Low Sodium Meatballs With Ground Turkey

These Low Sodium Meatballs made with Ground Turkey are a fantastic option for those who crave the comfort of a hearty meal but need to keep an eye on their sodium intake, manage their diabetes, or maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Low sodium meatballs
Low sodium meatballs

The star ingredient in this easy, homemade low-sodium meatballs recipe is ground turkey breast. It’s a lean, high-protein meat that’s low in saturated fat, which is great news for your heart health and blood cholesterol levels. It’s also a great choice for those with diabetes because of its high protein content, which can help keep your blood sugar levels steady.

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Ground turkey calories

A 4-ounce serving of ground turkey breast (that’s about the size of a standard deck of cards) typically contains around 150 calories. This makes it a lean option, which is fantastic if you’re keeping an eye on your calorie intake.

Ground turkey protein

Ground turkey is a protein powerhouse. A 4-ounce serving packs about 26 grams of protein. Protein is super important for all sorts of bodily functions, including building and repairing tissues. It’s also a key player in helping you feel full and satisfied after meals.

Turkey health benefits

As for nutrients with health benefits, ground turkey has quite a few:

  • B Vitamins: Ground turkey is a good source of Vitamin B3 (niacin) and Vitamin B6. These vitamins are involved in many functions in your body, including supporting brain health and promoting a strong immune system.

  • Selenium: Ground turkey also contains selenium, a mineral that acts as an antioxidant to help protect your cells from damage. Plus, it supports your thyroid health.

  • Zinc: Zinc, which is essential for a strong immune system, wound healing, and your sense of taste and smell, is another nutrient you’ll find in ground turkey.

So, there you have it! Ground turkey is not only a lean, protein-rich choice but also brings a good mix of vitamins and minerals to your plate. 

Why you will love these homemade low sodium turkey meatballs

These baked, homemade meatballs are a good choice for people with diabetes as they are low in carbohydrates and high in protein. This means you will be full for longer without having spikes in your blood sugar levels.

This recipe is also a great choice for heart health as it is low in total fat, cholesterol, and saturated fat. Furthermore, it has a low sodium content, making it an excellent option for controlling high blood pressure or hypertension.

Ingredients for low sodium meatballs

  • Ground turkey breast: Ground turkey breast is typically sold in the meat section of most grocery stores. If it’s not available, you could ask a butcher to grind some for you, or in a pinch, you could substitute ground chicken or lean ground beef or chicken.
  • Small onion: To grate an onion, you would typically use a cheese grater or a microplane. If chopping, you would use a knife to cut the onion into very small pieces.
  • Parmesan cheese: Shredded or grated Parmesan cheese can be purchased already prepared, or you can grate a block of cheese using a cheese grater.
  • Low-sodium whole-wheat bread crumbs: We have swapped traditional bread crumbs for a low-sodium version, drastically cutting down on the sodium content, which is essential for managing blood pressure.
  • Seasoning: Parsley, garlic, nutmeg, and black pepper are used to season the meatballs.
  • Egg: Choose a large egg. Crack the egg into a bowl and mix it until the yolk and the egg white are fully combined. The egg in this recipe helps to hold the meatball together and offers a good dose of high-quality protein.
Low sodium meatballs - ingredients
Low sodium meatballs – ingredients

Instructions for making low sodium meatballs

This is a really easy recipe to make. Here are the instructions for these homemade, low sodium meatballs:

  • Begin by setting your oven to warm up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Take a broiler pan and its rack and give them a light coating of cooking spray.

  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs, either by using a spoon or your hands. From this mixture, form around 35 balls that are approximately 1 inch in diameter. A 1-inch diameter for each meatball is about the size of a large cherry or a small walnut. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just try to make them all about the same size so they cook evenly. Dust the balls with flour before placing them on the broiler rack. You only need a small amount of flour for this, just enough to give them a light coating.
Low sodium meatballs for baking
Low sodium meatballs for baking
  • Position the meatballs about 4 inches from the broiler’s heat source and cook for roughly 10–15 minutes, or until the tops become a golden brown. After that, flip the meatballs over and continue to broil them for an additional 10–15 minutes, or until they develop a browned exterior and are no longer pink in the middle. The meatballs will be “golden brown” when they have a nice, light brown color on the outside. They’re “no longer pink in the middle” when they’re fully cooked. If you’re not sure, you can cut one open to check; the middle should be the same color as the outside.

Equipment

  • Broiler pan: A broiler pan is a flat pan with a rack on top that allows heat to circulate around the food. If you don’t have one, you can use a regular baking sheet with a wire rack on top.

Serving and storage

  • You can serve these meatballs with a side of spaghetti or any other pasta, or on a sub for a meatball sandwich, or even by themselves with a dipping sauce! They’re super versatile.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days, or you can freeze them for up to 3 months. Just make sure they’re fully cooled before you put them away.
Low sodium meatballs with spaghetti
Low sodium meatballs with spaghetti

Low sodium meatballs - recipe card

Low Sodium Meatballs With Ground Turkey

8f7236c9626d7dcca9cca39f75b7f03fArchana Singh, PhD
These easy, homemade Low Sodium Meatballs are made with lean ground turkey breast, onion, spices, bread crumbs, egg, and Parmesan cheese. They are great for managining high blood pressure, diabetes, and blood cholesterol levels.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 7
Calories 135 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb skinless turkey breast ground
  • 1 small onion grated or finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese shredded or grated, low sodium
  • 1/4 cup low sodium bread crumbs whole-wheat
  • 3 tbsp parsley chopped fresh
  • 1 large egg well beaten
  • 1 medium garlic clove peeled and minced
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg ground
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper ground

Instructions
 

  • Begin by setting your oven to warm up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Take a broiler pan and its rack and give them a light coating of cooking spray.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs, either by using a spoon or your hands. From this mixture, form around 35 balls that are approximately 1 inch in diameter. Dush the balls with flour before placing them on the broiler rack.
  • Position the meatballs about 4 inches from the broiler's heat source and cook for roughly 10-15 minutes, or until the tops become a golden brown. After that, flip the meatballs over and continue to broil them for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until they develop a browned exterior and are no longer pink in the middle.

Nutrition

Calories: 135kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 20gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 136mgPotassium: 198mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gPhosphorus: 205mg
Keyword Diabetes Friendly, Heart Healthy, Low Sodium
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Ground turkey vs ground chicken

Both ground turkey and ground chicken are lean proteins that are healthy alternatives to traditional ground beef.

Ground turkey is a protein superstar, with roughly 26 grams in a 4-ounce serving, and it’s generally lower in calories than ground chicken. Turkey is also rich in other nutrients, like B vitamins, selenium, and zinc. Some people also feel turkey has a slightly stronger flavor compared to chicken, which can be a plus when you’re making a hearty, flavorful dish.

On the other hand, ground chicken is pretty lean, too, and while it has a bit less protein than turkey, we’re talking only a few grams difference. Chicken has a slightly higher fat content, but that can often translate into juicier, more flavorful dishes. Plus, because chicken is a bit milder in flavor than turkey, it’s an excellent choice when you want your spices or sauces to be the star of the show.

So, which one should you choose? It truly depends on what you’re cooking and your personal preference. If you’re after a leaner option with a bit more flavor, go for turkey. If you want something slightly juicier with a mild, versatile flavor, then chicken is your go-to.

Ground turkey vs ground beef

When you choose lean ground turkey, particularly the ground breast, you’re opting for a high-protein, lower-calorie choice. A 4-ounce serving of ground turkey breast has around 150 calories and packs about 26 grams of protein, which is excellent for muscle growth and repair. It’s also rich in B vitamins, zinc, and selenium. The lower fat content can be a bonus if you’re watching your calorie intake or managing certain health conditions like blood cholesterol levels.

Ground beef can vary quite a bit in terms of fat and calorie content, depending on the cut of meat used. A similar 4-ounce serving of lean ground beef (about 90% lean) contains roughly 200 calories and 23 grams of protein. Ground beef is a good source of iron, zinc, selenium, and B vitamins, much like ground turkey, but it typically contains more saturated fat, even in leaner forms.

So, when comparing ground turkey and ground beef, both offer ample protein and essential nutrients, but ground turkey tends to be lower in calories and fat, especially if you stick with ground turkey breast. If your goal is to cut down on calories and saturated fats, ground turkey might be a better choice for you.

What is the healthiest meat to eat?

Meat, when chosen wisely and eaten in moderation, can be part of a heart-healthy diet. It’s all about picking lean cuts and keeping portion sizes in check. Lean meats are rich in protein and can be a good source of important vitamins and minerals without the excess saturated fat that can contribute to heart disease.

Some examples of heart healthy meats include:

1. Turkey: Turkey, especially skinless turkey breast, is one of the leanest meats you can choose. It’s low in saturated fat, high in protein, and packed with vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, selenium, and zinc. Regularly including turkey in your meals can contribute to a lower cholesterol level and a healthier heart. As an added bonus, turkey’s mild flavor makes it a versatile choice that can easily be incorporated into a variety of dishes.

2. Chicken: Much like turkey, skinless chicken breast is another lean, heart-healthy choice. It’s high in protein and provides a good dose of vitamins and minerals.

3. Fish: Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and trout are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their heart-healthy benefits. They help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and even decrease the risk of heart disease.

4. Lean cuts of red meat: Lean cuts of beef or pork, such as sirloin or pork loin, can be part of a heart-healthy diet. They provide protein, iron, and B vitamins. Just remember to watch your portion sizes and try to choose grass-fed or organic options when possible, as they tend to be leaner and have a better nutritional profile.

Eating heart-healthy meats like these can help keep your heart in good shape by providing the nutrients your body needs without an overload of saturated fat. But remember, even the healthiest meats should be part of a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.

Archana Singh, PhD

2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this for the family and everyone loved it. And it’s so easy to make. But most importantly dad loved it. So I’ll probably make it again. It seems to be healthy and flavorful.

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