Sneaky Italian Turkey Meatballs

Sneaky foods…my favorite! I love to take my families favorite meals and sneak in as many veggies as possible. These Sneaky Meatballs are a fan favorite and perfect to make a large batch and freeze for nights when you just don’t know what to make for dinner.

Sneaky Italian Turkey Meatballs

Ah yes, sneaky foods….. my favourite. Sneaky foods are when I take my husbands favourite foods and sneak vegetables into them. He loooooves when I do this. Ps. That is sarcasm.

This sneaky food thing started when I spent a year sneaking carrots and zucchini into his pasta meat sauce before he caught on – hence Sneaky Meat Sauce.

Sneaky Italian Turkey Meatballs

So here is the second recipe in my super sneaky recipe collection – SNEAKY ITALIAN TURKEY MEATBALLS!

Meatballs have become a regular item in our freezer for the last 6 months. We have been a fan of Little Spice Jar’s Firecracker Meatballs, and if you are in the Confessions of a Meal Plan Addict Facebook Community  you have probably made these. We talk about these meatballs a lot.

But, since I have been filling my freezer with my Instant Pot Marinara, I was looking for a less sweet, and more savory meatball… that was a lean protein… and I could sneak veggies into.

Sneaky Italian Turkey Meatballs

Lean meat, such as turkey, is easy to dry out, and the addition of zucchini keeps these moist. Besides the healthy factor, this recipe is really as simple as dump everything in a bowl and then roll it into balls!

Sneaky Italian Turkey Meatballs

These freeze well so making a big batch isn’t an issue – in fact it’s encouraged. Make them once and have multiple meals!

My favourite thing to do is to simmer these meatballs in marinara and then toss some cheese on top… and then on top of noodles. Zucchini noodles for me, and whole wheat pasta noodles for my husband. You could also throw these into soups, on rice, on spiralized vegetables, or just pop them as a snack like my husband does.

Sneaky Italian Turkey Meatballs


Sneaky Italian Turkey Meatballs

Print Recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 20 meatballs
Calories 100
Author Confessions of a Meal Plan Addict


  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 cups panko crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder


  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and combine. Do not over mix.
  • Roll into balls
  • Line a baking pan with parchment
  • Bake the meatballs for 20-30 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of at least 165F. Bake time may differ depending on the size of your meatballs.


Calories: 100kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 4g

So, there you have it, another way to be all sneaky sneaky and hide an entire zucchini inside meat!

Sneaky Italian Turkey Meatballs

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  1. If you’re prepping these ahead for the freezer do you still pre-cook them?? Do the dry out if you pre-cook and then re-heat?

    1. I haven’t done these in the IP as there is no liquid in this recipe. If you wanted to add a sauce, you could cook for 10 minutes. But, I haven’t tried it.

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