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turkey pesto meatballs

Turkey Pesto Meatballs

  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Pan fry
  • Cuisine: Italian


Turkey pesto meatballs with ground turkey, basil pesto, and baby spinach. Simmered in marinara sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese. These are SO incredibly juicy and flavorful.


  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs (not seasoned)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup minced yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 Tbsp. basil pesto
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 12 Tbsp. fresh basil, cut into thin ribbons
  • Black pepper, to taste


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, onions, garlic, pesto, oregano, salt, spinach, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with black pepper, to taste. Combine everything with your hands until the ingredients are evenly mixed. Do not overmix.
  2. Form the turkey mixture into 15 meatballs, each the size of a golf ball.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive in a large heavy bottom skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add meatballs and sauté for 3-4 minutes per side until browned.
  4. Add the marinara sauce and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, partially cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Top with mozzarella cheese, cover and cook until melted, about 2 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil and serve over pasta of choice.


  • Leftovers: Leftover meatballs in sauce can be refrigerated up to 5 days in an airtight container. You can also freeze them up to 3 months.

Keywords: easy, kid friendly, healthy, weeknight meal