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Cheesy Turkey Meatball Skillet

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Cheesy Turkey Meatball Skillet covered in sauce and cheese, made all in one skillet. Serve this with a green salad and a little bread on the side for dipping!

Cheesy Turkey Meatballs covered in sauce and cheese, made all in one skillet, serve this with a green salad and a little bread on the side for dipping!
Cheesy Turkey Meatball Skillet

If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then these meatballs will certainly make the heart grow fonder! My meatball loving husband gave them two-thumbs up. Some of his other favorite meatball recipes are Giant Meatball Parmesan, Swedish Meatballs, Turkey Meatball Stroganoff and Salisbury Steak Meatballs.

Cheesy Turkey Meatballs covered in sauce and cheese, made all in one skillet, serve this with a green salad and a little bread on the side for dipping!

Tommy loves meatballs, he orders them as an appetizer every time we go to our favorite Italian restaurant. Since we always share apps with our friends, he gets an extra order for himself, that’s how much he loves them. And trust me, he’s pretty particular and will judge a restaurant based on their meatballs, so making meatballs with turkey that meet up to Tommy’s standards is never easy. But he loved these, and told me to freeze the leftovers so we can have them for another night! (Another compliment because Tommy doesn’t eat leftovers).

To make these turkey meatballs taste great, I did a few simple things. Added umami ingredients like good quality Locatelli Pecorino Romano (don’t use the cheap powdered cheese from shelf, it’s awful), and a little tomato paste to the mix. Also, I browned them right in the skillet, I do think browning them really adds flavor. No need to add a lot of oil, I just sprayed the skillet with a little olive oil spray.

What To Serve With Skillet Meatballs

Tommy’s not eating carbs this month, (not counting the small amount of breadcrumbs in the mix) so we ate this with a green salad on the side and some roasted veggies. Normally, when I make this I serve it with some crusty bread, for dipping into all that sauce. This would also be great on roasted spaghetti squash or zoodles.

Helpful Tips:

  • To make meatballs all the same size I use a food scale, weighing all the meat together then dividing it by the amount of meatballs I want. For this recipe it was about 1.6 oz each.
  • Don’t overwork your meatballs or they will be tough.
  • I made the sauce from scratch, just a quick marinara but you can also use a jar of your favorite sauce to make it even quicker.

Cheesy Turkey Meatballs covered in sauce and cheese, made all in one skillet, serve this with a green salad and a little bread on the side for dipping!turkey meatballsCheesy Turkey Meatballs covered in sauce and cheese, made all in one skillet, serve this with a green salad and a little bread on the side for dipping!Cheesy Turkey Meatballs covered in sauce and cheese, made all in one skillet, serve this with a green salad and a little bread on the side for dipping!Close up of skillet meatballs.

More Meatball Recipes:

Cheesy Turkey Meatball Skillet

4.67 from 45 votes
Cheesy Turkey Meatballs covered in sauce and cheese, made all in one skillet, serve this with a green salad and a little bread on the side for dipping!
Course: Brunch, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Italian
Cheesy Turkey Meatballs covered in sauce and cheese, made all in one skillet, serve this with a green salad and a little bread on the side for dipping!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Serving Size: 3 meatballs and sauce




  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of a knife
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes, I prefer Tuttorosso
  • kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, I like thicker shredded Polly-O
  • parsley or basil for garnish


  • In a large bowl combine the milk, breadcrumbs, Pecorino, garlic, egg, tomato paste, parsley and salt and mix well to combine.
  • Add the turkey and mix using a fork to fully mix everything together, careful not to overwork and form into 18 meatballs.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, when hot spray with oil and brown the meatballs about 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Set aside on a dish.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, add the oil and garlic and cook until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste and return the meatballs to the skillet. Partially cover and simmer medium-low until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  • Uncover, top with mozzarella cheese, cover and cook until melted, about 2 minutes. If your skillet doesn’t have a cover, you can put it under the broiler 2 to 3 minutes, until melted.

Last Step:

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Serving: 3 meatballs and sauce, Calories: 356 kcal, Carbohydrates: 16 g, Protein: 31.5 g, Fat: 18 g, Saturated Fat: 6.5 g, Cholesterol: 134.5 mg, Sodium: 809 mg, Fiber: 0.5 g, Sugar: 5.5 g


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93 comments on “Cheesy Turkey Meatball Skillet”

  1. I’m all ready to make this, but step 5 says to “add the oil”, and there is no oil listed in the ingredients. How much oil should be added? Olive Oil?

  2. Delicious and easy to make. Did not have the parsley and ended up having to make my own crushed tomatoes but it worked out quite well. Another winner to go into rotation

  3. Avatar photo
    Evelyn Livingston

    I don’t eat beef or pork so I I used ground turkey as an alternative for meatballs or meatloaf. I have since switched to ground chicken and I prefer the mild flavor of the meat.

  4. These are so delicious, they don’t taste like turkey meatballs, at all! Turkey can be dry without the right “stuff” added, and these have exactly what they need to make them moist and full of flavor! Thank you!

  5. Avatar photo
    Chandra Bruton

    I made these last night and it was delicious! I had to add more spices to the tomato sauce for our liking but otherwise amazing. 

  6. Hello, I can’t rate the recipe yet as I haven’t made it yet lol. I am a newbie in the kitchen so I was wondering when I do make it, if I make a double batch of meatballs and want to freeze them for another meal would I cook them first then freeze or freeze them raw?

  7. Hi Gina,
    Is this the updated version of the cheesy turkey meatball skillet?  The recipe I have been using called for turkey sausage with the ground turkey. My family loves that dish, guess we will have to try this version!  Love all your recipes!

  8. So good! I’ve had this on my list for a while and finally pulled the trigger. Meatballs turned out great- very juicy and flavorful. Adding this to the repertoire!

  9. This is my new GO TO meal when I want to impress! I made this for my boyfriend on Valentine’s Day & he said it was “restaurant quality”! I have shared with a friend who’s husband refuses to eat ground turkey…. and HE LOVED THESE! They are super delish over pasta, as a meatball sub or just by themselves!

  10. This is by far one of my families favorite meals.  I use whatever protein I have on hand, but the house favorite is venison! Thanks for a great recipe!

  11. Hi, I entered this recipe into my WW app and it comes up as 4pts for me on Blue. Not sure why. Could be with the serving size but I put the same serving size as the recipt. I just don’t want to double up on meatballs and find out that I went completely over.


  12. This was good but not my favorite. Meatballs were still slightly bland but I think it’s just from being turkey. And the sauce needed a little extra or to sit in the pot for much longer. I bumped up the entire recipe to use 2lbs of turkey which was easy to do. Used normal olive oil for browning and they browned perfectly in my pot which I was happy after reading some of the other comments. I browned them for a little more than 5-6 mins, turning every so often. I kept them in the sauce covered for 10 mins bc I was worried they would still be raw in the middle after only 5. Served with hearts of palm “pasta” and fiance def enjoyed it more than me!

  13. My little girls and I made these tonight, and they were a huge hit! I’ve never tasted such a delicious turkey meatball—I definitely didn’t miss the beef. Thank you! I love your recipes!

    Since I’m bad at browning things in a pan, especially things that are round, I took a commenter’s suggestion to bake the meatballs at 350 for 20 minutes, and they were perfect!

  14. I really wanted this to work but my meatballs did not stick together AT ALL! They didn’t stick, were sufficiently browned but by the time I added in the tomatoes it just became a meat sauce. ☹️

    1. I’ve made this recipe before and found that to be the case. Tonight I added one additional egg white- as I’d used the yoke in something else and the meatballs stayed together better than ever. Egg white- virtually no additional fat. Added additional garlic- as we are serious garlic lovers and an additional 15oz can Italian seasoned diced tomatoes. Fantastic!

  15. I absolutely loved these and so did my family!   Thank you for making delicious and easy meals available for us!  This one did not disappoint and will be a part of our regular rotation!  

  16. Love these easy recipe. Can you please just list the calories instead of kcal or do we just divide the kcal by 2.2 to get the approximate calories?

    1. It’s the same thing. The calorie counts we know are kcal really. Don’t divide it. It’s 356 calories for the serving.

  17. Avatar photo
    Monica Scozzare

    Amazing. I used some of my own roasted tomato sauce as I have a lot frozen from previous harvests. I added some red pepper flakes when I ate it.  Definitely making again 

  18. Really tasty turkey meatballs. Comes together quickly and in one pan which is a definite plus. I didn’t use quite as much cheese just to keep it a little lighter and still very good.

  19. I made this last night, it’s turning into a favorite at our house.   I did add onions and spinach to the sauce.  I’m always looking to add extra veggies in that no one would notice.   

  20. Avatar photo
    Brittany Massey

    These were absolutely amazing! I made a large batch and froze the rest for an easy meal one night.

  21. Avatar photo
    Kelly Anthony

    I made the meatballs exactly like the recipe but i added some Italian seasoning and I also changed the cheese to mozzarella and a Italian Kraft cheese mixture.Added some garlic bread and a romaine lettuce, dinner was the bomb. Meatballs didn’t fall apart too bad but i also cooked them throughly on one side being that I didn’t have a ninstick skillet. And i gently turned them over with a large spoon.

  22. I made these on Saturday for dinner. I kept the fact that they were turkey meatballs a secret until after dinner. Everybody enjoyed them, even my husband. In fact, he thinks I should make them for a dinner party. When I did tell them the secret ingredient that were shocked and amazed. Thank you for the great family dinner experience.

  23. They were tasty – a little blander than I expected but that might have been our choice of sauce. Had trouble flipping them over so will try baking them as noted by other reviewer if we make again.

  24. Liked the idea of it however I’ve tried to make these twice now and my meatballs just fall apart before I can flip them over 😒

    1. You are moving them too soon, once they brown they should easily flip. If you do it too soon they will stick.

  25. Made these for a family Valentine dinner.  It was more labor intensive for me (but I am an amateur in the kitchen) so this is not something I would make on a weeknight unless I prepped the meatballs prior.  However, I must say that I am getting much better at browning the meatballs since we have tried MANY of your meatball recipes (my kids LOVE your Salisbury and Stroganoff  meatballs) The whole family loved this and couldn’t stop raving about it.  Even my daughter who hates meatballs and ground turkey went back for seconds.  I Served this with spaghetti for the family and spaghetti squash for me and used an additional jar of sauce since I know my kids like lots of sauce on their noodles.  This was a good call because my son was asking for more sauce right away. To save calories I did substitute Traders Joes Almond. Mozzarella shreds for most of the regular mozzarella; nobody could tell the difference.  Definitely will be making again.

  26. Absolutely delicious!!!! The only thing I did differently was to bake them in the oven on parchment paper. @ 350 for 20 minutes, then put them in the sauce that I made while they were baking. Came out perfect!. Simmered , put the cheese on top and broiled for a couple of minutes. So easy and tasty and QUICK!😊

  27. These are, hands down,  the most AMAZING meatballs I have ever made – “healthy” or not!  
    I don’t understand how this recipe only packs 350~ calories per serving but WOW.  Couldn’t love these more.  Made these and had them by themselves last night, leftovers tonight over noodles – and it just does not get better than this!!!  Wish I could give more than 5 stars!

  28. My husband said, “put a whole bunch of stars next to this recipe! This one is a ten!”
    I did have to be very gentle with the meatballs at first, but after reading through the reviews here, I saw that you said that if they don’t turn easily, they are browned enough. Great tip! 
    I love the I was able to cook everything in one pot! I made everything in my trusty cast iron, and then served it up family style right in that. 
    I made everything exactly as directed, except I also added a pinch of red pepper flakes to the sauce. Delicious!

  29. Everything that could go wrong did when I was making this recipe. LOL! My trusty, big, nonstick pan suddenly decided not to be nonstick. The first round of meatballs stuck like glue and burned .  Switched to a different (but smaller) skillet and things went better. Unfortunately, I couldn’t fit everything in the smaller skillet. Everything went into a baking dish to finish in the oven. It took longer to cook in the oven than the stove top. I topped it with cheese and put it under the broiler. When the smoke alarm went off 2 minutes later I knew dinner was ready. 🤣

    Now for the good news, it was amazing!  Everyone loved it, even my picky eater. I had extra lean ground turkey and the meatballs weren’t the least bit dry. I was worried about them falling apart but they held together. We will definitely be making this dish again!

  30. We don’t typically like ground turkey but tried these as we loved your ASIAN TURKEY MEATBALLS WITH GOCHUJANG GLAZE recipe. Unfortunately, we are not fans of this recipe and will not make again.

  31. The meatballs seemed a bit mushy at first, but did firm up after about an hour. The sauce was very tasty. I did add some oregano.

  32. I have a question about browning the meatballs. It says brown the meatballs about 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Of course there are more than 2 sides of a meatball – so is the total time 5 to 6 minutes, or do you cook it for 5-6, then turn and cook for 5-6, etc?
    I put the meatballs into the skillet and let them brown about 5 minutes without touching them. I think that helped them to stay together and not fall apart like others have mentioned. Then when I turned, I set my timer for another 6 minutes and turned them every minute or two. Does this sound about right?
    I made these tonight and they were fantastic. My husband and sons both loved them, so it turned out, but I just wanted to clarify for future reference.

  33. This was really good – we served it over spaghetti. I will probably use jarred sauce over crushed tomatoes next time. Also, I didn’t bother removing the meatballs before adding the sauce and it worked fine. Thank you!

  34. It looks absolutely delicious. Italian food is one of the gratiest. I’m so happy I found your web with all theese amaizing recipes. Can’t wait to try new flavours! 🙂

  35. This is the second time I’ve tried a Skinnytaste turkey meatball recipe, and both times they completely fell apart – turned into meat sauce. Any tips?

    1. Sounds like you didn’t brown them first? You have to leave them to brown without turning until they easily turn. If you try to turn them before they brown they will fall apart.

  36. This was a delicious dinner! I followed the meatball ingredients exactly. My mixture was very soft so I put my formed meatballs on a tray and put them in the freezer for about 10 minutes before frying. I used a Lodge (ceramic) dutch oven. After frying I put a minced clove of garlic in the pan for 30 seconds, added the meatballs back and completely covered the meatballs with sauce (I used jarred sauce…Prego Market Fresh marinara) and simmered them covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. I served them with whole wheat spaghetti, zoodles. bread and a caesar salad. It was a delicious meal! My family loved it. Skinnytaste is my go to for just about every dinner meal, I love all of your recipes!

  37. Avatar photo
    claudia vandermade

    I’ve made a number of turkey meatball recipes and it seems that my results don’t look like the picture!  The meatballs aren’t firm and round…they slop all over and I have trouble moving them in the pan brown…they kind of fall apart.  In the end I declare that it will taste good anyway, and it always does.  Meatball advice?

    1. I put my formed meatballs in the freezer on a small plate for about 10 minutes before frying. I also use a good bit of olive oil, not just a spray in the pan, which will change the calorie count. While one batch is frying, the next batch is in the freezer, and I put the bowl of unformed meatballs in the fridge while I’m frying a batch. Also, you need to tend to the meatballs while the are frying. I use a plastic slotted spoon and turn frequently and add oil as needed.

  38. Hi Gina! My family and I are huge fans of your recipes! We have an abundance of ground venison, and my husband isn’t a fan of ground turkey. Do you think this recipe would work the same with venison (since it is also very lean)? Thank you!

      1. I made this last night with ground elk, and they were fantastic! Thanks for another winner, Gina!

      2. I used ground elk and they turned out fantastic! Thanks for another winner, Gina! I tell everyone who asks for healthy, easy recipes about your website. 🙂

    1. You can use this recipe and just add the cheese at the end:

      1. Avatar photo
        Stephanie Taylor

        What are the chances of being able to substitute the bread crumbs with almond flour? I haven’t worked much with almond flour so I’m not sure if this will be a doable alternative or not! I tried them the way the recipe calls and AMAZING! My family is starting to do a more grain free lifestyle, however. Thank you!!! LOVE your recipes!!! 

  39. I made this tonight and it was a huge hit! Everyone loved it (that almost never happens!), and it was easy! This recipe is a keeper.

  40. Made it tonight… excellent. Dipping crusty bread in that pot is happiness. Great job GINA! (Recommend broiler at end too)

  41. Avatar photo
    Karen Nielson

    These look great. I would like to try adding a little spinach to get more veggies in. Do you think that will change the consistency of the meatballs? I have really been enjoying your newest recipes. Quick, full of flavor and freezer friendly, which works great for me since I am cooking for one. Thanks Gina!

    1. I think that would be fine. You can also check out this recipe

  42. Avatar photo
    Barb Sullivan

    Hi GINA… I’m a huge fan of your recipes,  never had one that wasn’t terrific.
    So,    Here is my question on this recipe:   Would the 99% lean ground turkey work  or would it be too dry?   

  43. Can’t wait to try these!  My daughter is diabetic and a trick we use to replace breadcrumbs is to substitute ground pork rinds.  You can’t tell the difference and there are no carbs!

  44. I’m making this tonight! I can’t wait to try this! My husband isn’t a fan of turkey but wonder if I can trick him…:))

    1. Update: This was really good! Husband approved! The only thing I did differently was add a little bit of red pepper flakes to the sauce for a little kick. Thank you!