Baked Spicy Turkey Meatballs With Zucchini (Keto, Paleo)

These healthy, paleo spicy turkey meatballs hide some grated zucchini and are baked and drizzled with hot sauce for a little spicy kick. Simple to make, they are great as the main protein dish for dinner or lunch, or as a quick snack. Also Whole30, keto, and gluten-free.


Paleo Spicy Turkey Meatballs With Hidden Zucchini & Spicy Sauce 

Meatballs are quick and easy to make and you can store a batch in the fridge or freezer for a quick midweek meal or a snack. For these paleo turkey meatballs, I use ground mince and grated veggies like zucchini, which are nutritious and budget-friendly. 

Although I call them ‘spicy turkey meatballs’, the amount of hot sauce you add on top can vary on how much heat you like. A little drizzle gives them a tiny kick and could even be kid-friendly.

 

TURKEY MEATBALLS NUTRITION

As a whole dish, these meatballs are rich in B-Vitamins, zinc, selenium, vitamin D and potassium. They are high in protein and low in carbohydrates, suitable to those following a low-carb or keto diet. They are naturally gluten-free and nut-free. Having some hidden veggies, these are great for kids and you can reduce the amount of spice as you see fit.

The recipe makes about 12-14 meatballs depending on size, and I think it’s about 3-4 meatballs per serve. Find the full nutrition breakdown below the recipe. 

Turkey meat nutrition tips: dark turkey meat typically contains more vitamins and minerals than white turkey meat and ground meat is usually a mixture of two. Pasture-raised turkeys will also have higher omega-3 content than factory-farmed turkeys.

Turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan, which is said to cause sleepiness. Not much that you can’t get behind the wheel but it could help those with sleep difficulties. Another upside to this amino acid is that it may help to support healthy levels of serotonin in the body, which promotes alertness and good mood. Probably because you got a good night’s sleep! 

HOW TO MAKE SPICY TURKEY MEATBALLS

Making these turkey meatballs is a piece of cake (or turkey meatloaf cake!). Prepare all the ingredients and mix them together in a bowl. Make sure to squeeze the juice from the zucchini so it doesn’t add too much liquid to our meatballs when they’re cooking. 

Using clean hands, roll the mixture into small meatballs. If your hands start to get sticky, give them a rinse and continue. I love baking the meatballs because it’s less hassle, less cleaning and well less oil. Put them on a baking sheet on some parchment paper and off they go in the oven.

Healthy Turkey Meatballs With Zucchini

 

TIPS & VARIATIONS

You can make the meatballs with ground chicken mince, pork or beef as well. They last for around 3 days in the fridge and are very tasty cold. I often grab one or two as a snack, maybe with some cherry tomatoes.

You can also use this turkey meatball mixture to make a turkey zucchini meatloaf or turkey burger patties. Once cooked, you can break the meatballs into scrambled eggs or a veggie stir-fry, add them to a veggie soup or stew for extra protein, or heat them up in a simple tomato sauce to serve over zucchini noodles.

With the ingredients that I use, I would say these meatballs have a slight Mexican flair to them. You could replace coriander and cumin with some parsley and paprika for a more Spanish touch, or some grated ginger and mild curry powder for an Oriental twist.

 

WHAT TO SERVE TURKEY MEATBALLS WITH

I served the meatballs hot out of the oven with a side salad and some veggies, extra hot sauce, lime and garlic aioli (a little grated garlic and mayonnaise). These are also great in tacos, wraps, salads and in soups. If you eat rice or quinoa, they would make good, energy-dense sides as well. 

Healthy Turkey Meatballs With Zucchini

Paleo Turkey Meatballs – FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS

You can pre-bake and store cooked meatballs (once they’ve cooled down) for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight or in a microwave. Alternatively, you can make the mixture and roll the meatballs, then place them on a flat cutting board or a plate and put in the freezer for 1-2 hours. Once they are frozen solid, transfer them into a Ziploc bag and this way they won’t stick together.

 

MORE TURKEY & MEATBALL RECIPES

Creamy Paleo Zucchini Pasta With Sliced Turkey
Dairy-free Creamy Paleo Turkey Casserole (Divan Style)
Savoury Turkey Carrot Meatloaf Cake 
Turkey Patties With Cranberry Pesto

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Healthy Turkey Meatballs With Zucchini

Spicy Turkey Meatballs With Zucchini (Paleo, Keto)

  • Author: Irena Macri
  • Prep Time: 12 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 32 mins
  • Yield: 12-14 meatballs 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

Healthy spicy turkey meatballs made with grated zucchini, baked and drizzled with hot sauce for a tiny kick. These are Whole30, paleo, keto, gluten-free.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 medium zucchini, grated
  • 500 g / 1.1 lb ground turkey meat (I used 2% fat turkey mince)
  • 1/4 brown or white onion, finely diced
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, grated or finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander/cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder (optional but very nice)
  • 2/3 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce (I used Frank’s Original)
  • A pinch of pepper
  • 1 egg (can be omitted)
  • For cooking: parchment paper, dash of olive oil and more hot sauce
  • To serve: extra hot sauce, lime wedges and coriander (optional)

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 210 C / 410 F.

Using your hands, squeeze out the juices from the grated zucchini into a sink (or into a cup so you can use it in a smoothie later). Return the grated flesh to a mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the egg if using, and mix everything really well so the flavours and ingredients are well incorporated (I used my hands to do this).

Place a piece of parchment/baking paper over a flat oven tray/sheet pan. Grease lightly with a dash of olive oil (this is optional if you have non-stick paper). Wet your hands and roll the meat mixture into medium-size balls (a little smaller than a table tennis ball). Place on the tray, spaced out evenly (don’t overcrowd the tray). Drizzle each meatball with a few drops of the hot sauce and place the tray in the oven (make sure it’s hot!) on the middle shelf. Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and serve with extra hot sauce and some lime wedges. I like to drizzle a little more hot sauce to make them glossy for presentation.


 

Paleo & Keto Turkey Meatballs

Comments

32 Comments
  1. I loooove meatballs, so this one is going on my list to try right now. Complete with courgette. I actually asked a poor grocery store worker the other day where the courgettes were and I’m in the US (and full-blooded American too, just been reading too many British/Australian blogs and books lately, haha). He looked at me like I had 2 heads, but then proceeded to still do the same thing when I asked about zucchini too. Kids these days…

  2. I shouldn’t check your recipes out this close to dinner – cravings are off the chart here! They look absolutely delicious as always, great recipe!

  3. I took one look at the pictures of these and thought, ‘I can see myself grabbing a couple of these straight out of the fridge for a snack’. Then I started reading and you suggested the same thing! 🙂 I’ll have to make a big batch for dinner so I can be sure there will leftovers for said snacking!

  4. Macros available anywhere? I can take time to calculate, but super time consuming. Less likely to try if they aren’t handy.

    1. Hey Becca, unfortunately I am the same as you with time and I often don’t have enough of it to calculate the macros for every recipe on the blog (I have over 300 of them). BUT, it’s definitely something I’d like to add to some of my most popular recipes so hopefully I’ll find some time to do so this year.

  5. I just made a batch and they are absolutely delicious! Browsed your recipes and can’t wait to make more treats – that Ukrainian Borscht sounds perfect.

  6. These are a family favorite. We add minced onion instead of onion powder and we triple the recipe so we have plenty for lunches. Best meatball recipe out there. Plus I always use at least two eggs when I triple the recipe. It really adds to the structure of the meatball.

    1. Thanks, Sasha. Glad you use it so much and I love the idea of making a bigger batch to use up through the week.

  7. Could you please provide the nutrition information? I am trying to track my fat, protein, fiber, & carbs.

    Thank you,
    Karen

    1. On my to-do list! Going through the back catalogue of recipes. Just do a quick copy and paste into MyFitnessPal if you need it urgently.

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