Skip to content

35+ Best Healthy Meatball Recipes for Weight Loss

From soups to lettuce wraps, here are our favorite meatball recipes to whip up at home.
PIN Print

Meatballs made their debut in America during the 19th century when Italians migrated to the States and started dishing them up with spaghetti—and we're forever grateful. Although a lot has changed since then, meatball mania has only gotten better and better. They've made their way out of spaghetti bowls and onto kabobs and into soups. And meatballs consistently hold their own against other apps at the party table. Between chicken, ground turkey, grass-fed beef, pork, and veggie, there are healthy meatball recipes on this list for every type of dieter.

And for more, don't miss these 35+ Healthy Pasta Recipes for Weight Loss.

Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

healthy spaghetti meatballs
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Traditional meatballs are made with a mixture of beef, pork, and veal. Turkey, lean and tender, replaces the latter two in these meatballs, saving you major calories while simultaneously providing your taste buds with major yum. And if anything, go heavy on the meatballs and light on the pasta.

Get our recipe for Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs.

STAY INFORMED: Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest food news delivered straight to your inbox.

Asian Chicken Meatballs

Paleo asian chicken meatballs
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

These chicken meatballs are inspired by street-corner grills in Vietnam and Thailand, where ginger, garlic, and chiles reign supreme. With those bold flavors, plus the char of a hot charcoal grill, you won't need a fat-heavy mix of meat, or even a pile of spaghetti, to make an outstanding dinner with this chicken meatballs recipe. Serve them with steamed rice, cucumbers, maybe a bit of sauce, and big lettuce leaves for wrapping, and let everyone make their own Asian-style burrito.

Get our recipe for Asian Chicken Meatballs.

Spicy Turkey Meatballs with Sweet Potato Fries

Whole30 Spicy Meatballs with sweet potato fries
Posie Brien/Eat This, Not That!

These lean turkey baked meatballs pack a punch of spice and are the perfect comfort food for a Whole30 diet. They are flavorful thanks to the dried herbs and fresh chopped parsley, while almond meal keeps them moist, standing in for the breadcrumbs. This dish is Whole30-approved and gluten-free.

Get our recipe for Spicy Turkey Meatballs with Sweet Potato Fries.

 31+ Best Healthy Ground Turkey Recipes for Weight Loss

Meatballs With Polenta

Healthy meatballs polenta
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This recipe lightens up the meatball (using sirloin and turkey instead of veal and pork), but, more importantly, it ditches the spaghetti in favor of polenta, an Italian staple of stone-ground corn with a fraction of the calories, but just as hearty, creamy, and completely delicious.

Get our recipe for Meatballs With Polenta.

Italian Meatball Soup

Paleo meatball soup
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Though it's light in calories, this is still a potent bowl of goodness—served with a lightly dressed salad, it makes for an incredible weekday dinner. Also perfect for meal planning as it will keep great frozen in the fridge. Double the recipe, and you'll be set for the week!

Get our recipe for Italian Meatball Soup.

The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

Crock-Pot Italian Meatballs

Crock pot Italian meatballs with spaghetti
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

This slow cooker recipe will create a delectable homemade sauce as the Italian meatballs start to cook, and it will only take you 2 to 4 hours to do so.

Get our recipe for Crock-Pot Italian Meatballs.

 8 Fastest Crock-Pot Freezer Meals—Ever

Turkey Swedish Meatballs

Paleo swedish meatballs
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This version of the Swedish meatball cuts the beef with turkey, which is tender and light like veal, but considerably leaner. You'll save on calories, but you'll gain considerably on taste!

Get our recipe for Turkey Swedish Meatballs.

Classic Italian Meatballs

close up of Italian meatballs plate
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Ever want to learn how to make authentic Italian meatballs? This recipe is a classic straight from one editor's Italian grandmother who shared all her secrets for the best tasting Italian meatballs around.

Get our recipe for Classic Italian Meatballs.

Vegan Eggplant Meatballs with Kale Pesto

vegan eggplant meatballs
Courtesy of The First Mess

These vegan meatballs, made from eggplant, chickpea water, and almond flour, are the perfect hearty dish for anyone looking to sneak more nutrient-dense ingredients into their meals. Don't forget to whip up the kale pesto to serve alongside it!

Get the recipe from The First Mess

Feta Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini Pasta

zucchini pasta with turkey meatballs
Courtesy of Inspiralized

No noodles? No problem! Zucchini pasta takes the place of spaghetti in this health-conscious dish, which is served with tasty feta turkey meatballs. We love that this recipe utilizes two cheeses—feta and parmesan—to keep you coming back for more.

Get the recipe from Inspiralized

 100 of the Most Popular Fast-Food Items You've Got to Try at Least Once

Baked Apple Cider BBQ Turkey Meatballs

bowl of bbq turkey meatballs
Courtesy of Cupcakes and Kale Chips

Apple cider and meatballs is the unlikely combination you didn't realize you needed in your life, until now. Baked meatballs meet their match when they are coated with a mouthwatering BBQ-apple cider glaze that takes just seconds to prepare. Breadcrumbs can easily be switched out for ground oats or almond flour to make this dish a gluten-free one, too.

Get the recipe from Cupcakes and Kale Chips

Green Curry Sweet Potato Chicken Meatballs

sweet potato chicken meatballs in pan
Courtesy of Fit Foodie Finds

We love that instead of using eggs to bind together the meat, this recipe calls for shredded sweet potato, which is a healthy, and tasty, alternative. Complete the meal by serving this delicious curry dish over warm rice, quinoa, or rice noodles.

Get the recipe from Fit Foodie Finds

Greek Meatball Gyro Bowls

greek meatball bowl
Courtesy of Inspiralized

This Greek meatball recipe, made using ground lamb and garlic and topped with tangy tzatziki sauce, gets an extra boost of nutrients from a side salad featuring crunchy spiralized carrots. The best part? This vitamin-rich meal takes just 45 minutes to make!

Get the recipe from Inspiralized

 45+ Best Healthy Copycat Restaurant Recipes to Try Tonight

Lemon Cardamom Meatballs

lemon cardamom meatballs in a pan
Courtesy of Heartbeet Kitchen

Flavorful cardamom takes center stage in this lemon cardamom meatball recipe that is packed with pine nuts and lemon zest and served with a garlic tahini sauce. Be sure to make extra while preparing this recipe—this dish is so comforting and tasty, you may just come back for seconds (or thirds).

Get the recipe from Heartbeet Kitchen

Sweet and Sour Meatball Skewers

sweet and sour meatball skewers
Courtesy of Taste and Tell

Meatballs on a skewer? Sign us up! This recipe comes to life by using frozen meatballs, fresh-cut red and green peppers, and apricot jam. It takes under half an hour to make, so you will have this meal ready in no time.

Get the recipe from Taste and Tell

Skillet Lemon Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

pan of lemon rosemary turkey meatballs with halved lemon
Courtesy of Recipe Runner

Fragrant rosemary and zesty lemon come together to make this dish a memorable one. One of its best parts? Its mouthwatering white wine sauce is made by combining chopped shallots, dry white wine, chicken broth, and lip-puckering lemon juice.

Get the recipe from Recipe Runner

 47 Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes You Need To Make

Chicken Meatball Pitas

chicken meatball pita with hummus and lemon wedge
Courtesy of How Sweet Eats

Chicken meatballs, roasted red pepper whipped feta, tzatziki sauce, and freshly chopped vegetables are layered inside a warm pita to create one of the most scrumptious dishes that can be eaten for lunch or dinner. We imagine this tasty recipe would pair great with a steaming cup of avgolemono soup or a side of garlicky rice.

Get the recipe from How Sweet Eats

Keto Meatballs alla Parmigiana

meatballs parmigiana
Courtesy of I Breathe Im Hungry

If you are looking for a keto-friendly, gluten-free meatballs alla parmigiana recipe, then today is your lucky day. This low-carb dish, which swaps out breadcrumbs for almond flour and uses an easy-to-make keto marinara sauce, is also full of protein.

Get the recipe from I Breathe, I'm Hungry

Buffalo Cauliflower Quinoa Meatballs

buffalo cauliflower quinoa meatballs
Courtesy of The Almond Eater

Cauliflower is sneaking its way into everything from pizza, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and rice recipes to meatballs. This recipe also has hot sauce, meaning it'll rev up your metabolism, too.

Get the recipe from The Almond Eater.

 13 Delicious Recipes That Prove Cauliflower Is the Greatest Thing Ever

Italian Meatball Minestrone Soup

italian meatball
Courtesy of The Cozy Apron

This soup is brimming with nutrient-rich veggies, protein-packed lean beef meatballs, and fibrous beans. In fact, beans contain a special kind of fiber that resists digestion, keeping you fuller longer.

Get the recipe from The Cozy Apron.

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Meatballs

hawaiian bbq chicken meatballs
Courtesy of The Little Spice Jar

If you're eating something marinated in BBQ sauce, you can almost guarantee it's full of sugar and sodium, thanks to the processed sauce. And while sodium is an essential nutrient (aiding in bodily fluid balance, maintaining blood volume, and moderating blood pressure), excessive sodium intake raises blood pressure and causes fluid retention. This recipe is an exception to the rule because it's made with a homemade BBQ sauce, so we were all over it!

Get the recipe from Little Spice Jar.

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatballs

bacon cheeseburger meatballs
Courtesy of An Affair from the Heart

You won't even miss the nutrient-void bun with these bacon cheeseburger meatballs. Whether you pair them with a salad or grilled veggies, serve them as an app, or just use them to put the thrill back into dinner, we promise that your taste buds won't be disappointed. Just make sure to opt for grass-fed beef, which is naturally higher in protein.

Get the recipe from An Affair from the Heart.

Chicken Nugget Meatballs

chicken meatball
Courtesy of I Breathe I'm Hungry

Apparently, chicken nugget meatballs are a thing—and we're into it. Aside from being a creative way to get your munchkins to expand their diet and nutrient intake, they'll even have you smitten.

Get the recipe from I Breathe, I'm Hungry.

 I Tried The Costco Chicken Nuggets That " Taste Like Chick-fil-A," and I Have Some Thoughts

Roasted Garlic Rosemary Baked Meatballs

roasted garlic rosemary meatballs
Courtesy of Will Cook For Smiles

Both fresh rosemary and garlic are sources of antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral chemicals. Plus, the herbs house several antioxidant essential oils such as cineol, camphene, borneol, and bornyl acetate. So if you needed any more of a reason to roast these flavorful meatballs, a serious health boost should do it.

Get the recipe from Will Cook for Smiles.

Zucchini Meatballs

zucchini meatballs
Courtesy of Skinny Taste

From zoodles to zoats, zucchinis are one of the most versatile veggies around. And with a super low calorie and carb content and adaptable taste, they can be snuck into almost any recipe and improve the nutritional profile. For more ways to slim down your meals with the super squash, check out these 25 Zucchini Recipes for Weight loss.

Get the recipe from Skinny Taste.

Creamy Swedish Meatballs

swedish meatballs
Courtesy of Damn Delicious

Skip Ikea and whip up this homemade Scandinavian favorite. Not only will you save 85 calories and 609 milligrams of sodium, but you'll get 10 more grams of satiating protein. Sounds like a no-brainer to us.

Get the recipe from Damn Delicious.

Asian Chicken Meatball Lettuce Wraps

asian chicken meatball
Courtesy of Just a Taste

This recipe has a ton of protein, a macronutrient that boosts metabolic activity, increases satiety, and even helps the body retain muscle while frying flab.

Get the recipe from Just a Taste.

 73+ Best Healthy Lunch Recipes for Weight Loss

Mozzarella Stuffed Turkey Meatballs

mozzarella stuffed meatballs
Courtesy of Baker By Nature

It's hard to imagine anything more divine than biting into a juicy meatball and finding melted mozzarella inside. To lower the saturated fat content, opt for part-skim cheese. While eating full-fat dairy is associated with a smaller frame over time, in a dish like this, there's so much to obsess about that you won't even miss the few extra grams of fat or calories.

Get the recipe from Baker by Nature.

Cauliflower Vegetarian Meatballs

cauliflower meatballs
Courtesy of Pinch of Yum

Just because you don't eat meat doesn't mean you can't enjoy the Italian staple. This meatless recipe is made with cauliflower, quinoa, egg, almond flour, garlic, and spices. Not only do they look like the real thing, but the plant-based ingredient list also does a fine job of satisfying the occasional meatball hankering. P.S.: You can use a similar recipe to create meatless burgers!

Get the recipe from Pinch of Yum.

Porcupine Meatballs

porcupine meatballs
Courtesy of The Recipe Critic

Despite its name, there aren't actual porcupines in this recipe—but they do contain long-grain rice, giving them a porcupine appearance. To increase its weight-shrinking effects, let the rice cool after it's cooked. This changes the starches into resistant starches through a process called retrogradation. According to researchers from the College of Chemical Sciences in Sri Lanka, chilling rice overnight can increase the amount of resistant starch 10 times more than traditionally cooked rice, and it has 10-15% fewer calories!

Get the recipe from The Recipe Critic.

 20 Resistant Starch Recipes

Cheesy Meatball Bites

cheesy meatball bites
Courtesy of Butter with a Side of Bread

Meatball parm addicts, we have a killer recipe for you. It's tough being on a weight-loss diet when you're an Italian foodie. But with a little portion control, you can still enjoy this classic dish. Start here.

Get the recipe from Butter with a Side of Bread.

Slow Cooker Kale & Turkey Meatball Soup

kale turkey meatballs
Courtesy of Foodie Crush

Kale's been stealing the superfood spotlight for a while now—and for good reason. It has one of the highest ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) ratings, promotes urinary health, fights cancer, and aids weight loss. Combined with lean ground turkey meatballs, veggies, and low sodium broth—and a whopping 53.2 grams of protein and just 31.8 grams of sodium per cup—this soup is a rare breed.

Get the recipe from Foodie Crush.

Feta Stuffed Greek Meatballs

feta stuffed greek turkey meatballs
Courtesy of Sweet Peas and Saffron

With immunity-boosting lemon juice, antifungal garlic, and satiating feta cheese, these are some wholesome, savory meatballs. Drizzled with a tasty yogurt sauce, this one livens up even the most boring menu. To boost the protein count, opt for Greek yogurt over plain.

Get the recipe from Sweet Peas and Saffron.

Hibachi Steakhouse Meatballs

hibachi steakhouse meatballs
Courtesy of I Breathe I'm Hungry

These low-carb, gluten-free steakhouse meatballs are made on the grill and served kabob style, making them more visually appealing and more fun to prepare and eat.

Get the recipe from I Breathe, I'm Hungry.

Mini Meatball Spaghetti Pie

mini meatball spaghetti pie
Courtesy of The Melrose Family

This recipe is so simple and effortless, you'll wonder why you hadn't thought of it sooner.

Get the recipe from The Melrose Family.

Thai Chicken Meatballs with Peanut Sauce

chicken meatballs peanut sauce
Courtesy of Jo Cooks

Ah, peanut butter. The foodie fave contains a plant sterol called beta-sitosterol, which helps manage stress. Studies indicate that it helps balance out the stress hormone cortisol, which is why PB has you dipping into the jar a little too often. Fortunately, when PB is heated, a little bit goes a long way; so you can innocently get your fix! But if you're consuming peanut butter on a daily basis, check out The 20 Top Peanut Butters—Ranked!

Get the recipe from Jo Cooks.


Get more easy weeknight recipe ideas:

21 Best Healthy Baked Chicken Recipes for Weight Loss

30 Healthy Stuffed Chicken Recipes to Make Tonight

17 Best Healthy Steak Recipes

0/5 (0 Reviews)
Brittany Natale
Brittany Natale is a food and lifestyle writer. Read more about Brittany