How’s everyone’s weekend going? Mine has been uneventful to say the least, but that’s ok because the next two weeks are going to be a mad whirlwind in the kitchen getting recipes perfected for Thanksgiving. Before I start sharing delicious side dishes and desserts for you to serve on turkey day I want to tell you about these super easy, Skillet Meatballs in Marinara Sauce that I made for dinner last week.
Meatballs are some of the greatest round little bites to ever be made. I love that you can flavor them with whatever herbs and spices you like and that the serving options are endless. My favorite way to eat meatballs is straight up with a fork or toothpick if I’m going the appetizer route. However, when I made these skillet meatballs for dinner I served them with toasty garlic bread for dipping in that wonderful marinara sauce. The next day, I served my husband’s meatballs over pasta and I enjoyed mine a la carte with a few extra spoonfuls of the sauce. Other ideas for serving them are on an Italian sub sandwich, cut up and added as a topping to a pizza, or you could even make them extra small and add them to a soup such as minestrone or Italian wedding soup. Like I said, the possibilities are endless!
What I haven’t mentioned yet is that these meatballs have a little secret stuffed inside of them, just waiting to ooze out. It’s name is mozzarella cheese! I absolutely love food that has something stuffed in the middle of it. It’s so exciting to bite into food and have something unexpectedly delicious hiding in the center. It’s a nice added bonus to an already delicious bite.
To make the Skillet Meatballs in Marinara Sauce I combined lean ground turkey, a beaten egg, panko breadcrumbs, garlic, basil, and oregano in a bowl. I mixed it all together then formed the meatballs. I’ve found that using a small ice cream/cookie scoop is the fastest and best way to ensure all your meatballs are the same size. While the meatball was still in the scoop I tucked a small cube of mozzarella cheese into the center then covered it up with the meat. It’s seriously such an easy method and yields wonderful results. I already had my Easy Marinara Sauce made and was storing it in the freezer so all I had to do was defrost it. If you don’t feel like making your own sauce or don’t have time, simply use your favorite store bought brand. I heated my cast iron skillet over medium high heat and sprayed it generously with cooking spray. Once the skillet was hot I added in the meatballs and browned them on each side for about 2 minutes. I then added in about three cups of the marinara sauce, turned the heat down to medium low, covered the skillet with a lid, and let everything simmer for about 10 minutes. The smell of the meatballs and sauce makes the whole house smell amazing! Once the meatballs are ready top them with shredded mozzarella cheese and then the rest is up to you. Eat them as is, stick them in a sandwich, on top of a pizza, or in a soup, just be sure to eat them!
Skillet Meatballs in Marinara Sauce
Italian flavored turkey meatballs stuffed with mozzarella cheese and simmered in delicious marinara sauce.
- 1 pound lean ground turkey breast
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs, gluten-free breadcrumbs if needed
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire
- 1 clove garlic, grated or minced
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 3 ounces part skim mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- In a large bowl combine the ground turkey, egg, panko, worcestershire, garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper with your hands.
- Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop the meatball mixture. Take one of the pieces of cubed mozzarella and stuff it into the center of the meatball, making sure to cover the cheese completely with meat. Repeat the process until all of the meat mixture is gone.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and spray it generously with cooking spray or add a tablespoon of olive oil. Place the meatballs in the skillet and brown them for 2 minutes on each side.
- Pour the marinara sauce evenly into the skillet and turn the heat down to medium low. Cover the skillet with a lid and simmer the meatballs for 10 minutes. Top the meatballs with the shredded mozzarella and serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 331Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 143mgSodium: 1058mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 4gSugar: 9gProtein: 34g
More Skillet Dinners:
Zucchini, Kale, and Sage Frittata
Lora Halpin says
These were delicious! Any idea of the calorie count and/or nutrition?
Hi Lora, I just updated the recipe with the nutrition info. Let me know if you have any questions.
Suzanne Holstein says
These are the best turkey meatballs! Also made them using grated Parmesan cheese instead of Mozzarella cheese and they were so good! I saved this recipe and will be making them often! Thank You
I’m so happy you liked the meatballs Suzanne! Thanks for trying them out.
Joyce croft says
Could you give me some idea of how big in size the meatballs are.. how many does 1lb of ground turkey make. I will be cooking for quite a few people and having them buffet style. Thank you
I usually get 20 meatballs out of 1 pound of ground turkey.
joyce croft says
Can you make the meatballs earlier in the day and refrigerate them uncooked?
Absolutely! Just be sure to cover them with plastic of keep in an airtight container.
Maris (In Good Taste) says
How in the world did you keep your meatballs from sticking to the bottom of your skillet? I used a liberal amount of cooking spray and I have misshapen, sad looking meatballs. Luckily they’re covered in sauce and cheese, but do you have any suggestions for type A perfectionists like myself?
Hi Maris! A good skillet is important. I have a very well seasoned cast iron skillet so that definitely helps. A good non-stick skillet coated generously in the cooking spray should work as well. If you don’t have either or are finding that they are still sticking try giving it a spray halfway through the cooking or you can always just use a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Hope this helps!
It looked so yummy to be so easy and fast! The tip for the ice cream scooper was great as well!
Thanks Leslie! I have a drawer full of different sized ice cream scoops that are perfect for so many recipes!
Looked amazing and tasted amazing! So easy and delicious. Definitely saving this as a favorite recipe. Thanks!
I’m so happy to hear you liked the meatballs Erika! They are one of my favorite easy dinners!
I made this tonight and my Husband LOVES it! Thanks!
Yay! Thanks so much for trying out the recipe!
What a great recipe. Simply delicious and went right into my recipe box as my “go to” meatball recipe. I will be making it again soon and definitely will make enough to freeze some. Thanks, Connie
Thanks Connie! So happy to hear the meatball recipe made it into your recipe box! I love freezing a batch of them to pull out when I need a quick dinner.
Great recipe, love turkey mince, this is a great way of using it #TastyTuesdays
Hi Danae. I am going to try this recipe tonight. Question- if I want to freeze some, do I freeze before I add them to the skillet to cook or after it is all done? I read a comment about freezing (which I need to do as I’m cooking for just two), but I want to be sure I do it after the correct step. Thanks for your help!
Hi Gretchen. If you plan to freeze some of the meatballs go ahead and follow the directions through step #6. Cook the meatballs in the skillet, but then remove the ones you plan to freeze before adding in the marinara sauce. Hope this helps!
heather @french press says
totally drooling! adding this to our weekly menu rotation
Thanks Heather! One of my favorites!
Tanya Lucero says
What did you serve along with the meatballs ?!
Hi Tanya! These meatballs are great served with a number of things. If I’m watching carbs I’ll have a big salad with them or put them on top of zucchini noodles. If carbs aren’t an issue then served on top of pasta or with french bread. The french bread is excellent for scooping up the extra sauce on your plate! You could even turn it into an Italian meatball sub!
These meatballs are so delicious!!! We are making 4batches for our freezer right now!!
I’m so glad to hear you like them Amy! I love freezing them for quick and easy dinners!
I made this recipe about 3 weeks ago and everyone loved it, it was a hit. And today I found ground turkey in my fridge and so I am making it today as well.
This is so great to hear Roberto! I’m happy to hear everyone enjoyed it, it’s one of my favorite easy dinners!
Ihjaz Ahmad says
Oh my goodness, this looks delicious! I’m definitely making this! thanks for sharing!
A healthier option for a family favorite.
Thank you! I hope you love it as much as we do!
I absolutely have to make these! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Adam!I hope you like them! :-)
I just saw these meatballs on foodgawker – I can’t wait to try this recipe! Delicious!
Thanks Dan! It’s one of my favorite easy to make dinners!
Nutmeg Nanny says
These look delicious! Love that shot with the super stringy cheese…yum!
Thanks Brandy! Stringy cheese makes for the best pictures!
Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says
This recipe looks absolutely delicious! I want some of this for dinner!
Thanks Jocelyn! You need to make your way out here to Colorado and I’ll make you some!
awesome recipe Danae! I will be making this for sure. I love your blog! It’s so fresh and clean and your photography is perfect. :)
Thanks so much Heidi! You are so sweet!