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Turkey Pesto Meatballs

This week I made Turkey Pesto Meatballs.

Even over a simple pasta, the meatballs taste great. I couldn’t get enough of them.

This recipe comes from the Weelicious Cookbook by Catherine McCord. I met Catherine at the BlogHer Food Conference earlier this year. She is really nice and is a great cook. This cookbook is great. Catherine has put so much effort into the book. The recipes look SO good. I want to make like a dozen more of them besides the Turkey- Pesto Meatballs! (by the way, the Turkey- Pesto Meatballs are awesome!) 🙂

The turkey/pesto mixture felt weird when I kneaded it. You can see my mixed reactions.

I wanted to make a few little itty bitty meatballs, but my mom said no because they wouldn’t cook evenly. All of the meatballs had to be near the same size.

This recipe may appear to be really disgusting because you knead the meatballs with your hands, but it pays off in the end with an out-of-this-world taste!

No pasta is complete without cheese. Whether it’s a small amount or a whole tub, Italian food needs cheese.

I ate this right before basketball practice, so I had a lot of fuel for running. I LOVE this recipe.

Turkey- Pesto Meatballs

Turkey Pesto Meatballs (Shared with permission from the Weelicious Cookbook by Catherine McCord.)
Simple, healthy, AND delicious!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 301 kcal


  • pounds ground turkey
  • ¼ cup pesto (I used store- bought
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups marinara sauce (I used Classico Tomato- Basil)


  • Preheat the oven to 350℉. Spray a 9x13-inch pan with nonstick spray.
  • Place the turkey, pesto, breadcrumbs, cheese and salt in a large bowl and use clean hands to combine them thoroughly.
  • Pour the sauce into the pan.
  • Using about 1 tablespoon or so per meatball, roll the mixture into balls and set them on top of the marinara sauce, creating rows.
  • Cover the baking pan with foil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Mine took a little longer.
  • Serve over pasta or rice.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 301kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 38gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 1538mgPotassium: 807mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 932IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 114mgIron: 3mg
Keyword ground turkey, marinara sauce, meatballs, pesto, turkey
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Recipe Rating

Katherine R.

Thursday 20th of December 2012

Yum! Those meatballs look delish! You've inspired a new dinner idea at my house! Thanks!

RecipeBoy's Grandma

Tuesday 9th of October 2012

Love this post. The recipe looks scrumptious and the photos of you made me laugh out loud. Thanks.


Tuesday 9th of October 2012

Mexican Chicken and rice casserole

Callie Grayson

Sunday 7th of October 2012

For a quick snack I like to make cheese plates with new and different cheeses that I haven't tried before. For a quick dinner I fry gnocchi in a bit of olive ok until crisp, top with a bit of sauce and parmesan cheese and fresh basil!

I will have to try these meat balls, I have tons of basil in the garden that I need to make pesto with before autumn gets to cold!


emily jo

Saturday 6th of October 2012

bow tie pasta with cottage cheese! so so good!