Looking for an all-purpose Italian meatballs recipe? Look no further! This version is super simple – we combine ground turkey with parsley, garlic, bread crumbs, egg, Parmesan cheese, and spices. The result is a tender, moist meatball that’s both healthy and delicious! Once you make the mixture, you’ll be ready to serve them up as a delightful appetizer, or you can add them to spaghetti, stews, or soups. The possibilities are endless!
A Wonderful Freezer Recipe!
The other thing we love about this recipe is that you can make them in advance. After rolling the Italian meatballs into 1-inch balls, you can pop them into the freezer. We like freezing them flat on a baking sheet before transferring them to an airtight bag or container for storage. Then, they’ll be ready to cook whenever you need them. Pull the meatballs out of the freezer and defrost them in the refrigerator the night before. Then, cook them like normal!
If you’re serving these meatballs as an appetizer, try pairing them with some of our favorite sauces!
A Quick Note on Cooking Meatballs
Our preferred cooking method for Italian meatballs is on the stovetop in a large skillet, especially if you’re planning to serve them with a tomato sauce. You’ll create a beautiful layer of fond in the skillet as the meatballs cook, which is basically concentrated flavor! If you deglaze the skillet with wine, broth, or water and reheat your marinara sauce in the same pan, you will pull up all those tasty bits and infuse them into your sauce. A quick and easy way to make a restaurant-quality sauce without adding any extra ingredients!
You do need to control the heat on the stovetop if you’re cooking the meatballs using this method. If the heat is too hot, you’ll burn the outsides of the meatballs before cooking them all the way through. Keep the heat on medium and rotate the meatballs as they cook so they brown evenly on all sides. When they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, they’re finished!
Alternatively, you can use an oven-safe skillet (like cast iron) and brown the meatballs on the stovetop. Then, you could transfer them to the oven to finish cooking. Some people bake their meatballs 100 percent in the oven, but the stovetop is our preferred method. It adds a layer of caramelization to the meatballs, which definitely gives them more flavor!
How do you prefer to cook your meatballs? Stovetop? Oven? Slow cooker? Let us know in the comments!
Check out our step-by-step video for these classic Italian meatballs!
Classic Italian Meatballs
- 2 pounds lean ground turkey or chicken
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped Italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- kosher or sea salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 cups whole wheat panko or whole wheat bread crumbs
- 1 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
- 2 eggs
- Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Shape mixture into (24) 1" meatballs.
- When cooking meatballs, add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a large skillet, turn to medium heat and cook until brown on both sides and cooked through. Note: If adding meatballs to a slow cooker recipe, brown as instructed but do not cook through as they will continue cooking while in the slow cooker.
We’d love your feedback! Let us know what you thought about this classic recipe! What’s your favorite way to eat meatballs?