Healthy Apple Turkey Meatballs

Healthy Apple Turkey Meatballs

Apple turkey meatballs are a simple, kid friendly recipe. High in protein and low in fat, they’re a healthy dinner option.

Let’s talk about one of the best shows to watch over and over again: Gilmore Girls.

Seriously, I have re-watched all the episodes (minus the newer mini-season on Netflix) at least four times, and each go around I’m more and more impressed by all the quick, witty banter.

Now, being married to someone from Connecticut I’ve gotten very familiar with Connecticut. And one thing that Gilmore Girls didn’t teach me was what a big deal apple season is there.

Healthy Apple Turkey Meatballs

Apples add just the right amount of sweetness to savory dishes

Now I love a good apple crumble, but my favorite use of apples is adding them into savory dishes.

From harvest salads and grilled cheese, to meat-filled dishes, I find myself cooking with apples more often than baking with them. And this recipe for healthy apple turkey meatballs is one of my favorites.

Healthy Apple Turkey Meatballs

Healthy apple turkey meatballs are easy to make

These healthy apple turkey meatballs are simple to make, especially if you have a food processor. However, a cheese grater will work too.

The first step is to grate about ½ a large apple to end up with ½ cup-worth of shredded apple.

While any apple would work, I recommend using a tart apple with a lot of flavor, such as a Pink Lady, Honey crisp, or Granny Smith.

Next up is grating ½ cup-worth of parmesan cheese.

As there aren’t a lot of ingredients in these meatballs, I recommend getting a good quality block of parmesan from the cheese counter at your grocery store.

Finally, add some bread crumbs or pulsed oats (my preference), seasonings, an egg, and the ground turkey.

Mix all this together well and then roll into small balls.

For best flavor, I recommend browning the meatballs in a cast-iron pan and then transferring them to the oven for another 10 or so minutes until cooked through.

What to serve with healthy apple meatballs

The first time I made these, I served them with roasted sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts, which I drizzled with a cinnamon pear balsamic vinegar over the top. So good!

But then, I decided to get even fancier and whip up a batch of bourbon BBQ sauce, and oh man. Bourbon + apple = heaven.

Of course if you have kiddos, you can always serve these with regular BBQ sauce for dipping!

More savory apple recipes

Healthy Apple Turkey Meatballs

Apple Turkey Meatballs

These apple turkey meatballs are an easy, kid-friendly meal that go perfectly with a homemade BBQ sauce.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Healthy Dinner, Meatballs, Turkey
Servings: 4
Author: Kelli


  • 1/2 cup shredded apple about 1/2 of a tart apple, such as Pink Lady, Granny Smith, or Honey Crisp
  • 1/2 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup pulsed oats breadcrumb-consistency (can also use breadcrumbs)
  • 1 egg lightly whisked
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary finely chopped
  • Pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive or canola oil


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • To shred the apple, either use the shredder plate for your food processor or manually grate using a cheese grater. Add to a large mixing bowl.
  • Add grated parmesan, pulsed oats (again, these can be made using a food processor), whisked egg, ground turkey, fresh rosemary, and salt and pepper. Form into small balls.
  • Place oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, carefully place meatballs in pan, being careful not to overcrowd. If your pan isn’t big enough, you can split this up into two batches, using 1/2 Tbsp of oil per batch. Cook until all sides are browned, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer skillet to oven (if oven-proof; otherwise transfer meatballs to a baking sheet) and cook another 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through.
  • Remove meatballs from oven and serve with roasted vegetables and dipping sauce of choice. Enjoy!
Healthy Apple Turkey Meatballs

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1 Comment

  • Tara | Treble in the Kitchen AvatarTara | Treble in the Kitchen2 years ago

    I bet the apples add a nice sweet component to this savory dish : )

  • About Kelli McGrane Headshot

    I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

    About Kelli McGrane Headshot

    Welcome to The Healthy Toast!

    Here you’ll find healthy breakfast recipes designed by a registered dietitian with your health goals in mind.

    As a dietitian I understand that a healthy breakfast is essential for giving you the fuel you need to power through your day. Which is why on TheHealthyToast, you’ll find nutrition guides plus the best healthy breakfast recipes for every diet and lifestyle.

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