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. Nicole, I agree that it doesn't have to feel like a "diet"! Glad you agree. Sometimes the ground turkey can be a bit dry if there isn't much fat in it; I would try adding about 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the mixture when you mix it.

  2. Thanks again for the recipes, Kalyn! I made these a couple of weeks ago now, and they were very delicious. Mine were a little dry, so I'd like to find a way to maybe make them a little more moist. They were great with broccoli and mashed cauliflower. This hardly ever feels like a "diet", does it?! 🙂

  3. Charity Mom, keep it up and it will work, I can promise you that. And I do wish you luck!

  4. Hi Kalyn!

    I linked to you recently on my blog http://charitymom.blogspot.com. I’ve lost 18 lbs on South Beach so far, and I’m continuing to work towards my goal of a healthier lifestyle. I’ve gained more than 40 lbs since the death of my first daughter, and I’ve been on more diets than I can count. Since food is my drug to make the pain go away, I haven’t found anything that works for me. Until now! I even made it through one of my toughest times of the year (her birthday) without falling off the wagon.

    I’m NOT a cook. I don’t like cooking. I’m intimidated in the kitchen and scared to tried things. Tonight, I’m trying the turkey meatballs for my husband’s birthday tomorrow. We’re having his parents over and it’s a bit stressful. I’m making it with whole wheat penne pasta since I’m in Phase II.

    Wish me luck. Tomorrow night…something for salmon. I’ll be searching your site!


  5. I am English so it’s pretty easy to come by! 😉 It’s very strong, you don’t need much.

  6. Jen, not sure if parmesan is saltier than Romano cheese, but I think it might be. Have to admit, I do love my salt too, but I’m trying to cut down because lots of times I cook for my dad and stepmom who should avoid salt!

    English mustard sounds interesting, never tried it but I love mustard!

  7. I didn’t add salt and pepper into the mix, but sprinkled it on top after I made it. Next time I will season the mince before making the meatballs, I think. Maybe it’s because I used parmesan instead of romano cheese, or maybe I just like my food salty! It worked really well with the English mustard.

  8. Jen, glad you liked them. I don’t have salt (or pepper) in the listed ingredients, did you add it? The cheese is fairly salty so I didn’t use any salt when I made them.

  9. I just made these. They were great, although next time I will use a little salt and pepper and perhaps more herbs. I ate them with homemade sugarfree baked beans and mustard on the side. Thanks Kalyn!

  10. I love how they look- and know they taste just as good. Maybe meatballs tonight?

  11. These look delicious and not burnt, just crispy. I love crispiness, it’s full of flavor. Thank you!


  12. Hi Kayln! I just wanted to thank you so much for these wonderful recipes…so happy I stumpled upon your blog!! I have insulin resistance and eating the same ole’ thing can get terribly boring, thanks again for all you do! (:

  13. Kirsty Girl, ground chicken would work if you can get that. I think lean ground beef would also be good. I wouldn’t use pork though, too much fat with the cheese.

  14. I wish I could find ground turkey meat here in Japan… These look super yummy. Do you think I could use another meat with this recipe?

  15. I make turkey meatballs sort of similar (but with olive oil spray on the pan) but then add onions, squash, spinach (really whatever vegetables) and then a can of Healthy Request cream of mushroom soup (once they are browned). It sort of feels like sweedish meatballs. The other day I made them and dumped them on a ton of spaghetti squash and it felt like I was eating sweedish meatballs on noodles. So filling.

  16. Kalyn, those meatballs look soooo good! 🙂

  17. These have just solved my “what to have for dinner” debate! They look so delicious – I’m thinking serving them up with some roasted vegetables and homemade tomato sauce….

  18. These sound wonderful, Kalyn! I really need to try some new recipes with ground turkey, I’d like to learn to enjoy it more! 🙂

  19. Sounds like the perfect addition to the crockpot minestrone I’m making today. I’m not quite to South Beach but working hard to eliminate a lot of sugars, carbs and unhealthy fats as well as up the veg, the raw fruit, and the lean meats.

    I had a hankering for a pot of good veg soup with meatballs in it today and started a yummy minestrone in the crockpot about 3 hours ago. While my kids are out at their dance/swimming lessons, I intended to cook up some meatballs and shell pasta (for the kids) to add to the soup at dinnertime.

    This recipe sounds sensational and the added flavor and texture of parmesan in the meatballs should compliment the soup well. Thanks for sharing it! Now I don’t have to go scouring cookbooks for ideas.

  20. that looks so good!