Baked Kale Meatballs are a healthy spin on a classic weeknight dinner. Made with lean ground turkey, kale, and savory Italian herbs, these meatballs always make for a delicious meal. Dairy free & gluten free.
Baked kale meatballs recipe
Have you ever found yourself with an abundance of kale that you have no idea how to use? Sure, you could throw some into this Kale Bean Soup or use it in a simple Kale and Tomato Salad, but these Baked Kale Meatballs are so much more comforting and savory! Made with ground turkey, Italian herbs, and of course kale, these delectable baked meatballs are dairy free, gluten free, hearty, healthy, and always delicious.
Serve your meatballs as a lean and tender snack or appetizer. I recommend doubling the recipe and freezing the meatballs so you always have some on hand to make your spaghetti and mashed potatoes so much more exciting. Besides, you can’t have a Turkey Kale Meatball Sub without a batch of these tasty meatballs!
How to make kale turkey meatballs
Baked turkey meatballs are so easy to make! Perfect on their own or paired with your favorite pasta and sauce, these veggie-packed meatballs can be made in just 5 simple steps:
Wilt your kale in an oiled pan over medium high heat.
Add the wilted kale and garlic to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
In a large bowl, combine your kale mixture, ground turkey, eggs, and herbs. Use clean hands to thoroughly combine and form the mixture into evenly sized balls.
Layer the meatballs onto parchment-lined baking sheets and bake until they’re slightly crispy on the outside and the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
Allow your meatballs to cool slightly before serving with your favorite pasta, sandwich, or sauce.
Tips and substitutions
- To lock in moisture – Try pan frying your meatballs in an oiled skillet before you bake them. It also speeds up the cooking process!
- Out of kale? Try using spinach or collard greens instead.
- Not sure if they’re done cooking? Use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the meatballs. You’ll know they’re done when they reach 165°F.
- Serving suggestions – Turkey kale meatballs can be served on their own as a party appetizer, dressed in tomato sauce and eaten with pasta, baked into a cheesy casserole, or layered into sub sandwiches.
Frequently asked questions
Are breadcrumbs necessary for meatballs?
Not necessarily. Many people choose to add breadcrumbs to their meatballs to help lock in moisture and keep them from falling apart. These kale meatballs are made without breadcrumbs and are still perfectly moist, tender, never fall apart, and naturally gluten free!
Can you make them with another kind of meat?
Absolutely! I like the leanness of ground turkey, but you could easily use ground beef, ground pork, ground chicken, or a blend of the three instead.
How do I make kale meatballs ahead of time?
Mix and form your kale meatballs as normal before partially baking (about 15 minutes). Allow your partially baked meatballs to cool before transferring to a ziplock bag and storing in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to bake, pop them back into the oven for 25-30 minutes or until their internal temperature reads 165°F.
Can you fry them instead of baking?
It’s totally possible to pan fry these meatballs, however, they won’t be as healthy as my baked version. To do this, add your turkey meatballs to a well-oiled skillet, brown on all sides, add your favorite sauce, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked and heated all the way through.
How do you store leftover kale meatballs?
Any leftover baked meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven, on the stovetop, or in the microwave.
Hungry for more hearty homemade meatball recipes?
- Oven Baked Chicken Meatballs
- Slow Cooker Meatballs with Spaghetti
- Baked Soy Sauce Meatballs
- Cheesy Meatball Texas Toast Casserole
- Betty Draper’s Swedish Meatballs Recipe
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Baked Kale MeatballsPrint
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups kale chopped
- 2 pounds ground turkey
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add olive oil to a large pan over medium high heat. Add kale and continue stirring until kale is wilted, about 5-7 minutes.
- Put kale mixture and garlic into a food processor and pulse a few times until kale is finely chopped up.
- In a large bowl add kale mixture, ground turkey, eggs, oregano, parsley, rosemary, salt and pepper. Mix to fully combine, either using your hands (my preferred method) or spoon. Form this mixture into 2 inch balls.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place meatballs on top of baking sheet.
- Bake meatballs for 40 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
- Remove from oven, serve with your favorite tomato sauce and enjoy!