Mozzarella-Stuffed Pesto Turkey Meatballs


I came up with this recipe for a recipe contest, and it's been a family favorite ever since. For a lighter version, omit stuffing the meatballs with mozzarella cheese. Serve with your choice of pasta.

Prep Time:
35 mins
Cook Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
36 meatballs


  • 3 pounds ground turkey

  • 1 cup finely chopped onion

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 egg

  • 1 cup Italian-style bread crumbs

  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • ¼ cup prepared pesto

  • ¼ cup milk

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper

  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 (24 ounce) jars marinara sauce


  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  2. Place the ground turkey, onion, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, parsley, pesto, milk, salt, and black pepper in a bowl. Mix until evenly blended, then form into 1 3/4-inch meatballs. Make a hole in the meatball with your finger and place a cheese cube in the hole. Seal the meatball around the cheese and place on a nonstick baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over the meatballs.

  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the meatballs are no longer pink in the center, about 30 minutes. Heat the marinara sauce in a saucepan over low heat. Bring to a simmer, and place the baked meatballs in the marinara sauce for about 2 minutes.

    image of Mozzarella-Stuffed Pesto Turkey Meatballs over spaghetti in white bowls, garnished with cheese and fresh basil
    Allrecipes Magazine

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

486 Calories
25g Fat
26g Carbs
38g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 486
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 25g 32%
Saturated Fat 9g 44%
Cholesterol 130mg 43%
Sodium 1621mg 70%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 38g
Vitamin C 8mg 38%
Calcium 456mg 35%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 704mg 15%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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