Tender, juicy Turkey Meatballs in Marinara Sauce are made in a skillet and topped with mozzarella cheese… perfectly delicious on their own or with cooked pasta.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
As far as I’m concerned, any dinner that’s ready in 30 minutes is winning. When it’s also delicious and fresh, even better.
Homemade turkey meatballs in marinara sauce are quick & easy, in fact, you may never make meatballs the same again! Instead of browning them first and finishing them in a cooked sauce, the meat is scooped raw and placed directly into a warm marinara to simmer. The meatballs are uniformly tender and juicy, perfectly cooked and just delicious!
Here’s a few more good reasons to make this recipe:
- These are tender meatballs, like really really tender. An all-time favorite recipe over here. 🙂
- This is a one-bowl situation, and the ingredients come together quickly
- You’ll get four hearty servings from this recipe, or six smaller ones
- Yes there are a few steps to the recipe, but all of them are easy
- These meatballs are versatile! Enjoy with a green salad, on top of hot, cooked pasta, or on a soft sandwich roll. Leftovers make a great lunch too. I
- If you like easy skillet dinners, bookmark these favorites for later – this Chicken Sausage and Vegetable Skillet is wonderful and also very quick. Skillet Taco Bake is a great appetizer with corn chips or as a full meal, and this Ground Turkey Pasta Bake tastes just like lasagne, but without the fuss and time…it’s ready in 30 minutes!
Ingredients You’ll Need
For the full recipe and list of ingredients, please scroll to the recipe card below.
- Lean Ground Turkey: Organic too, if you can find it
- Tomato Sauce: Crushed tomatoes are best for this recipe
- Bread Crumbs: This helps keep the meatballs tender
- Garlic and Bay Leaf: For great flavor
- Onion: Grated, with one half for the sauce, the other for the meatballs
- Egg: To hold the meatballs together
- Seasonings: Salt, pepper, garlic powder and red pepper flakes
- Miso: Mellow white or yellow, the “secret sauce” for these meatballs
Step-By Step Instructions
For the full recipe,list of ingredients and instructions, please scroll to the recipe card below.
These meatballs are cooked in a delicious homemade marinara sauce, and here’s all you do to make them:
- Make the marinara sauce first by adding the crushed tomatoes, seasonings and a half of a grated onion to a large skillet. Let it simmer on medium heat for about fifteen minutes.
2. Make the meatballs by adding the ground turkey, egg, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, yogurt (or milk), parsley, the other half of grated onion, of a grated and the seasonings to a large mixing bowl. Mix to combine.
3. Be careful not to over-mix the meat, just handle enough to combine the ingredients for best results (and juicy meatballs.)
4. The meatball mixture may feel a bit loose – this is what we want. Next, use an ice cream or cookie scoop to drop rounded balls of the meat mixture into the large saucepan along with the warm marinara sauce.
5. See how easy? Before you cook the meatballs, spoon some sauce over each one, then put the lid on and let it simmer on medium-high heat.
6. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top plus a little Parmesan, and some Italian parsley, then put the lid back on, turn the stove off, and let it sit for 5-7 minutes until the cheese melts.
7. Remove the lid, drizzle a little olive oil on top and serve!
- Miso paste, either white or yellow, adds a deep all-day cooked flavor without the all-day part. It’s an important ingredient for a flavorful sauce, but if you don’t have it or don’t want to buy it, add another 1/2 teaspoon of salt to your marinara sauce.
- You can use whole milk instead of the plain yogurt in the meatballs
- Use low moisture mozzarella cheese in this recipe, not fresh mozzarella packed in brine, it will make the whole recipe watery!
- These meatballs are amazing on their own, but add a simple green salad and you’ve got a great dinner.
- Also try them on hot, cooked pasta or on a big, toasted sandwich roll
- These would be great served family style with a nice salad. Some ideas are this amazing Blackberry Goat Cheese Salad, or an Italian Green Bean Salad, this amazing fresh Green Bean and Pea Salad, a delicious Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad would be great, or go simple and with a Celery Parmesan Salad.
- I’m always interested in what’s for dessert, so let’s go there – Mini Strawberry Pies are totally cute and tasty, and the edible cup is made from store-bought sugar cookie dough. Try a raspberry rhubarb crisp with whipped cream, or these soft chocolate sugar cookies are amazing, too, and freeze very well.
- Try fresh herbs like torn basil right before serving these meatballs if you’d like.
- Toasty garlic bread would be great alongside too, and so would these grilled peppers and onions 🙂
Frequently Asked Questions
In an airtight container, refrigerated for 2-3 days is the best way to store these leftovers.
You sure can, and they’ll be delicious. I’d suggest using a lean ground beef in this recipe for best results.
Sure can, and it will taste great.
More Recipes to Try:
- Blackberry Cranberry Sauce: One of the best versions ever!
- Guinness Irish Chili Recipe: A fabulous chili, year-round.
- Italian Frittata: Packed with vegetables and cheese…delish!
- Spicy Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Yogurt Sauce: This is a must-make recipe!
- Roasted Nectarines with Caramel Sauce: Absolutely delicious!
- Summer Pasta: A reader favorite, this pasta is delicious year-round!
- Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage: A very good baked pasta recipe!
- Authentic Pasta Fagioli Recipe: A classic, delicious soup!
- Ground Turkey Pasta Bake: Delicious, and made in a skillet!
- Italian Greens and Beans Recipe Escarole: Just a wonderful, delicious soup!
- Turkey Burger Sliders Recipe: A fun recipe to make for gatherings!
If you’ve tried Meatballs in Marinara Sauce Recipe, or any other recipe on Studio Delicious, please rate the recipe 5 stars and tell me how you liked it in comments below!
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Meatballs in Marinara Sauce Recipe
- MARINARA SAUCE
- 1 28-ounce can Crushed Tomatoes
- ½ medium Onion, yellow, grated
- ½ cup Water or chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon Miso paste, white or yellow, mellow
- ½ teaspoon Pepper, freshly ground
- ½ teaspoon Salt, kosher Diamond Crystal
- ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 pound Ground Turkey
- ½ medium Onion, yellow, grated
- ½ cup Greek Yogurt, plain (whole or 2 %)
- 1 large Egg
- ½ cup Panko Bread Crumbs
- ½ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 1 clove Garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Pepper
- ¼ cup Parsley, chopped
- 2 cups Mozzarella Cheese, low moisture
- 3 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
- 3 tablespoons Parsley, Italian, chopped fine
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- Make the Marinara Sauce: Using a non-stick skillet or dutch oven, add the crushed tomatoes, the grated onion, salt, pepper, miso, water or broth, garlic powder and red pepper flakes and stir to combine everything. Add the bay leaf. Cook the marinara on medium to medium-low heat for twelve to fifteen minutes and let it simmer while you make the meatballs.
- In a large bowl, add the ground turkey, grated onion, yogurt, egg, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt and pepper and combine. Using an ice cream scoop, drop the rounded balls of meat into the warm sauce, being careful not to crowd them. You should get twelve to thirteen large balls. Gently and carefully scoop some of the tomato sauce up over the balls, then put the lid on and let the mixture simmer for fifteen to seventeen minutes until cooked all the way through (or 165F degrees internal temperature). Check the mixture part way through and if the sauce is evaporating too quickly, add a tablespoon or two of water or broth and let it continue to cook on medium-low heat.
- Remove the lid and gently stir from the bottom, lifting the meatballs to make sure they don't stick. Turn off the stove, and spoon a little sauce over each ball, then sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the whole dish, followed by the Parmesan cheese and the parsley. Add the lid back on, and let the meatballs sit and rest for a few minutes on the warm stove to melt the cheese. Remove the lid, drizzle with a little olive oil and serve.
- Super important to read the whole recipe before you begin
- Pay attention to the ingredient list and photos for the recipe
- If possible, prep your ingredients a little before you start
- Always use a sharp knife for safety
- Use the size of pan called for in the recipe
- For savory recipes, taste and season as you go
- Buy fresh, organic ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible