If you’re craving healthy turkey meatballs without breadcrumbs, then you’re in the right place! This Low Carb Turkey Meatballs with Marinara Sauce recipe is the perfect family dinner when you’re trying to lose weight with the 17 Day Diet.
It’s a dish you can enjoy that’s low carb and your non-dieting family members will love it, too!
This recipe comes straight from my Delish Cycle 1 Meal Plan which we will be using for our Spring Challenge!
If you happen to be on Keto or the 17 Day Kickstart Diet, you can definitely enjoy these, too! Keep reading as I’ll let you know when they’re approved and if any changes need to be made.
Turkey Meatballs Without Breadcrumbs
I’ve never been a huge fan of using breadcrumbs in my meatballs – I think it’s a texture thing! So if you’re like me AND you’re looking for low carb turkey meatballs without using breadcrumbs, this recipe is for you!
This recipe uses Parmesan cheese and an egg to help everything stay together, so no need for the extra carbs!
Turkey Meatballs with Almond Flour
If you’re NOT like me and like a fluffier meatball, consider using almond flour as a low carb option. A quarter cup or so should be sufficient.
Almond flour is low in carbs and is a healthier fat, so if you’re Keto, this is a good option for you.
If you’re on the 17 Day Diet, wait until Cycle 3 to use almond flour in your turkey meatballs. If you happen to be on the 17 Day Kickstart Diet, use almond flour starting in the 10-Day Stabilize Phase.
Ingredients for Low Carb Turkey Meatballs
Here is a quick rundown of the ingredients you’ll need when making this healthy turkey meatball recipe:
- ground turkey
- grated parmesan
- 1 egg
- garlic powder
- dried oregano
- dried basil
- onion powder
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups low carb marinara sauce (I like Rao’s Marinara Sauce)
- Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (optional)
Like I mentioned earlier, this recipe does not use breadcrumbs as the parmesan cheese and egg will help everything stay together.
Meatball Dishes Without Pasta
Eating low carb doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy meatballs without pasta! In fact, I think they taste better without!
Here are a few ideas on how to serve this healthy turkey meatballs recipe without heavy carbs:
- Spiraled Zucchini Noodles (aka Zoodles)
- Italian Roasted Vegetables
- Cauliflower Rice
- Large Garden Salad
- Spaghetti Squash
- Roasted Cabbage
- Roasted Carrots
- Broccoli Rice
As you can see, there are a ton of possibilities when it comes to enjoying your healthy meatball dishes without pasta!
Juicy Turkey Meatballs
If you want to go a step further to ensure your meatballs are juicy, here’s a quick tip!
Add shredded onion to your meat! This is a great low carb alternative to milk, plus it gives your meatballs a nice mild onion flavor!
The easiest way to “shred” your onion is to use a cheese grater. Shred about a half of a small onion and add it to your meat and mix well, without over mixing!
Another tip is to make sure you don’t overcook your meatballs so they stay juicy and tender!
Healthy Baked Turkey Meatballs
This recipe calls for baking the meatballs to perfection. Baking the meatballs gives your meat such a great flavor without all the extra oil.
This recipe calls for an oven temperature of 350 degrees F. You’ll bake the meatballs for approximately 20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through and browned on the outside.
How Long To Cook Italian Meatballs In the Air Fryer?
If you like to speed things up a bit or don’t want to turn on your hot oven, consider the air fryer!
Allow your air fryer to heat up for at least 3 minutes on 350 degrees F.
Air fry your meatballs for 10 minutes, given them a quick toss around the 7 or 8 minute mark.
Cook your meatballs in batches to ensure there is enough air flowing through out the air fryer so all meatballs are evenly cooked.
If you crowd your air fryer, your turkey meatballs will not cook evenly because the air isn’t able to flow around each meatball.
Cream Sauce for Turkey Meatballs
If you’re like me and love a slightly creamy marinara sauce to go with your meatballs, there are a few ways to achieve this! You’ll add in any of the following to your sauce to give it a creamy and thicker texture:
- 2 oz of cream cheese
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- Greek Yogurt (stir in a few dollops before serving)
- Coconut Milk
- Ricotta Cheese
If you’re on the 17 Day Diet, you can use all of the following except the whipping cream and coconut milk.
If you’re on the 17 Day Kickstart Diet, use any of above (except the cream) starting on the 10-Day Stabilize Phase, with the exception of coconut milk which can be used at any time.
If you’re on a Keto Diet, you’re in luck as you get free range on any of the creamy additions!
Low Carb Marinara Sauce Brands
This recipe calls for two cups of low carb marinara sauce. I usually make my own, but wanted this recipe to be easy and convenient during busy weeks.
All marinara sauce will have some carbs – tomatoes are naturally sweet and do contain carbohydrates, so you won’t find zero carb marinara sauce.
The key is to find a brand that has NO added sugar. If you’re looking for decent quality at a low price, you can find many brands in the supermarket.
Wal Mart’s Great Value Marinara Pasta Sauce is decent (it does contain canola oil, but no sugar).
Prego Marinara Spaghetti Sauce is an OK option, too. Like the Great Value brand, it does have canola oil, but it also does NOT have added sugar.
If you want a little better quality and don’t mind paying a bit more money for whole food ingredients, here are a few of my favorites:
Rao’s Marinara Sauce
Rao’s Marinara Sauce is really the holy grail when it comes to low carb. Their quality is outstanding.
However, they are a little pricey (worth it in my opinion). So if it’s a little out of your budget, I totally understand (but you’ll want to try one of their sauces at least once in your lifetime!).
Primal Kitchen Marinara Sauce
Primal Kitchen’s sauces, dressing, and other products are well known for their clean ingredients. They utilize anti-inflammatory oils, such as Avocado Oil, in many of their products.
Like Rao’s, Primal Kitchen is also a little pricey, but definitely worth it. Primal Kitchen Tomato & Basil Marinara Sauce is made with whole ingredients and has no added sugar.
Low Carb Marinara Sauce Recipe
If you don’t mind making your own sauce, it can be very simple. Plus, when you make your own sauce, you 100% control the ingredients so you know exactly what you’re getting.
Here is a quick recipe that uses few ingredients that you can easily mix together and heat up to use for this healthy turkey meatballs recipe:
- 28oz can of crushed tomatoes (flavored with basil adds extra flavor)
- 1-2 teaspoons of Italian Seasoning (more or less to taste)
- Garlic (I use minced garlic from the jar)
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
Low Carb Turkey Meatballs for the 17 Day Diet
If you’re on the 17 Day Diet, this recipe can be used for all cycles!
If you want to make your sauce creamy, stick to the following:
- 2 oz of cream cheese
- Greek Yogurt (stir in a few dollops before serving)
- Ricotta Cheese
If you’re in cycle 3, you can have any plant-based pasta with your meatballs and sauce.
If you’re not sure which foods are allowed, make sure you check out my 17 Day Diet Cycle 1 Food List.
You can also check out my book on Amazon called Fast Track Your Weight Loss With the 17 Day Diet which has all the food lists (and a 7 day meal plan, too!).
Healthy Turkey Meatballs for the 17 Day Kickstart Diet
If you happen to be on the 17 Day Kickstart Diet, you can have these meatballs starting on the 10-Day Stabilize Phase when both cheese and eggs are allowed.
If you want these sooner, skip the meatball (omitting the egg and cheese) and make a yummy ground turkey meat sauce using more than two cups of marinara sauce.
If you’re not completely sure which foods are allowed when, make sure you take a look at my 17 Day Kickstart Diet Food List.
Keto Turkey Meatballs
If you’re on a Keto Diet, these turkey meatballs will be your best friend! You can eat them as is.
Stick to a marinara sauce that is low carb and has no added sugar.
Better yet, make your own marinara sauce (quick recipe is mentioned above in case you missed it).
Other Lowfat and Low Calorie Turkey & Chicken Meatballs
If you’re a meatball fan and you want more, make sure you check out these additional recipes:
- Greek Turkey Meatballs with Yogurt Tzatziki Sauce
- Buffalo Chicken Meatballs With Roasted Cabbage and Blue Cheese Dressing
- Chipotle Chicken Meatballs with Garlic Lime Yogurt Sauce
- Low Carb Chicken Meatball Stroganoff
If you like beef instead of turkey, make sure you check out my Meatballs with Easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce recipe.
Keto Ground Turkey Recipes
If you’re Keto (or low carb) you can check out these other yummy ground turkey recipes:
- Ground Turkey Asian Lettuce Wraps
- Middle Eastern Turkey & Carrot Stew
- Turkey Cilantro Enchilada Soup
- Christine’s Mexican Turkey Chili
- Chicken Cabbage & Broccoli Stir Fry (can be made with turkey instead)
- Not Your Momma’s Shepherd’s Pie
- Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole
- Stuffed Bell Peppers
- Egg Roll in a Bowl a la Judy
If you enjoy this Low Carb Turkey Meatballs with Marinara Sauce recipe, please considering reviewing the recipe card below. If you’re on social media, make sure you tag me @17ddblog so I can see your meatballs!
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups low carb marinara sauce (or more)
- Shredded Mozzarella Cheese for topping (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, parmesan, egg, garlic powder, oregano, basil, onion powder, salt, and pepper until combined.
- Use your hands to form the mixture into 16 meatballs and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are browned and cooked through.
- In a saucepan, heat the marinara sauce over medium heat.
- Once the sauce is hot, add the cooked meatballs and gently stir to coat.
- Sprinkle a bit of mozzarella cheese over the top of the meatballs and allow to melt before serving.
17 Day Diet - all cycles
17 Day Kickstart Diet - 10-Day Stabilize Phase (see blog post for earlier phases)
Keto Diet - make sure to use no sugar added marinara sauce if macros allow
I’ve been loving the 17 Day Diet since 2011. I love sharing my favorite healthy recipes and meal plans to keep you motivated and on the right path to success!
When I’m not hanging out here, I enjoy quick trips to the Oregon Coast, designing my jewelry line and watching Outlander!
Are you new to the 17 Day Diet? Check out my latest book, Fast Track Your Weight Loss With The 17 Day Diet on Amazon! (aff link)