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Sun-Dried Tomato and Ricotta Turkey Meatballs…with all the spaghetti you can eat.

Sun-Dried Tomato and Ricotta Turkey Meatballs | #pasta #Italian #easy #healthy

Because really, is there any other way to eat meatballs?

Well, yes, there is, but pasta is the best way to serve up saucy meatballs like these. And pasta with a good dusting of parmesan cheese, because if you’re eating meatballs and pasta, you might as well add on the parmesan too.

It’s kind of the only way.

Seeing as though it is finally Thursday, and the weekend is right around the corner (yes, yes, yes), I thought I’d share this plate full of cheesy meatballs and pasta with you guys. I don’t know what it is about Friday and Saturday nights, but they always leave me craving some kind of Italian like pasta or pizza. This is probably because when I was a kid my dad would make pasta and pizza on Friday and Saturday nights. In fact, there’s a recipe in the HBH cookbook titled Dad’s Friday Night Pasta. Have any of you tried it? It’s one of my all time favorite recipes. If you have not made it yet, I’d make it soon.

Sun-Dried Tomato and Ricotta Turkey Meatballs | #pasta #Italian #easy #healthy

Sun-Dried Tomato and Ricotta Turkey Meatballs | #pasta #Italian #easy #healthy

Sun-Dried Tomato and Ricotta Turkey Meatballs | #pasta #Italian #easy #healthy

Moving along…

Today I’m sharing a lightened up version of everyone’s favorite Italian comfort food, spaghetti and meatballs!

To be honest, meatballs are not my most favorite food on the planet. I have never really loved them, but I think that’s mostly because I’m not a huge ground beef person. Which is probably why whenever I do make meatballs, they are never very traditional. Enter these ricotta meatballs made with ground turkey (or chicken), lots of ricotta cheese, and flavor packed sun-dried tomatoes. Nothing traditional about these, but oh my gosh, they are so good.

Especially when tossed with a quick homemade basil and white wine tomato sauce…along with pasta and parmesan, of course.

Again, again, SO GOOD.

Sun-Dried Tomato and Ricotta Turkey Meatballs | #pasta #Italian #easy #healthy

Sun-Dried Tomato and Ricotta Turkey Meatballs | #pasta #Italian #easy #healthy

The meatballs balls are a pretty simple mix of ricotta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil, and parsley. There are no eggs and no breadcrumbs. The ricotta cheese acts as a binder, helping to hold the meatballs together, while flavoring them at the same time. While the ricotta is delicious in these meatballs, the key ingredient in this recipe is really the sun-dried tomatoes.

It’s probably no secret that I love sun-dried tomatoes. They hold so much delicious flavor and I often add them to my recipes to add in an extra layer of color and flavor. The tomatoes not only add flavor, but the oils in them help to keep the lean ground turkey from drying out, which is awesome seeing as most of the time meatballs can tend to be on the dry side.

To keep things easy and simple, I prefer to bake my meatballs rather than pan-fry. This just creates less of a mess, it’s also much healthier. Plus I don’t have to stand over the stove and tend to tiny meatballs for thirty minutes. Trust me, baking is the way to go.

While the meatballs bake up in the oven, I like to make a quick tomato sauce using ingredients straight outta my pantry. It’s amazing what a couple of cans of good San Marzano tomatoes, some white wine, and a few handfuls of fresh basil can do.

Put it all together, add some pasta, and a few gratings of fresh parmesan, and dinner is done. Simple, yummy, and a pretty healthy…ish.

Sun-Dried Tomato and Ricotta Turkey Meatballs | #pasta #Italian #easy #healthy

Sun-Dried Tomato and Ricotta Turkey Meatballs | #pasta #Italian #easy #healthy

Sun-Dried Tomato and Ricotta Turkey Meatballs

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories Per Serving: 338 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.



  • 1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
    2. Add the turkey, ricotta, parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes, 1 clove garlic, 1/2 cup basil, the parsley, crushed red pepper flakes, and a pinch each of salt and pepper to a bowl. Coat your hands with a bit of olive oil, and roll the meat into 2 tablespoon size balls (will make 10-12 meatballs), placing them on the prepared baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the meatballs are crisp on the outside, but not yet cooked through on the inside.
    3. To a large pot set over medium heat, add the tomatoes - crushing them by hand as you add them, the wine, remaining 2 cloves garlic, oregano, and a large pinch each of salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stir in the meatballs and cook stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly and the meatballs are cooked through, about 25-30 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup basil. 
    4. Divide the pasta among plates and spoon the meatballs and sauce over the pasta. Top with fresh basil. 
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Sun-Dried Tomato and Ricotta Turkey Meatballs | #pasta #Italian #easy #healthy

Now, is it Friday yet?  I can’t wait to eat all the turkey meatballs and pasta?!?! Soon. Soon.

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  1. 1 star
    I usually never comment on recipes but the recipe in the cookbook for this dish was a complete disaster. Pasta & sauce came out mushy and meatballs did not cook through. Had to throw it all away. Normally a big fan of HBH recipes but do not recommend this one.

    1. Hi Neha,
      So very sorry to hear you had some issues with the recipe. Was there anything you may have adjusted or anything that I can help with? Please let me know! xx

  2. 4 stars
    The meatballs were a little dry but I think it could be attributed to using lean ground turkey. Next time I’ll use a higher fat content and see if they turn out better. I also made the tomato sauce but honestly I think a jar of Rao’s marinara would have been tastier.

  3. 1 star
    This recipe is delicious- but the version in the HBH cookbook is a DISASTER. The meatballs fell apart when stirred and watering down the sauce watered out most of the flavors. I’m really disappointed with how it turned out- not at all what I expected considering how much I have loved your online recipes!

    1. Hi Kayci,
      I would do at least 30 minutes at 450F. Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xT

  4. 1 star
    I followed this recipe in the HBH book (p. 196) and it fell apart in many places. Raw eggs in the marinara sauce? This has to be an error. Now I see online recipe is a little different. I am so disappointed since I purchased my first HBH book and my son and set aside this evening to do this together.

    1. Hi Susan,
      Thanks for giving the recipe a try and sharing your feedback, sorry to hear you had some issues. Just to clarify, the recipes in the cookbooks and the recipes that are online are completely different, they are not meant to be the same:) The recipe in the cookbook is correct, it has been tested by myself and other recipe testers several times. Yes, the eggs go in the marinara sauce, it cooks for a full 40 minutes in the oven. Please let me know how else I can help with the recipe and in what areas in fell apart! xx

  5. Hi, question about the ingredients – is it 2-28 ounce cans of tomatoes or 28 ounces total for the tomatoes? I’m sure I’m overthinking it but wanted to confirm! Thanks!

    1. Hey Kelsey,
      It’s 2 cans each 28 ounces:) I hope this helps, let me know if you give the recipe a try! xT

      1. You may need to make that clearer….I had that same question. Plan to make this tonight!

    1. Hey Heather,
      Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you and appreciate you giving it a try! xT

  6. 5 stars
    Best. Meatballs. Ever. We have made these time and time again – my fiance practically begs for them if we haven’t made them in a couple of weeks! Thank you Tieghan, for another perfectly cozy recipe. You make our bellies and hearts so warm whenever we make your meals!

    1. Hey Gretchen,
      Happy Wednesday! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it and sharing your feedback! xx

  7. 5 stars
    I made these last night and they were DELICIOUS. Easy to make, and lighter because there are no breadcrumbs. I love how there is basically no chopping necessary to make these. SO GOOD– will make them all the time. Thanks Tieghan!

  8. 2 stars
    I have made several recipes from halfbakedharvest before, all of which ranged from delicious to excellent. But this recipe falls short…quite short. The spices are seriously lacking. I added quite a bit more basil, oregano, parsley, and more salt and pepper. I added some italian seasoning, too. Then the sauce was pretty good. I thought if anyone can make turkey meatballs appetizing, halfbakedharvest could. But sadly, I was wrong. The meatballs were a bit like a dry sponge, even with that ricotta. I tried it once, but I will not be trying again.

  9. I am prepping for a big friend dinner later in the week and trying to do some “pre-cooking”. Can the meat balls be made/baked in advance and then finished off in the sauce day of? If so, how many days in advance can this be done?

    1. Hey Cristina,
      Honestly, I would probably assemble toe meatballs and then freeze them uncooked. I think this will prevent them from drying out in the sauce. You can then thaw and finish the recipe off the day of. I hope this helps! xTieghan

  10. Question: is it two 28 ounce cans of tomatoes, or a total of 28 ounces of canned tomatoes? The recipe isn’t clear. And unfortunately I’m cooking it right now!??‍♀️?

    1. Hey Karen,
      The recipe calls for 2-28 ounce cans of tomatoes. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know how it turns out! xTieghan

  11. 5 stars
    This is yet another winning recipe from HBH! The meatballs are lovely and tender with a rich, yet fresh, flavour. We had them with a spaghetti squash and it was just right.

    Thank you for keeping my meal rotation fresh and interesting.

    1. Hey Darcy,
      Happy Wednesday! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for making it! xTieghan