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air fryer turkey meatballs

Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs

Summer Yule
This air fryer turkey meatball recipe is low carb, keto, gluten free, and under 500 calories! Stovetop and air frying directions included!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 17 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 3
Calories 479 kcal

Ingredients

For the turkey meatballs:

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey (454 grams; I used 99% fat-free ground turkey)
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan

For the tomato sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 24-26 ounces strained tomatoes (680-737 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • sea salt (to taste)

Other ingredients needed:

  • 2 lbs spiralized zucchini (907 grams)
  • garnish (optional; grated or shaved Parmesan and chopped fresh parsley)
  • Cooking oil spray of choice

Instructions

To air fry turkey meatballs:

  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix the following ingredients together with clean hands: turkey, almond flour, egg, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, and grated Parmesan.
  • Form the turkey mixture into 16 uniform meatballs. They will be about 2 tablespoons each.
  • Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for 5 minutes. Carefully remove a hot air fryer tray and spray it with cooking spray.  
  • Place the turkey meatballs in a non-touching single layer on the tray. Spray the turkey meatballs with cooking spray. Put the tray back in the air fryer oven, in the top rack position. 
  • Air fry for 12 minutes at 400°F (200°C), flipping after 7 minutes.
  • After air frying, check the turkey meatballs with a meat thermometer to ensure they are fully cooked. The safe minimum internal temp for poultry is 165°F (74°C). 

To make the tomato sauce:

  • While the meatballs air fry, soften the onions in olive oil over medium heat on the stovetop. It will take 5-8 minutes in a cast-iron skillet. Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, basil, crushed red pepper, and salt. 
  • Let the sauce come to a simmer and cover. Turn the heat to medium-low and let the sauce simmer while the meatballs finish air frying. You can keep the sauce on the heat for up to 30 minutes, stirring it occasionally. 

To serve:

  • Warm the spiralized zucchini in an oil-misted wok over medium heat, approximately 2-4 minutes. Turn the zucchini often as it warms with tongs for even heating. You may have to heat the zucchini in two batches. Don't overcook!
  • To serve, divide the zoodles between three plates. Top with the air fried turkey meatballs (yup, someone gets an extra!) and the tomato sauce. A sprinkle of Parm (and maybe some finely chopped fresh parsley) finishes the dish. Enjoy! 

Notes

This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). You're getting a huge, filling meal for under 500 calories with these air fried turkey meatballs and sauce. Zoodles are a simple way to get a veggie-filled meal and make good use of summer squash. Whether your goal is weight loss or you are just looking to eat more veggies, this is the recipe for you. 
If you dislike zucchini, some other options for spiralized veggies are butternut squash, beets, sweet potatoes, or carrots. Check both the fresh and freezer section of your grocery store to see the spiralized veggie options that are available. You could also use shirataki noodles, or one of the legume pastas (like Banza). 
If you have higher energy needs, you can use a higher fat ground turkey or beef to make the meatballs. Consider making the recipe with whole grain noodles instead of zucchini noodles if you need more calories. Another option is to add a side of my Air Fryer Garlic Bread. 
Yet another option is to experiment with this recipe and make air fryer mozzarella-stuffed turkey meatballs. Just make sure to seal the ground turkey well around the cheese, or you’ll create a mess in the air fryer! 

To Make Stovetop Turkey Meatballs

After mixing and shaping the meatballs, brown them for 8-10 minutes in an oil-misted skillet, turning them so that they brown on all sides. Remove meatballs from skillet and set them aside so that you can prepare the sauce.
Soften the onion in olive oil in the skillet, as directed above. Stir in the rest of the sauce ingredients. Add the meatballs to the sauce in a single layer.
Let the sauce come to a simmer and cover. Turn the heat to medium-low and let the sauce simmer while the meatballs finish cooking. You can keep the sauce on the heat for up to 30 minutes.
Check the meatballs with a meat thermometer to make sure they reached a minimum safe internal temp of 165°F (74°C). Prepare the zoodles and serve the meal as directed above.
Nutrition information is for one serving and includes the sauce and zoodles. 

Nutrition

Calories: 479kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 53.6gFat: 17.8gSaturated Fat: 3.4gPotassium: 1741.9mgFiber: 9.3gVitamin A: 33.8% DVVitamin C: 181.3% DVCalcium: 14.2% DVIron: 43.5% DV
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