Gluten-Free Italian Turkey Meatballs

Gluten free Italian turkey meatballs
Gluten free Italian turkey meatballs

The Spruce

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
66 Calories
2g Fat
6g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 66
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 19mg 6%
Sodium 223mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 7g
Calcium 77mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

 A go-to meatball recipe is always handy to have in the home recipe box, like this recipe for Italian-style rounds made with turkey. They're gluten-free, lean, packed with flavor, and simple to prepare.

In place of breadcrumbs and egg, this recipe calls for cooked quinoa, a naturally gluten-free grain and protein-rich superfood. Quinoa helps hold the meatball together and also adds a boost of additional protein. 

You can form meatballs that are "spaghetti and meatball" dinner size, or roll them into a smaller, appetizer portions. It takes less than 30 minutes to cook in the oven, or you can partially bake and finish cooking the meatballs by simmering on low in a slow cooker or a pot of marinara sauce. You can also serve these gluten-free Italian style meatballs as small party bites paired with a delicious pesto dipping sauce. 

These meatballs freeze well, so you can store in an airtight container or freezer friendly Ziploc to enjoy at a later time.


  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1/3 cup cooked white quinoa (cooled)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil (finely chopped)
  • 1/3 cup fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for meatballs
    Gather the ingredients for gluten free turkey meatballs. The Spruce
  2. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Let cool before combining with the other ingredients. 

    Cook the quinoa. The Spruce
  3. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

    Baking sheet
    Parchment paper on baking sheet. The Spruce 
  4. Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Using your hands, mix together until well combined.

    Add ingredients in a mixing bowl. The Spruce
  5. Roll about 2 tablespoons of meat mixture into appetizer-sized meatballs, or 3 to 4 tablespoons for dinner-sized meatballs. 

    Roll meat
    Roll meat into balls. The Spruce
  6. Arrange meatballs on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle a light dusting of garlic and onion powder over top the meatballs. 

    Arrange meatballs
    Arrange meatballs on a baking sheet. The Spruce 
  7. Bake meatballs for 20 to 25 minutes in the oven, or until completely heated through.

    Bake meatballs. The Spruce
  8. Alternatively, you can bake for 15 minutes, then finish cooking the meatballs in a pot of simmering marinara sauce or slow cooker until cooked through.

    Finish cooking meatballs
    Finish cooking meatballs in pot of simmering marinara sauce. The Spruce
  9. Serve and enjoy!