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Baked Turkey Parmesan Meatballs with Rigatoni and Chunky Tomato Basil Sauce

Baked healthy turkey parmesan meatballs served over rigatoni with an easy chunky tomato basil sauce and extra parmesan cheese. The perfect weeknight dinner!

Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins

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Turkey parmesan meatballs over rigatoni in a bowl

It’s a meatballin’ kind of day.

Too much?

Okay, reeling it back in for a moment for a real time chat about my meatball obsession.  As many of you may or may not know, I normally do not eat beef or pork. It’s a rare occasion that I’ll have a cheeseburger or ham; usually only on vacations or holidays.

Sometimes I miss it, but I’ve become more of a chicken, turkey and seafood kind of girl.  To crush my meat cravings, I switched to lean turkey a while ago and have been popping some badass meatballs out of the oven ever since. See?

Turkey parmesan meatballs over rigatoni in a bowl

I think many people underestimate the deliciousness of turkey or have the misconception that it can be dry. Well today I’m here to show you that it is possible to make tender and juicy meatballs FULL of flavor. All you need is the right amount of spices, a little parmesan and herbs!

Let’s get to it.

Turkey parmesan meatballs ready to bake on a baking sheet

How to make these turkey meatballs:

  1. First mix the turkey, egg, basil, spices, breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese together in a large bowl.
  2. Next, use a cookie scoop to drop meatballs onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You should get around 12 BIG meatballs. If you’d like smaller ones you can make them into 16.
  3. Pop those bad boys in the oven at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. Hello protein!

Turkey parmesan meatballs in a bowl

Serve over rigatoni (or any kind of pasta you like) and my favorite easy jazzed up chunky tomato basil sauce. Sprinkle extra parmesan on top and some basil ribbons if you’re fancy like that.

Basically the easiest dinner ever. Plus it’s incredibly filling. Serve with a side salad for a well-rounded meal. If you make this be sure to snap a photo and tag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram so I can see your creation.

Turkey parmesan meatballs over rigatoni in a bowl

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Baked Turkey Parmesan Meatballs with Rigatoni and Chunky Tomato Basil Sauce

5 from 5 votes
Turkey parmesan meatballs over rigatoni in a bowl
Course Dairy Free, Dinner, Healthy
Keyword turkey parmesan meatballs
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Serves 4
Lean Baked Parmesan Turkey Meatballs served over rigatoni and topped with a jazzed up chunky tomato basil sauce. If you are gluten free, serve it over quinoa or a brown rice pasta! YUM.


  • For the meatballs:
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey (aim for 94%)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs (use gluten free breadcrumbs if you’d like)
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh minced basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups fire roasted tomatoes (about 2 - 15 oz cans)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh minced basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Optional if you like heat: 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
  • For the pasta:
  • 8 oz whole grain or gluten free uncooked rigatoni
  • Extras:
  • Basil, for garnish
  • Extra Parmesan, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic, basil, oregano, cumin, garlic powder and cayenne pepper until well combined. 

  3. Use a cookie scoop to drop meatballs on prepared baking pan; you will get about 12 meatballs. If you want smaller meatballs, use a small cookie scoop to get around 16. Bake for 15 minutes.
  4. While meatballs are baking, you can start the sauce: Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven or a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1 min. Next add in tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, oregano, Italian seasoning and cayenne pepper (if you’d like some heat). 

  5. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 20-30 minutes. Or until sauce thickens up a bit. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  6. Next add cooked meatballs to the sauce and leave on low heat until ready to serve.
  7. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, then divide pasta evenly among four bowls. Top with ½ cup tomato sauce and 3 big meatballs. Garnish with extra parmesan and basil. Enjoy! Serves 4.

Recipe Notes

To make gluten free: Use gluten free breadcrumbs and serve over gluten free pasta. I usually find mine at Whole Foods, but most large grocery stores will carry them. Check the gluten free section.

Servings: 4 large servings
Serving size: 1 serving
Calories: 517kcal
Fat: 13.2g
Carbohydrates: 65.1g
Fiber: 5.4g
Sugar: 11.4g
Protein: 36.2g

{Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Go Veggie! foods, however all opinions are my own. Thanks for continuing to support AK and the brand I work with.}

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