Juicy keto friendly turkey meatballs in a creamy parmesan sauce with hints of garlic and herbs. Meatballs can be made without breadcrumbs and still be delicious as this low carb versions with an Italian twist!
I have a hate, love relationship with ground turkey. Now, I do love turkey when done right for lunch or dinner. Considering it is very easy to cook a dry turkey. Turkey is part of the poultry family so it’s very low in fat. Fat brings moisture, meaning juiciness and taste.
In this recipe, you create keto meatballs without any breadcrumbs. This makes them naturally low carb and gluten free as well.
How To Make Keto Turkey Meatballs
- Ground Turkey
- Salt & Black Pepper
- Garlic Powder
- Heavy Cream
- Parmesan Cheese
Making The Meatballs & Cooking Instructions
To start, in a large bowl add in ground turkey. Now, add in egg, salt, pepper, garlic powder and fresh or dried parsley. In the recipe I used fresh chopped parsley but dried can work as well. It’s just not as fragrant.
Combine all the ingredients together. Next, when it comes to rolling the ground turkey meatballs cover your hands with oil because the mixture is sticky. I personally used a meatball maker in the photos you see. Either way you will need oil due to the stickiness in the mix.
In a skillet or frying pan with oil on medium heat add in the meatballs. Don’t overcrowd the pan, cook in batches if you need to. The goal isn’t to cook the meatballs through it’s just to get color on them.
Then, when all the meatballs are finished lower the heat on the pan. Add butter then heavy cream. Lastly, toss in parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Allow it to simmer a little but do not let it boil. Note, the sauce should be thick before adding in meatballs. If it isn’t see notes below.
Now, add back in the meatballs from earlier. Place them in an oven for 15-20 minutes or until meatballs have cooked all the way through.
To finish, garnish with parmesan cheese and parsley.
Helpful Recipe Tips
- Use oil when forming meatballs. This mix is very sticky. To avoid it being all over your hands the oil will keep it from sticking. I used a meatball maker and I oiled that as well.
- Quality parmesan cheese only! When I say quality I don’t mean the best or the best. My point is using cheese from the cheese section in the grocery store and staying away from the shelf stable stuff. You don’t want any caking agent in your cheese or it will not melt properly messing up the thickness of the sauce and and the overall recipe.
- If the sauce doesn’t thicken, I have had situations where the parmesan cheese didn’t melt to thicken the sauce and it just stuck to itself causing a loose cream sauce. Tip 1, add the parmesan cheese after the heavy cream has simmered a little or you know its hot then add it in a little at a time. Tip 2, add in more cheese before adding in the meatballs. Just sprinkle the cheese until it thickens.
How To Store
This reheats well from the refrigerator. Simply store the meatballs in a sealed container until you’re ready to eat again. However, I am not a fan of freezing dairy. The proteins and fats like to separate when it thaws. I personally have never frozen this recipe out of all the times I have made it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do turkey meatballs have carbs?
A turkey meatball recipe outside of keto use breadcrumbs like most recipes. They use breadcrumbs for a bulking factor and for the gluten in them to help with forming and sticking together. In this recipe at only 4g net carbs per serving the meatballs stick together just fine and are juicy and delicious.
Are meatballs OK on keto?
Of course! When done right meatballs are a great option on the keto diet. They are small and easily weighed for your meal prep. The biggest concern would be the absence of breadcrumbs. Or what do you use in place of them?
For this recipe I didn’t use any breadcrumbs nor a substitute. The meatballs are small and held just fine even without eggs. Breadcrumbs have their place but not here.
Is turkey good for keto diet?
This is a hard one! Fattier meats are surely ideal not to mention tastier. Turkey is a lean meat but the fat can be added such as this parmesan sauce has cheese, butter and heavy cream in it. All which are good dairy options for the keto diet.
When done correctly or used as a tool turkey can work well. I am currently doing a cut and an option like turkey keeps my protein up and lowers the calories due to its lack of fat. So tracking my macros and counting my calories this sparked the idea for the recipe. Now when I meal prep for the week I have a delicious option.
What to eat with keto turkey meatballs?
Parmesan keto turkey meatballs
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic
- 2 teaspoon parsley
- 1 3/4 cup Heavy cream
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese (cut from the block)
- 4 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon Salt (half if using salted butter)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Combine ground turkey with egg, salt, pepper, garlic and parsley. Note, this will be sticky. In order to form meatballs be sure to oil your hands before rolling them.
- Roll seasoned ground turkey into meatballs with the diameter of a quarter but thick enough to be considered a meatball. Not super tiny but not so thick they will have a hard time cooking through. I used a meatball maker and I got 15 meatballs.
- In a skillet on medium/ high heat add oil and meatballs. Don't crowd them, if you need to cook in batches do so. Cook on both sides for about 2-3 minutes. They don't have to be done inside this step is for color.
- Remove meatballs and then adjust heat to low heat. Add in butter, heavy cream, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Allow the sauce to simmer a little. See notes if sauce isn't thickening. Sauce should be thick before adding in meatballs. After sauce is right then add meatballs back in
- Place in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove, garnish with parsley and and a bit of parmesan then serve. Careful, the cream sauce will be hot.
- Note: You will have to remove the meatballs after baking and give the sauce a stir to get the thickness back. While baking the parmesan cheese likes to settle to the bottom.