Tender, flavorful, and easy to make and share, these Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini are a favorite family dinner. You can bake them in the oven or cook in the air fryer, and they’re delicious with pasta or as meatball sandwiches.

Turkey meatballs with zucchini on baking sheet after baking.

For many years, I didn’t think I liked turkey meatballs but oh how that opinion has changed! This recipe convinced me otherwise—they are tender, easy to make, and have such a mellow flavor. Honestly, it’s hard to tell they are turkey meatballs since they just taste like a great meatball in general!

These are a great early finger food for babies, an easy toddler meal, or a healthy family dinner. You can simmer them in Easy Marinara Sauce or Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce and pair with pasta or serve as sandwiches.

They also make a great freezer meal, so know you can make them ahead of time and tuck them into the freezer until you’re ready to enjoy them…or share them with a friend in a meal train!

(You may also like Turkey Baby Meatballs with Sweet Potato, Baked Chicken Meatballs, and Pesto Meatballs.)

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Ingredients You Need

Here’s a look at the ingredients you need to have on hand to make Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini so you know what to pick up from the store or have ready.

Ingredients for turkey meatballs with zucchini on countertop.
  • Ground turkey: There is a huge range of flavor in ground turkey, some stronger than others and some more mild. I prefer milder flavored ground turkey, which is typically made with white meat. I had to try a few types before I found my favorite one (which is shown above).
  • Zucchini: We add shredded zucchini to this recipe to add a veggie to the mix, which adds nutrients but also moisture and tenderness.
  • Italian-flavored breadcrumbs: Seasoned breadcrumbs add flavor and structure to the turkey meatballs.
  • Parmesan cheese: I like to add grated Parmesan cheese to my meatball recipes for flavor.
  • Egg: I add one egg to my meatball mixture to help it hold together easily.

Ingredient Substitutions

To make this recipe without egg, omit it and add a splash of milk.

To make this recipe gluten-free, use your favorite gluten-free breadcrumbs.

Add ¼ cup grated onion for additional flavor.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a preview of how to make these Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini so you know what to expect from the process. Scroll down to the end of this post for the full information, including the amounts and the timing.

Grated zucchini in bowl for turkey meatballs.

Step 1. Grate the zucchini and squeeze until very dry.

Ingredients for turkey meatballs with zucchini in glass bowl before mixing.

Step 2. In a medium bowl or large bowl, mix the ingredients together.

Ingredients for turkey meatballs with zucchini in glass bowl after mixing.

Step 3. Roll mixture into meatballs (use 2 tablespoons for each).

Turkey meatballs with zucchini on baking sheet before baking.

Step 4. Place meatballs onto a baking sheet pan and bake.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good binder for meatballs?

Typically, binders for meatballs include egg and breadcrumbs.

Why are my turkey meatballs falling apart?

It’s possible that the ratios of your recipe aren’t right. This recipe for turkey zucchini meatballs has been tested to ensure that doesn’t happen.

What is the secret to making tender meatballs?

The zucchini in this recipe adds moisture and tenderness, and also not over-baking your meatballs helps, too. You can simmer meatballs in tomato sauce for extra tenderness, too.

Serving Suggestions

Pair these zucchini turkey meatballs with Easy Marinara Sauce, Buttered Noodles, Roasted Zucchini, or Hidden Veggie Mac and Cheese.

Turkey meatballs with zucchini in pan with tomato sauce.

How to Store

  • Store meatballs in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Or, let them cool fully and you can freeze in a freezer bag for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge, simmer in tomato sauce to warm, or warm in 15 to 30-second increments in the microwave.
  • If you plan to make these ahead as a meal-prep option, I recommend baking as directed, then storing.

Best Tips for Success

  • Serve with Easy Marinara SauceSpinach PestoCauliflower Cheese Sauce, or with a side of ketchup or any other favorite dip.
  • If you don’t want to see the green in the meatball, peel the zucchini before grating.
  • Dice for older babies or younger toddlers as needed.
  • Gluten-free: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs if needed.
  • Dairy-free: Use vegan Parmesan cheese.
  • Egg-free: Omit the egg and add 1 tablespoon milk.
  • Try these as easy meal prep for busy weeks.
  • If you have more zucchini to use, try my Zucchini “Fries” and Zucchini Cake.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this post, so please rate and comment below!

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Turkey meatballs with zucchini on baking sheet after baking.

Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini

Tender, flavorful, and easy to make and share, these Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini are a favorite family dinner. You can bake them in the oven or cook in the air fryer, and they're delicious with pasta or as meatball sandwiches.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Cuisine Italian
Course Dinner
Calories 126kcal
Servings 8 (makes about 16 meatballs)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • ½ cup shredded zucchini (squeezed very dry and packed into the measuring cup; from about 1 small zucchini; if you don't want to see the green in the meatball, peel the zucchini before grating)
  • ½ cup Italian-flavored breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
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Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the ingredients together with clean hands. Make 2-tablespoon size meatballs. Roll into balls and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 22-24 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. (To make in the air fryer, cook 12 minutes at 375 degrees F on a greased tray.)
  • Serve warm with marinara or pizza sauce (or just plain!), or set aside to cool and freeze.

Notes

  • Store meatballs in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Or, let them cool fully and you can freeze in a freezer bag for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge, simmer in tomato sauce to warm, or warm in 15 to 30-second increments in the microwave.
  • If you plan to make these ahead as a meal-prep option, I recommend baking as directed, then storing.
  • If you don’t want to see the green in the meatball, peel the zucchini before grating.
  • Serve with Marinara SaucePestoCheese Sauce, or with a side of ketchup or any other favorite dip.
  • Dice for older babies or younger toddlers as needed.
  • Gluten-free: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs if needed.
  • Dairy-free: Use vegan Parmesan cheese.
  • Egg-free: Omit the egg and add 1 tablespoon milk.
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Nutrition

Serving: 2meatballs, Calories: 126kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 56mg, Sodium: 238mg, Potassium: 218mg, Fiber: 0.4g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 123IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 94mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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5 from 2 votes

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I soaked the breadcrumbs in milk and squeezed out the excess before adding it to the mixture. They came out super tender and delicious. Thank you for the recipe!!