This recipe for Low Carb Cheesy Turkey Meatballs with Rosemary Cream Sauce is basically a meatball gratin. Aromatic with garlic and rosemary, these cheesy turkey meatballs are smothered in a cream sauce, topped with cheese, and baked.
I always seem to have a pack of ground turkey tucked away in my freezer. It’s delicious and very versatile, but for some reason, ground turkey is something that’s not frequently on my radar to make! I think these Low Carb Cheesy Turkey Meatballs with Rosemary Cream Sauce will change that.
I recently spotted a package of ground turkey in my freezer that had been stashed there a while ago, and decided it was high time to put it to good use. The idea of turkey burgers came to mind, but with the weather turning a little cooler (even here in Florida!), I thought meatballs served with a creamy would be a good option for a heartier meal.
This recipe couldn’t be any easier to make. I made really easy cheesy turkey meatballs, and then a super simple cream sauce. I drenched the meatballs in the cream sauce, topped them with even more cheese, and baked. The end result is basically what I’d consider a meatball gratin. I used slightly piney flavor of rosemary paired with Parmesan cheese and garlic and onion sautéed in butter to flavor these cheesy turkey meatballs. The cream sauce adds flavor and makes this easy weeknight meal seem completely luscious!
How to Make Homemade Turkey Meatballs
Turkey meatballs are very easy to make; the ingredients and method for turkey meatballs are similar to beef meatballs. Meatloaf and meatballs are usually a budget-friendly meal, and a good way to stretch a dollar because they both typically contain breadcrumbs mixed in with the meat. However, to keep these Low Carb Cheesy Turkey Meatballs with Rosemary Cream Sauce as low in carbs as possible, I omitted the breadcrumbs. Instead, I used egg white and Parmesan cheese to bind the meatballs; as a result, they’re packed with both flavor and nutrition.
To make homemade turkey meatballs, simply mix together all ingredients (clean hands work best here), and make sure not to over-mix the meat mixture. Roll the mixture into meatballs, and then cook them! You can fry meatballs in a skillet on the stovetop, bake them in the oven, or simmer them in tomato sauce. Here I half-baked them in the oven, and then drenched them in a flavorful cheese sauce and returned them to the oven to finish cooking.
How to Cook Turkey Meatballs in the Oven
To cook turkey meatballs in the oven, preheat the oven to 400F. Drizzle a bit of oil (such as avocado oil or melted ghee) on a baking sheet. Arrange the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, and bake until fully cooked, about 15 to 20 minutes at 400F.
What Kind of Sauce to Put on Turkey Meatballs
Depending on what seasonings I add to the meatballs, I use a different sauce for the outside. Here are a few of my favorite flavor combinations:
- Tomato Sauce: Goes well with a basic turkey meatball, or meatballs seasoned with garlic and Italian seasoning.
- Salsa: Great with taco-spiced turkey meatballs.
- Honey Garlic Sauce, Sweet and Sour Sauce, or Teriyaki Sauce: There are store-bought sweet and sour sauces available, but you can easily make your own with jam, vinegar, and a few other pantry staples. Teriyaki sauce and honey garlic sauce are also both easy to find at the grocery store or to make at home. I find that these types of sauces go well with meatballs that are seasoned with garlic and ginger.
- Creamy Mushroom Sauce: This type of sauce is perfect for Swedish meatballs.
- BBQ Sauce: Basic meatballs coated in BBQ sauce make a pretty fantastic appetizer.
- Rosemary Cream Sauce: The sauce I whipped up for these Low Carb Cheesy Turkey Meatballs is similar to an Alfredo sauce, but even easier to make!
What to Serve with These Low Carb Cheesy Rosemary Turkey Meatballs to Make it a Meal:
- Cauliflower rice
- Steamed broccoli
- Sautéed Brussels sprouts
- Roasted green beans
Ground Turkey Nutrition Information
According to the National Nutrient Database, one (4 oz/113 g) serving of raw ground turkey has the following nutrition information:
- 22g protein
- 66g fat
- 0g carbohydrates
More Ground Turkey Recipes:
- Turkey Taco Rice Salad Bowls with Creamy Tex-Mex Dressing from An Edible Mosaic
- Ground Turkey Fried Rice from Show Me the Yummy
- Ground Turkey Teriyaki Rice Bowl from Yellow Bliss Road
- Spanakopita Turkey Burgers with Easy Homemade Tzatziki Sauce from An Edible Mosaic
- Ground Turkey with Potatoes and Spring Peas from skinnytaste
- Mango Turkey Sloppy Joe Salad Bowls from An Edible Mosaic
Low Carb Cheesy Turkey Meatballs with Rosemary Cream Sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for the baking sheet and baking dish
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 large cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 large egg white
- 3 oz freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, divided about 3/4 cup grated
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary plus a couple more sprigs
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 oz shredded sharp white cheddar about 3/4 cup shredded; see Note
Preheat the oven to 400F; line a large baking sheet with a silpat liner or foil and lightly spray or brush it with oil.
Add the oil to a medium skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and garlic, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer half of the onion/garlic mixture to a large bowl and cool and leave the other half in the skillet.
To the large bowl with the cooled onion/garlic mixture, add the turkey, egg white, 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup), 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and black pepper. Use your hands to combine, being careful not to over-mix. Roll the mixture into meatballs about 1 heaping tablespoon in size (I got about 16 to 18 meatballs). Arrange the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes at 400F (don’t eat them after this, they’re only half cooked; we’re going to gratin them).
Meanwhile, to the skillet with the remaining half of the onion/garlic mixture, add the cream and bring to a simmer. Stir in 2/3 of the cheddar (about 1/2 cup), and 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup) until smooth, and then remove from the heat.
Lightly spray the inside of a 9 by 9-inch (or close to it) baking dish with oil. Arrange the meatballs on the bottom, pour on the sauce, and top with the remaining cheeses (1/3 of the cheddar, which is about 1/4 cup and 1/3 of the Parmesan, which is about 1/4 cup). If you have a couple sprigs of rosemary, nestle them down into the sauce.
Bake at 400F for 10 minutes, and then broil a couple minutes to brown on top.
Serve with zucchini noodles, riced cauliflower, or anything you like.
Net Carbs: 4g per serving
Sharp White Cheddar: For this recipe I like using Cabot White Oak Cheddar Cheese.
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