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Turkey, Carrot and Zucchini Meatballs {Kid-Friendly}

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Turkey and Carrot Meatballs

I am always looking for new ways to “hide” vegetables in Will’s food. He likes vegetables for the most part but sometimes just won’t eat them. We all have our days, especially toddlers!

Turkey and Carrot Meatballs 1

Meatballs are easy to make, you can freeze them and add “sneaky” things in, like veggies.

Veggies are important for children (adults too!) and their development and growth so if I can find a way to “sneak” them into a meal I jump at the chance.  Turkey, Carrot and Zucchini Meatballs are family friendly and something you can easily add into the rotation with variations.

Turkey and Carrot Meatballs 2

Other vegetables you could add in to the meatballs:

  • Grated mushroom
  • Grated cauliflower
  • Small peas
  • Diced peppers (red, orange, yellow or green)
  • Diced tomatoes

Turkey Carrot Meatballs in a Healthy Tomato Sauce {Kid-Friendly}

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 24 1x
  • Category: Meatballs, Italian, Sauce


A kid-friendly meatball recipe that the whole family will love with carrot and zucchini.



  • **Meatball Recipe
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1/4 cup zucchini, coarsely shredded
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 pound ground turkey (93% lean)
  • **Sauce Recipe
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 215 oz cans of tomato sauce
  • 115 oz diced tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3 tsp. dried basil (or 1/4 cup freshly chopped basil leaves)
  • 2 tsp. Herbs de Provence
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional, may be spicy for children)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. To make the sauce heat the olive oil over medium-heat and saute the onion and garlic until translucent. Add remaining ingredients and let simmer while you are making the meatballs.
  2. To make meatballs, combine panko breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl, and then let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Add egg, cheese, parsley, oregano, carrot, zucchini and salt to bowl. Stir until combined.
  4. Next, add turkey then use hands or fork to mix everything together until barely combined (do not over mix, if you do the meatballs will not be tender).
  5. Wet your hands and form mixture into 1-inch meatballs (about 24 meatballs).
  6. Gently drop meatballs into tomato sauce (It’s okay if some are not completely covered by the sauce).
  7. Cover skillet with a lid and cook 20 minutes then gently shake the skillet to move the meatballs around. Cook another 10 minutes or until turkey is cooked through.
  8. Serve with pasta and the marinara sauce on top.

Meatball Recipe Adapted from Inspired Taste

Sauce recipe is by Julia // A Cedar Spoon

 How do you get your kids to eat more vegetables? Do you have tricks to sneak them into meals?


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Ginny McMeans

Tuesday 25th of February 2014

The kids in my family really would love this!

Nikki @Seeded at the Table

Sunday 24th of March 2013

What a great way to incorporate some veggies!!

A Cedar Spoon

Sunday 24th of March 2013

Thanks Nikki! :)

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

Saturday 23rd of March 2013

I've never had a turkey meatball that I'd been introduced to. These look so good!

A Cedar Spoon

Saturday 23rd of March 2013

Thanks Maureen. I think you would like them!

The Wimpy Vegetarian

Friday 22nd of March 2013

Ohhh, these look really wonderful! What a great way of getting some good veggies down the kids. I'm going to try it and see how it works! :-)

A Cedar Spoon

Saturday 23rd of March 2013

Thanks Susan! They are yummy and no one will even know the veggies are in there!


Friday 22nd of March 2013

You could always try making veggie balls, no meat necessary!

A Cedar Spoon

Friday 22nd of March 2013

Yes I could!