Stuffed Turkey Meatballs are a delicious and healthier twist on traditional meatballs. With a gooey cheese center and juicy turkey meat, these meatballs are a perfect addition to any meal!

Stuffed turkey meatballs with a cheese center on a plate of spaghetti and marinara sauce.

There is nothing better or more comforting than a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. Why not take it up a notch and make Stuffed Turkey Meatballs and give everyone a cheesy surprise!

For another delicious meatball recipe, don’t miss these Italian Turkey Sausage Meatballs, Turkey Ricotta Meatballs, or this Easy Italian Meatball Slider recipe. If you love meaty pasta dishes, don’t miss this authentic Italian Mostaccioli recipe or this Cheese Beef Stuffed Shells.

You’ll Love Stuffed Turkey Meatballs!

Cheese stuffed turkey meatballs are a delicious and easy recipe twist on traditional homemade meatballs. With a gooey cheese center and juicy turkey meat, these cheesy meatballs are a perfect addition to any meal.

This recipe couldn’t be easier. It’s just your basic meatball recipe (mine happen to be delicious and healthy!) with a chunk of tasty cheese stuffed inside. Here, I use provolone but you can use mozzarella or even chunks of string cheese.

Lean ground turkey is a great way to get a moist and juicy meatballs without adding a lot of fat. Ground turkey is naturally lower in fat and easy to find in any grocery store.

This recipe uses lots of Italian flavor enhancers like garlic, parsley, and parmesan, to give the meatballs tons of flavor. It then simmers marinara sauce to make these meatballs extra special.

These cheese-stuffed turkey meatballs are perfect as a main course or as an appetizer. You can serve them with a side of pasta, or on top of a bed of greens for a healthy meal. 

This is sure to be your new favorite way to make meatballs and guaranteed to make the whole family happy. Give this recipe a try!

stack of stuffed turkey meatballs with marinara sauce on a white plate.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Ground Turkey: use a ground turkey with a higher fat content like 93% or 88% lean. You need the extra fat to keep these moist and flavorful. If you can’t find ground turkey, you can always substitute lean ground beef or ground pork. 
  • Garlic: fresh minced garlic will add great flavor to the meatballs. You can use more or less depending on preferences. Garlic powder and onion powder can be added here as well.
  • Tomato Paste: I always like to add a bit of tomato paste to my meatballs for an extra depth of flavor. If you don’t have it, you can substitute ketchup.
  • Parsley: fresh minced parsley adds flavor and color to this recipe. I like to use the Italian parsley but curly parsley or any other fresh herbs works fine here.
  • Parmesan: grated parmesan cheese adds a salty bite to the meatball mixture.
  • Bread Crumbs: just use the canned Italian-style bread crumbs here. If you don’t have them, use homemade bread crumbs with a little bit of Italian seasoning.
  • Eggs: eggs will help to bind the meatballs.
  • Milk: keeps the meatballs moist. Use whatever percentage of milk you have on hand.
  • Cheese: stuffed turkey meatballs need cubes of cheese to stuff in the middle. I like to use chunks of fresh mozzarella, mozzarella pearls, or provolone.

How to Make Stuffed Turkey Meatballs

These cheese stuffed turkey meatballs come together quick and are sure to please anyone who tries them. Start by lining a large baking sheet with foil and preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

process shots showing how to make recipe including pressing cheese into the middle of the meat patty.

Step 1: prepare the meat mixture

First, combine all of the meatball mixture into a large bowl. This includes the ground turkey, garlic, tomato paste, parmesan, parsley, egg, milk, and bread crumbs. Mix well to combine. Add in a bit of kosher salt and black pepper if desired.

Step 2: stuff in the cheese

Next, portion out about a ⅓ cup of the meat. I like to use a muffin scoop for this. Then, press the meat into a flat patty and place a cube of cheese in the center of the meatball.

Step 3: bake

Bake the stuffed meatballs for about 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. While the meatballs are baking, heat the marinara sauce in a large pot on the stove. (Don’t worry if cheese starts to come out of the sides of the meatballs while baking.)

Step 4: simmer in marinara

Once the meatballs are cooked, add them directly to the pot of marinara tomato sauce. Let them simmer for 10 minutes to absorb the flavors of the sauce.

You can serve cheese mozzarella-stuffed turkey meatballs over a big bowl of hot spaghetti. Or, they make great appetizers too!

Recipe Tips

  • Use a ground turkey blend that is 88% to 93% lean. If you go too lean, the meatballs will be dry and not juicy.
  • If you don’t have Italian-style bread crumbs, use regular bread crumbs with some dried Italian seasoning mixed in.
  • You can make these ahead of time and bake before serving. Just store the stuffed meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Serve with jars of your favorite marinara sauce or make your own with this recipe for Simple Marinara Sauce.
  • Serve over a plate of spaghetti or serve individually as an easy appetizer served out of a slow cooker.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to fry or bake turkey meatballs?

Baking turkey meatballs helps to give them more flavor and keeps them moist without using additional oil. Just make sure you bake them at a higher heat. You could also fry them in olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Air fryer is also a great option for turkey meatballs. 

How do you keep stuffed turkey meatballs from falling apart?

The key to keeping turkey meatballs from falling apart is using a binder in the ingredients. Here, I recommend using both egg and breadcrumbs, which will help the meatball keep its shape.

Stuffed turkey meatballs on a plate of spaghetti.

More Easy Italian Recipes!

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Stuffed Turkey Meatballs.

Stuffed Turkey Meatballs

Stuffed Turkey Meatballs are a fun take on a traditional Italian dish! Great as a main course served with spaghetti or by itself for an appetizer. 
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 243kcal

Equipment

  • baking sheet

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ pounds ground turkey
  • ¾ cup Italian-style bread crumbs
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 24 1 inch cubes Italian cheese (like mozzarella or provolone)
  • 32 ounces marinara sauce (homemade or store-bought)
  • fresh cooked pasta for serving (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, eggs, milk, parsley, tomato paste, minced garlic, and kosher salt. Mix together until well combined.
  • Measure out about ⅓ cup of the turkey mixture. Roll into a ball and then flatten slightly into a patty. Place a cube of cheese in the center of the patty, then close the meatball around cheese and shape into a ball again. Place on prepared baking sheet and continue making the rest of the stuffed meatballs (you should have about 24 meatballs total).
  • Bake the meatballs in a preheated oven for about 15-17 minutes. While the meatballs bake, heat marinara sauce in a large pot on the stove until it simmers.
  • Add the cooked meatballs to the sauce and simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Serve with spaghetti, if desired. 

Notes

  • Use a ground turkey blend that is 88% to 93% lean. If you go too lean, the meatballs will be dry and not juicy.
  • If you don’t have Italian-style bread crumbs, use regular bread crumbs with some dried Italian seasoning mixed in.
  • You can make these ahead of time and bake before serving. Just store the stuffed meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Serve with jars of your favorite marinara sauce or make your own with this recipe for Simple Marinara Sauce.
  • Serve over a plate of spaghetti or serve individually as an appetizer.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Nutrition

Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 1050mg | Potassium: 749mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 882IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 122mg | Iron: 3mg
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