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  • Writer's pictureJamie McDermott

Baked Italian Turkey Meatballs With Healthy Homemade Tomato Sauce

Hello Friends!

This meal has been on repeat over here lately! It's bursting with flavor from the fresh herbs, onion, and two different cheeses, and it super simple to make! I subbed ground flaxseed for the eggs to add fiber and more nutrition, and also to make these an option for my #eggfree folks.

I have stopped buying pasta sauce entirely now since making this simple and healthy homemade version! This takes about 5 minutes to make and you can customize it to your liking - we love adding mushrooms and lots of fresh basil. 🍅 🌿

If you are mindful of extra carbohydrates and/or calories, I recommend serving this over lots of veggies in place of pasta (or just use a smaller amount of pasta and mix veggies in!). Here I roasted broccoli and it was the perfect combo. Hope you enjoy, and please tag me @mcdermottnutrition if you make it so I can share!



2 lb. fresh ground turkey

1/3 cup minced onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan

1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese

1/2 c. fresh basil or parsley or 2 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp crushed fennel seed

3 Tbsp ground flax seed

1 tsp salt

3/4 tsp black pepper


1) Preheat oven to 400°. Line a large baking sheet with foil and rub with 1 tsp oil.

2) In a large bowl, add turkey, cooked onion, garlic, Parmesan, ricotta, fresh or dried herbs, fennel, flaxseed, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.

3) Form into meatballs, then place on prepared pan and bake until golden and firm to the touch, 20 to 25 minutes. While cooking, make the homemade tomato sauce.

Healthy Homemade Tomato Sauce


1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes

3 cloves garlic, minced

8oz white mushrooms, sliced

2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning or 2 Tbsp fresh basil, oregano, and/or thyme

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes 

2 tsp stevia or sugar

1 tsp salt


1) In a large pot over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add mushrooms, garlic, cloves garlic, herbs, crushed red pepper flakes and saute for 1 minute.

2) Add crushed tomatoes, stevia/sugar, and salt.

3) Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add cooked meatballs to sauce and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes. Serve warm with meatballs, more Parmesan and fresh herbs (parsley or basil are excellent!)

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