Baked Turkey Pesto Meatballs

Baked Turkey Pesto Meatballs stuffed with mozzarella cheese! These meatballs are amazing and loaded with tons of flavor!

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These meatballs are AMAZING! One of the best meatballs i’ve ever made. They are super tender, packed with flavor and stuffed with mozzarella cheese!

I loaded up these meatballs with basil pesto, tomato paste and lots of garlic and onion. I used panko breadcrumbs and eggs as the binder.

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Instead of my usual pan fry method I decided to bake the meatballs. It makes it a lot easier to cook the meatballs and they can be cooked in one batch. Also with the higher oven temperature they get browned and caramelized on the outside as well.

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To accompany the meatballs I whipped up a quick chunky tomato sauce. This sauce is super simple and is my go to sauce. The diced tomatoes make the sauce chunky and the tomato paste helps to thicken it up.

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After baking I like to toss the meatballs in the tomato sauce and serve. Top with parmesan cheese and fresh basil or parsley.

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Serve your meatballs over polenta or pasta or pile them on a sandwich and enjoy!

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Baked Turkey Pesto Meatballs

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 -6
Baked Turkey Pesto Meatballs stuffed with mozzarella cheese! These meatballs are amazing and loaded with tons of flavor!

Ingredients

  • 3-4 mozzarella sticks sliced into cubes
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil for drizzling

Chunky Tomato Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup onion diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut mozzarella into small cubes, about 1/2 inch. (About 6 pieces per stick). Place mozzarella cubes in the freezer for at least 1 hour to set.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Add turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, pesto, tomato paste, parsley and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix until combined and form into 16-18 meatballs.
  4. Gently push a piece of chilled mozzarella into the center of the meatball and roll again to make sure the cheese is completely covered.
  5. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
  6. Cook for 25-30 minutes or until fully cooked.
  7. Serve the meatballs immediately with your favorite tomato sauce and pasta.

Chunky Tomato Sauce

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add in the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes until tender.
  3. Add in garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  4. Pour in tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, sugar and crushed red pepper flakes.
  5. Cook, stirring occasionally until sauce is thickened, about 20 minutes.