Turkey Meatballs with Mushrooms

My father stopped by today to say hello. I offered him lunch which he declined but he did take me up on the offer to try one of these turkey meatballs. One bite and two wide eyes later, “Wow, why didn’t you tell me they were good?” Lunch served.

This is the joy of cooking, isn’t it? Making our loved ones happy? We had a close call with dad last week which involved several days at the hospital and the acquisition of a nifty gadget called a pacemaker. All is well and good now. Let’s just say that every day we get to eat with our families is a blessed one.

Turkey Mushroom Meatballs on Simply Recipes

Now, about these turkey meatballs. I love ground turkey, but it can be dry. So for meatballs we do things to compensate, like adding moistened breadcrumbs or egg. Grated zucchini is an option too.

For this recipe, we are getting extra moisture from the addition of lots of minced mushrooms, and a little mayonnaise. The mushrooms give the meatballs a meaty flavor. The mayonnaise, which is just an emulsion of oil, egg, and vinegar, not only adds some needed fat, but a bit of egg to help as a binder.

Serve the meatballs with or without sauce. They’re great both ways.

Turkey Mushroom Meatballs on Simply Recipes

Turkey Meatballs with Mushrooms Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 16 to 24 meatballs, depending on size.

This turkey meatball recipe is wonderfully flexible. Form small meatballs for appetizer bites, larger ones for a main course meal. Flatten them to make turkey burgers. Serve them with or without a tomato marinara sauce.

If you want a more pronounced mushroom flavor, add a few more minced shiitake mushrooms to the mix.

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 large shallot, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 6 ounces of mushrooms (a mix of shiitake and cremini), finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • 1 pound ground turkey meat (we prefer thigh meat)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (plus more to sprinkle over when you serve)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest (optional, if you have it use it)
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Optional Marinara Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic minced (2 teaspoons)
  • 1-28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

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1 First start with the meatballs. Melt the butter in a small frying pan on medium heat. Add the minced shallots and cook gently for 3 to 4 minutes until softened. Stir in the minced garlic and the mushrooms. Continue to cook on medium heat until the mushrooms are cooked through and have given up some, but not all, of their moisture. Stir in the herbes de Provence. Remove from heat. Place in a bowl and quickly chill to cool.

2 In a large mixing bowl, place the ground turkey, parsley, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, lemon zest if using, mayonnaise, salt, black pepper, and the cooled mushroom shallot mixture. Using your clean hands gently mix the turkey and other ingredients together until well combined. Don't over mix.

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3 Form meatballs, 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide, depending on your preference. Smaller meatballs with be easier to serve as a one-bite appetizer, larger meatballs for a main dish. Place meatballs on a tray.

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4 Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium low to medium heat. Once the oil is hot, place the meatballs in the pan, allowing for space around each meatball. Do not crowd the pan; if your pan isn't big enough, cook the meatballs in batches. Gently cook the meatballs, turning them frequently so that they get lightly browned on all sides. If meatballs are not browning, increase the burner heat a little.

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5 Optional sauce. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan on medium heat. Add the minced onions and cook until translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more. Pulse the canned tomatoes in their juices in a blender or food processor until chopped, but not completely smooth. Add the tomatoes to the onion garlic mixture. Cook for ten minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the meatballs to the sauce. Sprinkle with a little chopped parsley to serve.

Turkey Mushroom Meatballs on Simply Recipes

73 Comments

  1. KalynsKitchen

    That sounds like a scary experience with your dad. I’m glad you get to have time with him often; hope you enjoy every minute of it. The meatballs look great!

    • Elise

      Thanks Kalyn! It was scary and stressful. I’m just so glad the doctors figured out the problem while he was in the hospital. We all feel like we dodged a bullet. The meatballs are great, and I think good for your South Beach diet, aren’t they?

  2. Sandy S

    Isn’t it an amazing world that we live in?! That we have pacemakers! That we have people who know how to ‘plug-in’ the pacemakers! And, that you find time to post this rocking recipe!! Big hugs to you and your dad and family, Elise! Cannot wait to try this recipe with the sauce, which sounds too scrumptious!!

    • Elise

      Thanks Sandy! It is an amazing world, and that pacemaker has just made possible many more years with my dear ole dad. Let me know if you make the turkey mushroom meatballs!

  3. Vanessa

    Elise, as usual, you take ordinary ingredients and make them into something so special and delicious! I’m also very relieved to hear your dad is ok. After all your writings involving him and your mother, I feel as though I know them both and that they’ve become friends too. :) As far as the marinara sauce goes, I added some red wine because red wine makes everything better. Again, thank God your dad is ok and blessings on you and your family……and your food!

  4. Cathy O'Connell

    So sorry to hear about your Dad. Pacemakers are a good thing!

    This recipe sounds great … can one have too many meatball recipes? I will definitely be trying it very soon. I love the addition of the mushrooms for added moisture. I’ve done that with Turkey Burgers and meatloaf, but haven’t made Turkey Meatballs in a long time and never with the addition of mushrooms – great idea! Can’t wait to try it. I love meatballs cooked in oil on the stove, but I have been baking meatballs for a long time now – high heat on a rack with a quick broil at the end for a couple of minutes, not bad, but I still love my Mom’s fried ones better! I notice very little oil in your pan and I think your technique sounds great, so I will try these your way!

    Take care and enjoy your Dad … there is nothing like family.

    • Elise

      Hi Cathy, I think if you’re making a lot of meatballs, then cooking them in the oven can really save some time. Thank you for the suggestion on the method of high heat on a rack, ending with a broil!

  5. Juliana

    So glad your dad is doing well!

  6. angela@spinachtiger

    What a great idea. The mayo and mushrooms will bring moisture (and some flavor) to the turkey meatballs. Glad things worked out well for your dad. That can be so scary.

    • Elise

      Hi Angela, both the mushrooms and the mayo are kinda cool tricks. You can use mayo with any turkey meatball or turkey burger to help keep it from drying out.

  7. Maria

    Hope your dad continues to improve! I made your Turkey Meatballs with Tomato and Basil just this weekend for a potluck, and they were a huge hit! Look forward to trying these.

  8. Susan

    I’m glad your Father is better. I agree, every day with family is a blessed one.

    I have just perfected my regular meatball recipe and was prepared to move on until I read about your addition of mushrooms to this one. What a great idea! Can’t wait to try it in mine and make your recipe as well. Thanks, Elise.

  9. Margie MacKenzie

    My personal chef client, who is hooked up to an external, battery-driven device 24/7 which keeps her heart pumping, will love this recipe. It was 3 years ago that this device saved her life and 3 years ago in April that I began cooking for her and her husband. She says every Tuesday is like Christmas when all her food for the week is prepared, packaged and in her fridge. Yes, cooking is a blessing! thanks for adding so much to my repetoire, Elise!

  10. Julia Dawn Mason

    Elise, I am glad your dad is doing better. I have lost both of my parents, Dad in 1996 and Mom in 2003. Spend as much time with your parents as you can , you never know when they may go.

    • Elise

      Hello Julia, I’m so sorry for your loss. I keep trying to prepare myself mentally for that day (or days), and can’t imagine it.

  11. Katie A

    Good cardiologists in SacTown! Glad your dad is on the mend – good blood flow/oxygen is a VERY good thing.

    These turkey meatballs are a terrific idea. I’m always looking for ways to add easy, done-ahead lean protein dishes to the mix. I suspect these will freeze & reheat beautifully. Thanks Elise (again) for another wonderful recipe.

    • Elise

      We were out at Mercy San Juan. Great team of doctors and nurses. The care couldn’t have been better.

      If you make them and freeze them, please let me know how they turn out! I rarely freeze food as I give most of it away to friends and family, so never know what to say when people ask me, “how well does it freeze?”

  12. KenB

    Sounds really good. On my list. I like browning meatballs like these in the oven.

  13. Arcey

    So glad to hear your father is doing well. Like others have said, you mom and dad seem like old friends, since we’ve heard about them for so long. You’re very lucky to have such a close and loving family. All the best to all of you, and a big hug to your dad! :)

  14. Angela

    These look yummy; I’m going to try them, but I think I’ll do stroganoodle :)

  15. Susan

    Sorry about your dad – good news about the pacemaker for sure!! I’m wondering: could the meatballs be baked in a 350 oven to further save some additional fat? Thanks much and best of luck to you and yours.

    • Elise

      There’s not a lot of fat in these meatballs to begin with, but sure, you could easily bake them.

  16. Liz

    Another lovely recipe. Thank you. I’m so glad your father is on amends.

  17. Jane

    Hope all goes well with your dad’s pacemaker. I’ve had one since 1999, when my heart stopped, and haven’t had any problems.

    Great recipes – keep up the yummy work!

  18. Ramona

    I have a huge jar of dried mixed mushrooms. Could I use those in place of the fresh? If so, how many? Would I still need to add some fresh?

    • Elise

      Hi Ramona, take several of the dried mushrooms, put them in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Let them sit for an hour. Then remove the mushrooms and chop them up. Use them in place of the shiitakes. You’ll still want to include fresh cremini mushrooms. Then sauté the chopped reconstituted dry mushrooms with the chopped fresh mushrooms. As to the exact amount of dry mushrooms? Your guess is as good as mine. Good luck!

  19. Naureen

    What a wonderful addition (the mushrooms)! Must try! Any suggestions if I wanted to bake them instead?

    • Elise

      You might want to look up some baked meatball recipes on Google and compare methods. One commenter earlier mentioned baking them on a rack on high heat, and finishing under a broiler.

  20. Sharon

    So sorry your dad needs a pacemaker! Absolutely thrilled that in this day & age there is such a thing available to save lives. These turkey meatballs are just the thing to perk him up again☺Can’t wait to make them.

  21. SandyN

    Thank you for the great recipes! This recipe has given me ideas for a whole week’s menu – with changes of veggies and rice, potatoes, pasta, bread rolls etc. Magnifique! :-) Best wishes for your dad!

  22. Beverly

    I hope your father is on the mend, Elise. This recipe looks good. Whenever I would cook meals for my parents, they were always very appreciative, although they said I never added enough salt for their taste.

    • Elise

      Thank you Beverly! Regarding salt, from what I understand as we age our taste buds don’t work as well. Elderly people sometimes need a lot more seasoning to taste well. I’ve haven’t seen this yet in my parents, but I have with the parents of friends.

  23. Deborah Cooper

    That must have been quite a scare for you and your mother, not to mention your dad. I am so glad that he is doing well! The turkey meatballs look insanely good, especially with the sauce. I have limited experience with ground turkey, but this recipe might make me a convert! Thanks Elise, and blessings to your family.

  24. Anne

    I am happy to hear your dad is doing well. There are wonderful miracles performed in the cardiac hospitals. I have been through that with my son.
    Many blessings to you and your family.
    I love your recipes, and your wonderful cooking!

  25. wanday

    Prayers going up for your dad.

  26. Aish

    Couldn’t agree with you more about how food is a great way to make the fondest memories with family. Glad to know you’re dad’s well now.. and wishing him many strong years ahead. The meatballs look absolutely perfect-o!

  27. Mary Jo

    Glad to hear that your dad is well :-) These meatballs sound so interesting compared to my usual. We love mushrooms and I like to incorporate them into any recipe that I can.

  28. Ramona

    Eager to try these yummy sounding meatballs and loved the comments from your sensitive friends. I wish my dad were still around to have some!

  29. Janice

    I have been making your turkey meatballs with tomatoes and basil and people rave about it! In that recipe, the addition of sour cream makes them very tasty. Have to say that that one is going to be hard to beat. But, this recipe with the mushrooms and mayo sounds very intriguing. I am going to have to give it a try.

  30. suz

    I had a similar cooking experience with my family this week making Greek style burgers with ground turkey. Yes, it makes it all worthwhile. And thanks for sharing the good news about your Dad. Your parents are an integral part of Simply Recipes.

  31. June

    Thanks for the recipe.

    Happy to note that your father is doing much better.
    if it is any consolation my dad had a pacemaker inplant as well and did quite well with it for a long long while. Please encourage him to watch his diet.
    Blessings to you and your family

  32. Lisa

    Just tried this tonight in the form of patty melts and they were a huge hit! Thanks for the recipe, I will be trying them in meatball form since we are all such fans of mushrooms. And I love the idea of the mayo; never would have thought of that! Very happy your Dad is doing so well; ER visits are never fun! (nor short!)

  33. Em

    We made this tonight for dinner and served it with a white sauce over brown rice. The meatballs were delicious, but some of them fell apart while browning. Any idea what I should have done differently? I’ve had the same problem with other meatballs before. For this it worked okay as I just used the three that fell apart as part of the base for the sauce, but I’d like them to turn out as intended.

    PS Best wishes for your family. Glad your dad is doing better.

  34. Leslie

    These sound really good. What % fat ground turkey do you suggest? Can lemon juice be substituted for the lemon zest?
    PS-glad you Dad is OK

    • Elise

      You can buy ground turkey with a specified fat%? I usually just use ground thigh meat, because it has more flavor, and it has a more fat to keep the turkey meat from drying out when cooking. I would not substitute lemon juice for the lemon zest. It takes a lot more lemon juice to get the equivalent lemon flavor from lemon zest. Just skip the zest if you don’t have it.

  35. Paula Cournoyer

    Glad your Dad is on the mend.
    The turkey mushroom meatballs are delicious!! What a wonderful recipe. Had two left over for lunch the next day and they were just as good. Can’t to have them again. Thank you for sharing, Elise.

  36. JoAnn

    I’m so glad to hear your Dad is doing well – it’s amazing that they can do such awesome things with technology these days. Our area has so many great medical groups, we are truly blessed! I’m making your meatballs right this minute – I had planned to make my standard turkey meatballs with carrots and breadcrumbs, which I wasn’t thrilled about since we’ve been trying to reduce our wheat intake, but didn’t have any other ideas – your website, as usual, is just the ticket. We love mushrooms and always have them in our fridge. The house smells amazing and I can hardly wait for them to be done! Thanks, Elise, for another great meal idea!

  37. Carissa

    This recipe sounds delicious. It is so hard to get turkey meat in New Zealand, but we do get turkey mince, so I’m going to try it. I love your sentiments to your Dad and send him love and lights for good health…. my Dad passed away last Monday from a three year battle with cancer. I will miss him dearly. Such wonderful memories. You write so well and this is my favourite website.

  38. Evie Lieb

    It’s such a relief to know that your dear dad is doing well now. Along with you he offered so much encouragement when I was planning my blog. Your turkey meatballs would surely beat any version of prepared ones on the market. Trying them flattened as burgers is an awesome idea!

    • Elise

      Thanks Evie! Hopefully he’ll stick around for a while. Your blog is great! I’m so glad you’re having fun with it and sharing your amazing expertise.

  39. Courtney Lofton

    I made these last night and they were amazing!! Amazing. I did skip the mayo because we both hate it but my fiancé and I both loved them. Thanks so much!

  40. Michelle

    So sorry to hear about your dad; he’s made so many appearances here and made us smile with his comments. Glad he’s doing okay! Thanks for your meatball recipe- I’ve never made meatballs before, but this was pretty easy and kind of fun too. I made them for Valentine’s day and my husband loved them! I don’t like parsley, so I skipped it, but it still tasted good. I was running out of time and don’t like getting my hands dirty with meat, so I used a cookie dough baller/scoop and it worked pretty well! I’ll be saving this one.

  41. Char

    Loved these meatballs. But didn’t like them with marinara on them–thought it hid the flavor of the meatballs which is great. Have liked the flavor so much have made this recipe 2 other ways: (i) as is turkey hamburgers per meatball recipe (great) and (ii) as a pasta sauce. When I converted the recipe to a pasta sauce sauteed the ground turkey with sliced mushrooms (8 oz. could have used more), 2 tsp. of each of the balsamic, zest and mustard & 1 1/2 tsp of the herbs. Added 1/2 cup chicken broth. Was good. Thought it needed something else, so threw in a can of diced fire roasted tomatoes with juices (what I had on hand). Can of diced tomatoes wasn’t as thick as marinara so didn’t mask the flavor the way the marinara did. Made a great pasta sauce. Sort of a turkey Bolognese Sauce that was easier/quicker than the meatballs. Thanks for the basic recipe. Will continue to make it as meatballs, hamburgers and pasta sauce.

  42. Samantha

    Amazing recipe! Did it today and added breadcrumbs and an egg to the mix, also i baked them in the oven. Delicious, thank you!

  43. Janis

    Tried these recently. They are very good and solved my dry turkey burger problem. Thank you.

  44. Deb Ohlsen

    I just made these and they are delicious. I love the texture, the taste and the fact that they have no bread in them! Made the sauce too and dinner was a big hit. Thanks! Hope your Dad continues to do well and gets to enjoy this dish often !

  45. Sandy S

    Every since you posted this recipe, I have been going back to it for so many reasons! Both the meatballs and the sauce are so good exactly as set-down. It brings full flavor to ground turkey. I usually use soy sauce in place of salt when working with ground turkey. But, I really like this recipe for a change. The herbes de Provence has been a bit like finding a long lost relative! I have been using it for steamed Brussels sprouts, as I used to do many moons ago. It needs a gentle hand as one experiments, but it is so worth the effort (not to mention the price) to finding how much is right for you.

  46. Linda from Chicago

    These were a big hit with my non-meatball-loving, non-mushroom fan family! Moist and delicious! Another hit, thanks!
    And I too live with a pacemaker – it saved my life and I am ever grateful. Give your Dad a hug! Linda

  47. Carey-Ann from Australia

    Elise, thank you again for a wonderful recipe. I enjoy mince turkey and this recipe is fantastic. So much flavour and easy to make. Your website is full of great recipes I have cooked and enjoyed. :)

  48. Becky

    These meatballs made me very happy tonight!! My 2 yr old has an egg allergy so I used vegan mayonnaise. Followed the rest exactly, and they were so delicious!! My husband piled them on a hoagie with marinara sauce for a meatball sub. I put a few in the freezer to see how they do for busy nights.

  49. Lori Havert

    I just loved these meatballs. I added one small grated zucchini to the mushrooms while they were cooking down. Nobody would’ve ever know there was a green veggie in there unless I told them, and I did tell. I made these in advance, and then reheated them with some Archer Farms Koren Style BBQ Sauce (the very best of its kind), and served it with Jasmine rice and steamed broccoli. It was a fantastic, healthy dinner. Thanks for the recipe!

  50. SusanT

    I’ve made these wonderful meatballs several times. It is now my go-to recipe. The lemon zest absolutely completes them. Love the flavor and moist texture. The sauce is also delicious, but I add a little Pinot noir to the sauce in addition to the balsamic. I serve them with roasted spaghetti squash for me and lemon pappardelle noddles for my husband. We’re both in heaven. I also love your stuffed zucchini recipe. Thanks for such simple tasty recipes. Love your site so much.

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