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.