Veggie loaded turkey meatballs – the ultimate make ahead meal prep recipe. Life just got a little bit easier.
Meatballs may not be the most glamorous things you make in your kitchen, but they sure can be a lifesaver when life gets busy. Make a big batch, freeze ’em, and simply reheat and eat when it’s time to get dinner on the table.
Do you ever find yourself at the end of the day feeling tired and uninspired in the kitchen? Does dinner time sneak up on you and you haven’t had time to plan what to cook? That’s where meatballs come in. There are so many ways to make quick and easy meals when you have a batch of nutrient-dense meatballs in the freezer. Dinner is saved!
Quick and Easy Meatballs Meals
- Simmer your favorite veggies in bone broth for 10 minutes. Add a handful of meatballs and simmer until meatballs are warmed all the way through. Boom. Meatball soup ready in less than 15 minutes.
- Simmer meatballs in your favorite marinara sauce until defrosted and warmed all the way through. Make your favorite noodles (we love zucchini noodles and butternut squash noodles) and pour on the meatball marinara. Another easy breezy meal ready to go.
- Make a big salad. Serve warm meatballs on the side. Drizzle with creamy green goddess dressing or healthy ranch dressing.
- Add meatballs to a frittata. This is a great thing to do when you have vegetables to use up in the fridge.
- Make a simple veggie stir fry. Chop up several meatballs and add them in. Serve over zucchini noodles or white basmati rice.
- Bake some whole potatoes or sweet potatoes until soft and tender. Cut in half and load them up with meatballs, steamed veggies and your favorite salsa or marinara sauce. Meatballs can easily be warmed up in a covered glass baking dish in the oven or toaster oven.
- Drizzle warm meatballs with a little bbq sauce and serve with mashed cauliflower and steamed greens. So simple. So satisfying.
I’ve shared a few meatball recipes in the past. We often have my spinach cilantro meatballs and my easy chicken broccoli meatballs on repeat because life gets full and my family wants to eat. I love having easy protein ready to go in the freezer. Today’s recipe is one of my fav meatball recipe because I’m always looking for ways to add MORE vegetables in.
And when I call these little meatballs loaded, I mean loaded!
These loaded veggie turkey meatballs are the epitome of versatile. I used ground turkey because that’s what my hubby likes. You can totally use beef, chicken, pork, or a combo of any of these. I loaded the meatballs with broccoli, kale, and carrots, but you can switch it up with any other veggies that make you happy. I added fresh cilantro to my meatballs, but you can use fresh parsley, basil, or dill if you like. I didn’t add onions as I wanted them to be kid-friendly (little one won’t eat them) but feel free to add some chopped onion if that’s your jam. And I used coconut flour as a binder, but you can use almond flour, cassava, or any other flour that you have.
And like most of the easy dinner recipes on my site, they are gluten free, paleo, and whole30 compliant.
Oh, and here’s a few tips that I’ve shared before about making meatballs:
….dry meatballs suck. I like to add an egg and a bit of extra fat (butter or ghee) to keep them juicy and moist (especially when using leaner meats like chicken or turkey.)
….use a food processor. Chopping your veggies in a food processor makes them super small and will give your meatballs a nice uniform texture.
…do not over cook. Because dry meatballs suck.
…slow your roll. Gently roll out your meatballs because tightly packed meatballs can wind up tough and chewy.
…use an ice cream scooper. Keeping all of your meatballs uniform means that they cook evenly and you won’t overcook some while you wait for others to finish cooking.
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- 1 pound ground turkey (preferably thigh meat)
- 1/2 cup lightly steamed broccoli florets , finely chopped
- 1/2 cup kale, finely chopped (or any other green)
- 1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped (or basil, parsley, or dill)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tbsp butter or ghee, melted
- 1 tablespoons coconut flour (like this) **see note
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder (like this)
- pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400′ F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper OR place a cooling rack on top of baking sheet.
- Combine all meatball ingredients in a large bowl until well incorporated.
- Roll into about 28-30 small meatballs ( I use a small cookie scoop to get uniform balls) and place onto prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, until baked through and slightly golden.
- I HIGHLY recommend using a food processor to chop you veggies. This makes for a super nice texture in the meatballs.
- I prefer to steam the broccoli before adding it to the recipe. I’ve tried grated raw broccoli and don’t love the texture. Simply steam broccoli in a steamer basket for 3-4 minutes until slightly soft and still bright green. Be sure to finely chop for best texture.
- Most people bake meatballs right on the baking sheet (lined with parchment paper), which works fine. I find that my meatballs cook a bit more evenly if I place them on a cooling rack on top of the baking sheet.
- I use 1 tablespoon of coconut flour as a binder. You can sub any flour that you have like almond or cassava, but you will have to use at 2-3 tablespoons of any other flour. Start with 2 and add another if mixture seems too sticky to roll.
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