Turkey Ricotta Meatballs are a super moist and delicious way to make baked meatballs! This recipe uses an entire container of ricotta cheese and has the most amazing flavor and texture. 

Turkey Ricotta Meatballs in marinara sauce on a bowl of spaghetti.

Use ricotta cheese to make the best meatball recipes! Turkey Ricotta Meatballs are a lightened-up version of classic Italian meatballs and are sure to be your new favorite way to make the perfect-sized meatballs. 

For more variations of turkey meatballs, be sure to try these Italian Turkey Sausage Meatballs or these Mozzarella Stuffed Turkey Meatballs. You can use your meatballs to make these Mini Baked Meatball Sandwiches or Easy Italian Meatballs Sliders

You’ll Love Turkey Ricotta Meatballs

If you love juicy, mouthwatering meatballs, then you have to give these Turkey Ricotta Meatballs a try. They are simple to make and perfect for any meatball lover. 

​These meatballs feature a nearly equal amount of turkey and ricotta. The generous amount of ricotta cheese guarantees they’ll stay juicy and moist. 

You’ll love that these are a lightened-up version of traditional meatballs too. They are full of protein and have the most amazing flavor and texture. 

Turkey Ricotta Meatballs in a large dutch oven with a plate of meatballs and spaghetti next to i.

Ricotta is also my secret ingredient in this Baked Penne with Ricotta recipe. This is a great flavorful meatball recipe to serve alongside or use up any excess ricotta cheese. 

You can even make this recipe gluten-free by substituting the breadcrumbs with a similar gluten-free version. I like to finish these meatballs in tomato sauce and serve over hot spaghetti. 

So, if you love juicy meatballs, be sure to give these Turkey Ricotta Meatballs a try. You’re going to love them! 

Ingredients and Substitutions

Ingredients for recipe including meat, bread crumbs, egg, parsley, and marinara sauce.

Ground Turkey: use a blend of 93% lean ground turkey. Anything too lean will leave the meatballs dry. You could substitute ground beef or dark meat if you’d like. 

Ricotta: part-skim ricotta cheese will keep these meatballs moist and light. You can use whole milk ricotta cheese if you’d like. 

Dry Breadcrumbs: breadcrumbs will help bind the meatballs. You can make your own or use store-bought Italian style breadcrumbs. 

Egg: use one large egg to help bind the ingredients together. 

Parmesan: grated parmesan cheese adds great flavor and cheesiness to the turkey ricotta meatballs. 

Garlic: use a large clove of minced garlic or as many garlic cloves as you’d like. Garlic powder can be substituted. 

Parsley: chopped fresh parsley adds great flavor and color to the meatballs. Minced fresh basil leaves can be use instead. 

Salt & Pepper: season the meat mixture generously with a very large pinch of salt and fresh pepper. 

Marinara Sauce: you can serve the meatballs plain or let them simmer in your favorite store-bought or a simple homemade marinara sauce. 

How to Make Turkey Ricotta Meatballs

Baked Turkey Ricotta Meatballs come together fast and are so simple to make. They are delicious served alone or in marinara sauce with pasta.

Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Spray the entire surface of the sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. 

Process shots for recipe including mixing the meat and rolling into balls and baking.

Step 1: combine ingredients in a bowl

In a large mixing bowl, combine turkey and all of the ingredients (through salt & pepper). If you are using any other flavorings like red pepper flakes or diced onions, add them here. 

Step 2: mix well 

​Use a spoon or your hands to mix the ricotta meat mixture together well. I find that clean hands are the best tool for getting the mixture well incorporated. 

​Step 3: roll into balls and bake

Use a cookie scoop to measure out equal portions of the meat mixture and place on the prepared baking sheet. You want the meatballs to be about the size of a golf ball.

Then, use your hands to roll the meat into balls. If the mixture is sticky, add a bit of water to your hands before rolling. 

Bake the turkey ricotta meatballs in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees and are golden brown. 

Step 4: simmer in sauce

While the meatballs are baking, pour the marinara sauce into a dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat until the sauce is simmering. 

Carefully add in the cooked meatballs along with their juices. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes in the sauce then serve. 

Turkey Ricotta Meatballs simmering in marinara sauce.

You can store leftover meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can also freeze for up to a month. 

How to Serve Turkey Ricotta Meatballs

Turkey Ricotta Meatballs are great served on their own or over a bowl of fresh hot pasta. Just cook your favorite box of pasta until al dente, then spoon the meatballs and sauce overtop. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese and fresh Italian parsley leaves.

You can also serve these meatballs on their own as an appetizer, with or without the marinara sauce. Ricotta turkey meatballs are great as a protein served alongside roasted vegetables or a large salad. 

Turkey Ricotta Meatballs on a plate of spaghetti.

These are also delicious served with cooked spaghetti squash. You’ll love that these meatballs make great leftovers and taste even better the next day! 

Helpful Tips

  • Ground turkey is a lean option but avoid using the extra lean turkey as it can dry out the meatballs. You could also substitute your favorite sausage meat here. 
  • If your ricotta cheese appears wet, be sure to drain it before using. 
  • If you don’t have parsley, use whatever fresh herbs you have on hand. A teaspoon of dried parsley or basil work too. 
  • ​Make rolling the meatballs easier by using damp hands to shape them. 
  • Store leftover turkey ricotta meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
Turkey Ricotta Meatballs in marinara sauce on a plate of spaghetti.

More Savory Ricotta Dishes

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Turkey Ricotta Meatballs recipe.

Turkey Ricotta Meatballs

Turkey Ricotta Meatballs are a lightened-up version of a classic recipe with so much flavor! These moist meatballs are great served alone or with jarred marinara sauce and pasta.
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 203kcal

Equipment

  • baking sheet

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
  • cup Italian-style breadcrumbs (plain breadcrumbs work too)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 28 ounces marinara sauce (store-bought or homemade)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey, ricotta, breadcrumbs, egg, parmesan, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper. Use a spoon to mix until well combined.
  • Using either a spoon or a scoop to measure out equal portions of the meat mixture. Use your hands to roll the meat into balls. Place on baking sheet leaving about an inch between each meatball. (A standard cookie scoop will give you about 32 meatballs).
  • Bake the meatballs for about 15 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. While the meatballs are cooking, heat your marinara sauce in a large pan or pot on the stove.
  • When the meatballs are done, carefully transfer them to the marinara sauce and allow them simmer for about 5 minutes. Serve as is or spoon over hot pasta.

Notes

  • Ground turkey is a lean option but avoid using the extra lean turkey as it can dry out the meatballs. You could also substitute your favorite sausage meat here. 
  • If your ricotta cheese appears wet, be sure to drain it before using. 
  • If you don’t have parsley, use whatever fresh herbs you have on hand. A teaspoon of dried parsley or basil work too. 
  • ​Make rolling the meatballs easier by using damp hands to shape them. 
  • Store leftover turkey ricotta meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 

Nutrition

Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 842mg | Potassium: 562mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 803IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 203mg | Iron: 2mg
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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thanks for the inspiration to combine turkey and ricotta. They turned out perfectly moist. Thanks for this lighter recipe version!

  2. 5 stars
    Loving this lightened-up version of one of my favorite Italian dishes to make! 🙂 Adding this to my weekly dinner plan soon.