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These simple, homemade turkey and veggie meatballs are the perfect protein source for kids and babies. They’re loaded with spinach, carrots, and broccoli for extra fiber and nutrients, but they just taste like your favorite meatballs! Make a double batch to throw together quick, healthy dinners any night this week!

Turkey veggie meatballs in a bowl.

Easy Turkey and Veggie Meatballs for Kids

One of the easiest ways to get your kids to eat more vegetables is to incorporate them into other fun foods…like meatballs! I promise that they can barely tell there are hidden vegetables in these turkey veggie meatballs – they’ll just taste the turkey and seasonings!

Plus, one batch of this healthy turkey meatball recipe makes over two dozen meatballs, so you can easily enjoy them as a family for dinner or freeze and save the extras for an easy meal later in the week!

A close-up of a divided plate with cut turkey meatballs for baby led weaning and a side of pasta.

turkey meatballs

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Why We Love These Oven Baked BLW Turkey Meatballs

  • Great for meal prep: These delicious meatballs can easily be frozen for later or stashed in the fridge to reheat the next day. They’re really versatile, too. Serve them on their own one day, with pasta sauce the next, with kale mac and cheese later in the week, etc. So many options! You might want to make a big batch!
  • Totally from scratch: Unlike store-bought options that include a variety of fillers, stabilizers, and preservatives, these homemade ground turkey meatballs are made totally from scratch! This means you have total control over the quality of the recipe to make sure you’re offering your family the most nutritious options.
  • Healthy alternative: If you have a child who only wants to eat chicken nuggets, this is a great healthier alternative to try! These turkey vegetable meatballs are tender, moist, and juicy, with a nice savory flavor from the spices and veggies. They can easily be served with marinara sauce, added to soup, etc. They’re a great source of protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals, too. If you have picky eaters, give this recipe a try!

Ingredient Notes

Individually portioned ingredients for the turkey veggie meatballs.
  • Broccoli florets: It’s best to lightly steam the broccoli to make it easy to mix into the meatball mixture.
  • Carrot: This adds a little bit of sweetness that tastes great with the seasonings.
  • Spinach: For extra antioxidants and fiber. We use fresh baby spinach, but thawed frozen spinach should work too.
  • Fresh parsley
  • Ground turkey: Since babies need extra fat, I recommend using ground thigh meat instead of lean ground turkey. It will also help prevent dry meatballs.
  • Egg: To bind the meat mixture together.
  • Olive oil: A little oil will add more nourishing fats for your baby and give the meatballs a nice tender texture.
  • Panko breadcrumbs: The bread crumbs will absorb moisture to keep the meatballs from crumbling or breaking apart. Look for whole wheat panko for extra fiber.
  • Seasonings: Season with garlic powder, salt (optional), pepper. Babies should have limited salt, so it’s best to skip it for them.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Blend the Veggies

  • Preheat oven to 400′ F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. You can also place a wire rack on top of baking sheet.
  • Place the steamed broccoli, carrots, spinach and parsley in a food processor and blend until broken down into fine pieces.

Step 2: Make the Meatball Mixture

  • Add the blended vegetables to a large bowl along with the ground turkey, egg, olive oil, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, salt (if using) and pepper. Combine all meatball ingredients until well incorporated.

Step 3: Form meatballs and bake!

  • Roll turkey mixture into about 26-28 small meatballs (you can use a small cookie scoop to form uniform balls) and place meatballs onto prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes, until baked through and slightly golden. Serve warm with your favorite sauce or sides. 
Keep scrolling to the recipe card below for the full printable recipe!

RECIPE TIPS

  • To quickly steam the broccoli, place the florets in a small bowl with 1-2 tablespoons of water. Place a plate overtop and microwave for 2-3 minutes. You can also steam the broccoli on the stove if preferred.
  • Skip the salt if serving these turkey meatballs to babies. We typically set some of the meatball mixture aside for baby and then add a bit of salt to the remaining mixture for the rest of the family.
A divided plate with cut turkey meatballs and pasta.

Recipe FAQs

Can babies have turkey meatballs?

Meatballs can be a great first food for babies because they’re high in protein and fat, but most traditional meatballs are heavily seasoned and high in salt. I recommend making homemade meatballs for babies to control the quality of ingredients and keep them low in sodium. Plus, these baked turkey meatballs are made with three different types of veggies to make them even more nutritious!    

How do you serve meatballs to babies?

Many people think you always cut food into bite-sized pieces for babies, but that’s not always true. You want to vary how you serve different foods depending on your baby’s fine motor development.

If they are grasping things with their palms (palmar grasp; 6-9 months), they need foods that are large enough to cup with their palms. In this situation, serve the meatballs whole or in longer strips.

When babies develop their pincer grip (picking up with their index finger and thumb; 9-12 months), they need small bite-sized pieces they can eat like finger foods.

Once they get a little older (12 months or so), they can be fed the meatballs whole again because they will be able to take bites on their own. Of course, always stay nearby to monitor them in case they start choking.

How do you know when turkey veggie meatballs are done?

These little meatballs tend to cook perfectly within the 15-18-minute time frame. If you really want to be sure, use an instant-read meat thermometer and bake until the internal temperature of the meatballs reaches 165 degrees F. Let them rest at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to cool down before serving.

Storage Guidelines

  • Fridge: Allow the leftover meatballs to cool to room temperature, then store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. 
  • Freezer: Freeze the cooked meatballs on a sheet pan, then store them in a freezer-safe bag for 2-3 months. Thaw them in the fridge before reheating.
  • Reheating: The easiest way to reheat any type of meatball is to microwave it in 30-second bursts until it is warmed through. These simple turkey meatballs can also be heated in a warm skillet or you can add them directly to your pot or soup or pasta to bring them back up to temperature! 
BBQ turkey meatballs in a white bowl.

How to Serve Turkey Meatballs

One of the best things about meatballs is how incredibly versatile they are! They’re just as good on their own as they are served in or on your child’s favorite recipes. Here are some of my favorite options:

Recipe Variations

  • Change the meat: Instead of ground turkey, feel free to use ground chicken, ground pork, or lean ground beef.
  • Make them larger: This delicious recipe makes small bite-sized meatballs perfect for kids, but you can easily make them larger or even form them into small patties or turkey burgers. If you increase the size, you’ll need to adjust the baking time, so be sure to check the meatballs with an instant-read thermometer.   
  • Adjust the flavor: These healthy meatballs really have a great flavor exactly as they are, but they can easily be tweaked to suit any flavor preference. Try adding some Italian seasoning, minced bell peppers, finely minced onion, or even some shredded Parmesan cheese for extra flavor!
Turkey vegetable meatballs stacked on top of each other in a bowl.

More Tasty Protein

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A bowl of turkey veggie meatballs.
Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Baked Turkey Veggie Meatballs {Perfect for BLW}

Created by Elysia Cartlidge
Servings: 26 – 28 meatballs
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
These simple, homemade turkey and veggie meatballs are the perfect protein source for kids and babies. They're loaded with spinach, carrots, and broccoli for extra fiber and nutrients, but they just taste like your favorite meatballs! Make a double batch to throw together quick, healthy dinners any night this week!

Ingredients
 

  • 1/2 cup lightly steamed broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup carrots
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 pound ground turkey (preferably thigh meat)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (whole wheat or regular)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400′ F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. You can also place a wire rack on top of baking sheet.
  • Place the steamed broccoli, carrots, spinach and parsley in a food processor and blend until broken down into fine pieces.
  • Add the blended vegetables to a large bowl along with the ground turkey, egg, olive oil, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, salt (if using) and pepper. Combine all meatball ingredients until well incorporated.
  • Roll turkey veggie mixture into about 26-28 small meatballs (you can use a small cookie scoop to form uniform balls) and place onto prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes, until baked through and slightly golden. Serve warm with your favorite sauce or sides. 

Notes

  • To quickly steam the broccoli, place the florets in a small bowl with 1-2 tablespoons of water. Place a plate overtop and microwave for 2-3 minutes. You can also steam the broccoli on the stove if preferred.
  • Skip the salt if serving these turkey meatballs to babies. We typically set some of the meatball mixture aside for baby and then add a bit of salt to the remaining mixture for the rest of the family.

Nutrition

Calories: 31kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.004g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 63mg | Potassium: 74mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 516IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.3mg
A bowl of turkey veggie meatballs.

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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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