air Fryer Baby Potatoes
- Simple Spinach Side Salad
- Easy Anti-Pasto Salad
- Crunchy Bread
- Garlic Bread
I will also note that this is a great recipe to make for meal prep! The meatballs can easily be transferred into containers and reheated throughout the week!
If you like Turkey Meatballs in Tomato Sauce you might also like:
- Mediterranean Turkey Burgers
- Turkey Veggie Meatloaf Muffins
- Korean Ground Turkey & Rice Bowls
- Greek Turkey Meatballs Lettuce Wraps
- Oven Baked Chicken Parmesan
- Baked Chicken Nuggets with Hidden Quinoa
- ¼ Cup Oats, old fashioned/rolled
- ¼ Cup Milk
- 1 Egg
- ½ Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
- 1 Teaspoon Fresh Parsley (or ½ teaspoon dried)
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Pound Ground Turkey
- 12 Ounce Marinara Sauce (1 ½ Cups)
- 1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella
- Preheat oven to 400º F.
- Add oats and milk to a mixing bowl. Let rest 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add egg, parmesan cheese, garlic, parsley, and salt to the bowl. Stir a few times to lightly mix everything. Add the ground turkey to the top and gently mix everything together until it just holds together. Don’t over mix.
- Layer half the sauce on the bottom of casserole dish.
- Use a tablespoon to scoop and roll the turkey mixture into meatballs. Add meatballs in the dish.
- Cover with tin foil and bake for 10 minutes. Uncover and add the remaining marinara sauce followed by sprinkling the shredded mozzarella over the meatballs. Cook uncovered another 10 minutes until the dish is bubbly and the meatballs hit a internal temperature of 165º F. Serve over pasta, on thier own, or with veggies.
A typical jar of marinara is 24 ounces, so you will be using half for this recipe.
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Serving Size:6-7 meatballs
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 508Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 195mgSodium: 1191mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 41g
Nutritional data is automated, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.
Lauren, The Schmidty Wife