Kalyn's Kitchen

Turkey Meatballs with Romano Cheese and Herbs

Turkey Meatballs with Romano Cheese and Herbs have added nutrition from hemp hearts, and these tasty low-carb meatballs are also gluten-free! 

PIN Turkey Meatballs with Romano Cheese and Herbs to try them later!

Low-Carb Turkey Meatballs with Romano Cheese and Herbs found on KalynsKitchen.com

When I first tried these Turkey Meatballs with Romano Cheese and Herbs, ground turkey was something I’d been working hard to gain an appreciation for. Now I’ve been using ground turkey in meatballs and meatloaf for quite a while, and these low-carb meatballs with lots of ground herbs and Romano cheese are still one of my favorites.

In this updated version I added a small amount of hemp hearts to the recipe to bump up the nutrition, but that’s completely optional. The meatballs are a little soft to work with, and you do have to watch them so the cheese doesn’t burn when you’re frying them, but if you want a flavorful meatball that’s low-carb, and gluten-free, I think this recipe is a keeper!

Low-Carb Turkey Meatballs with Romano Cheese and Herbs found on KalynsKitchen.com

How to Make Turkey Meatballs with Romano Cheese and Herbs:

(Scroll down for complete recipe, including nutritional information.)

  1. Start by mixing together granulated garlic, rubbed sage, dried rosemary, and dried thyme in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and grinding until it’s in fairly small pieces.
  2. Then add that to the ground turkey, along with 1/2 cup finely grated Romano (or Parmesan-Romano) cheese, hemp hearts (if using), Worcestershire sauce, and an egg.
  3. Mix all the ingredients together with clean hands.
  4. Then use your hands to roll the mixture into meatballs.
  5. You can make about 30 small meatballs or 18-20 larger ones, but I went for the slightly larger ones so I didn’t have so many to keep turned in the frying pan.
  6. Heat a little olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and cook the meatballs until they are well-browned and done clear through, about 15 minutes.
  7. It’s important to keep turning them often so the cheese doesn’t burn, so I started with about 2/3 of the meatballs and added more as they started to get done.
  8. I used an Instant Read Meat Thermometer (affiliate link) to make sure they were done, but you can also cut one in half.
  9. I love to serve the meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce or Market Street Grill Creamy Cucumber Sauce.

Low-Carb Turkey Meatballs with Romano Cheese and Herbs found on KalynsKitchen.com

More Ideas with Ground Turkey:

Healthy and Tasty Turkey Meatballs from Cucina Bella
Grilled Sriracha-Sesame Turkey Meatballs from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Baked Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs from Cookin’ Canuck
Turkey Pesto Meatloaf with Tomato Sauce from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Turkey Meatballs with Tomatoes and Basil from Simply Recipes
Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Thai Red Curry Turkey Meatballs from The Perfect Pantry
Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Turkey Meatballs with Romano Cheese and Herbs

Turkey Meatballs with Romano Cheese and Herbs

Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Turkey Meatballs with Romano Cheese and Herbs are so tasty and the low-carb meatballs have added nutrition from hemp hearts.


  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup Romano Cheese (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup raw hemp seed (optional)
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic (I would not substitute garlic powder)
  • 1 tsp. teaspoon rubbed sage (or less)
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary (or less)
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme (or less)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tsp. olive oil, for frying the meatballs


  1. Take ground turkey out of the refrigerator, put into medium sized plastic bowl, and let come to room temperature.
  2. While turkey is coming to room temperature, put granulated garlic, dried sage, dried rosemary, and dried thyme in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and grind until it’s fairly fine. (If you’re making these meatballs for kids I might use a smaller amount of herbs, especially the sage and rosemary, since those are fairly strong flavors.)
  3. When meat is room temperature, sprinkle ground herbs, Romano or Parmesan-Romano cheese, and hemp hearts over the meat.
  4. Then add the egg and Worcestershire sauce.
  5. Wash hands.
  6. Then use your hands to mix the herbs, cheese, and egg into the ground turkey. (Try not to over mix, just squeeze together until it’s combined.)
  7. Use a spoon to scoop out same-size pieces of meat and form into individual meatballs by rolling them between your hands. (The mixture will be soft, but it will firm when the turkey is cooked.)
  8. When all meatballs are rolled, heat 1 T (3 tsp.) olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan. (Add the additional tsp. of olive oil as they cook if needed.)
  9. Fry meatballs over medium heat, turning every few minutes to a new side, until all meatballs are well browned and done through, about 15 minutes.
  10. Cut one in half to be sure the inside is done, or test with a meat thermometer to be sure the temperature is at least 165F for ground turkey.
  11. Serve hot. I love these meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce or Market Street Grill Creamy Cucumber Sauce.


You can also use Parmesan-Romano Cheese or Parmesan Cheese if that's what you have; you don’t need freshly grated cheese for this recipe. Using Hemp Seeds (affiliate link) makes the meatballs more nutritious and adds a nutty flavor, but they're totally optional.

Recipe adapted from Healthy and Tasty Turkey Meatballs at Cucina Bella.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 453Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 171mgSodium: 349mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 37g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Low-Carb Turkey Meatballs with Romano Cheese and Herbs are a good choice for any phase of the South Beach Diet, and it’s great for other low-carb eating plans. I have not found any definitive information about Hemp Hearts for the South Beach diet, but they have hardly any carbs, so I am assuming they would be an approved ingredient for South Beach and low-carb eating plans.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Quick Recipes or Turkey Recipes for more recipe ideas like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for This Recipe:
This recipe was updated October 2012, with better photos, better instructions, and the addition of Hemp Hearts for added nutrition. It was last updated October 2020.

Pinterest image of Turkey Meatballs with Romano Cheese and Herbs

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    63 Comments on “Turkey Meatballs with Romano Cheese and Herbs”

  1. Those turkey meatballs sounds great – they are lighter than veal or beef, right? They look delicious!

  2. Aww Kalyn, thanks for the mention. Your meatballs look and sound delish! I love parmesan in them.

    I’ve also been experimenting with adding a small portion of ground sausage to the mix — great flavor! I have to get a good photo though so I can blog about them.

  3. I just found your blog and I’m so excited! I was starting to get bored with the food I was making for the SB diet. Your recipes look delicious! Thank you!

  4. These look good! I also make a turkey florentine meatball from Rachel Ray that uses frozen spinach, milk and an egg to keep them moist. When my neighbors smell them cooking they are at my back door waiting for them to come out of the oven!

  5. Aren’t meatballs with romano cheese great! I think adding a little parm or pecorino romano to the meat mixture adds so much flavor. thanks for the recipe!

  6. Genie, they were tasty!

    Recipe Girl, oh yes, I do know about taking the weight off in January!

  7. I’d like to try this one… we’re eating a bit South Beach friendly these days. Taking the weight off, you know?

  8. I’ve definitely never tried turkey meatballs, but want to give them a whirl — these look delicious! I’ve totally been experiencing a meatball craving lately, and I think these would hit the spot.

  9. Thanks for all the good ideas everyone. I’ve never tried cooking meatballs on a pan with liquid in the bottom, but it sounds interesting.

  10. I think a great and easy way to cook meatballs is to put them on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet (with rims) and then add some broth. Cook on 425 for 20 minutes or so. This way I don’t have to stand over stove.

  11. Starting SBD phase I next week and this will be one of the first things I cook…sounds yummy. I like to use a stand mixer with the dough hook to mix meatballs or meatloaf, then a small ice cream scoop to “dip” them out. Thanks for your blog. It’s the BEST resource, from recipes to food products (love Penzey’s spices) to equipment. Can’t imagine SBD without it. Carol

  12. Ground turkey is growing on me too. The taste is good and my only reservation is it can be dry. No probs, add some moisture back in with some olive oil and even tomato tomato puree.

  13. Janet, love the idea of adding spinach!

  14. I thaw a frozen box of chopped spinach, wring it out well and add it to turkey meatballs. It is healthy, good and pretty too. Freeze them on a cookie sheet, bag and take a few out for a quick meal or sandwhich. I try to use good ground turkey from my butcher not the pre-packaged variety which can include ground up skin.

  15. I’m glad people like the idea of using turkey in meatballs. Cilantro turkey burgers sound great to me. Lydia, Parmesan-Romano is a supermarket blend, lower in fat than Parmesan. Love the idea of falafel mix as a binder in meatballs too.

  16. Kalyn
    I haven’t even had my breakfast yet but I’m craving these meatballs. They go on the menu this week for sure. Thanks.

  17. Yummieeeee…Since I’m on the South Beach diet, I can eat these sometimes this week. I love your blog and all the receipes you are posting. Thank you! 🙂

  18. Is Parmesan-Romano a blend you can buy in the supermarket? I love turkey meatballs; I often used dried falafel mix instead of bread crumbs when I make mine — would that be allowed on South Beach? The mix is ground chickpeas with herbs.

  19. My mother-in-law introduced me to tasty turkey meatballs that are baked in an inch or so of water. They come out nice and fluffy.

    I also really like the cilantro turkey burgers over on Cara’s Cravings blog–whether you make them big or small.

    I’m glad you are getting into ground turkey; we only eat ground turkey and chicken in my house! It’s great for tacos, too. We use a low sodium taco seasoning to make turkey taco meat for salads and wraps.

  20. These look absolutely tasty. And I like that they use turkey instead of the usual beef or pork.