Turkey Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Fondation OLO | Recipe | Turkey Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
the illustrated version
of this recipe
  • Refrigeration: 2 hours
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 60 minutes
  • Servings: 7
  • Cost per serving: $2.14
  • Storage: 3 days in the fridge. Can be frozen.
  • Kitchen tools: Small bowl, large bowl, large frying pan, large pot and lid, cutting board, sharp knife, measuring cups and spoons, plate, wooden spoon.
  • This original recipe was developed by Extenso—the Université de Montréal reference centre on human nutrition.


  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread, slightly dry and broken into small pieces
  • 125 ml (½ cup) milk
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) canola oil (divide up: 15 ml [1 tbsp] + 20 ml [4 tsp] + 25 ml [5 tsp])
  • 1 large or 2 small yellow onions, finely chopped (about 250 ml / 1 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 750 g (1½ lb) ground turkey (or ground chicken, beef or pork)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • About 900 ml of tomato sauce Try our tomato sauce recipe!


1. In a small bowl, soak the bread in the milk and leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours before preparing the balls.

2. In a large frying pan over medium heat, cook the onions in 15 ml (1 tbsp) of oil until the onion is transparent (about 2 minutes). Turn off heat and add the garlic.

3. Drain the bread and place in a large bowl with the turkey, cooked onions, egg and soy sauce. Add salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix the ingredients thoroughly.

4. With your hands, roll 24 golf ball-size balls and set aside on a plate.

5. In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring the tomato sauce to a boil.

6. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, heat 20 ml (4 tsp) of the oil and brown 8 turkey balls. Once the balls are golden all over, transfer to the simmering tomato sauce. Repeat the action with the rest of the balls.

7. Once all the balls have been added to the sauce, cover, leaving a small space for steam to escape. Cook over low heat for 30 minutes.

Tip: Use the cooking time to prepare your side dishes.

8. Serve the turkey balls in tomato sauce over cooked spaghetti or any other grain product of your choice.