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. Granulated garlic is a dried garlic product that has a little more texture and better flavor than garlic powder. I used it so as to not add more liquid to this, but I think finely minced garlic would be fine.

  2. I'm not familiar with "granulated garlic". Never seen such a thing in the grocery store. Do you make it yourself? Or can I just use minced garlic?
    Pam Kitchen

  3. Made these tonight and they were good! (Like all your recipes). Toned down the spices for the sake of the kids, like you recommended. Mild flavor, but very nice. Made a batch of your tzatziki to go along with them, and some roasted broccoli. Day 13 of phase 1 and eating great thanks to you! Nine pounds lost in week one…wondering how it's possible to lose weight while enjoying my food so much!

  4. Yes, the blend will be fine.

  5. I'm planning on making these this week, but when I went grocery shopping tonight I could only find straight parmesan and a parmesan/romano/asiago blend. Do you think the blend would work ok?

  6. So glad you liked it so much!

  7. I went back to the original recipe and bravely tried it using just turkey and all the other ingredients as is…I say bravely because I am not a big fan of turkey. Once again I got the thumbs up from the kids. They are so easy to make and it pleases me that I know exactly what goes into them and that they taste delicious too. Now, if there was just a way to sneak more veggies in there to get them by my son…..
    Thanks Kalyn!

  8. Thanks Deb and Becky!

    Mamacita, glad you enjoyed them.

    JJ, your version sounds great. I will definitely be experimenting more with flax and hemp!

  9. I used equal amounts of ground turkey and ground pork, dried oregano and a small amount of crushed red chili pepper inplace of the other herbs. Served them with spicy pasta sauce. My teenage kids loved them. I like that the recipe included hemp. I look forward to more of your recipes having hemp and flax in them.

  10. Hi there, congratulations for your site. You always have delicious recipes. I use ground chicken breast for these meat balls they come out great. I'll sure try with ground turkey next time.

  11. I just bought some lamb to make lamb meatballs!! Your turkey meatballs look amazing. I like how crisp they look too.

  12. We actually eat meatballs quite often, and these sound delicious!!

  13. Lydia, you are definitely the queen of turkey meatballs; and they all sound good!

    Thanks Cariann, glad you like it!

  14. OHHHHH OK, I'm sold. Yup. Sold. These look awesome. Pinning away

  15. I've been on a turkey meatball bender for the past couple of years, and the Thai red curry meatballs are one of my favorites (thanks so much for the link!). I like to bake my meatballs, though they never get as nicely browned as yours.

  16. Sarah, the ground turkey is definitely softer than beef to try to make into meatballs. Glad to hear they were tasty.

  17. Ohhhhhh my god the flavor here is OUTstanding!!! But I did something wrong, can't figure it out so I'll have to make them again…they smooshed all apart in my pan.so I tried my brand new super non-stick pan and they still fell apart.so,I ended up putting them on a baking sheet and baked at 350 for about 20 minutes and then browned them in a pan. Still wonderful and delicious…but they were more like meatspaceships instead of meatballs! And I didn't have cucumber so I made the tziki without it-sorta 🙂 Greek yogurt, dried dill, and garlic powder.it was out of this world, still 🙂 so there's my 2 cents.I'll try some different things next time.maybe I'll actually end up with meatballs instead of meatspaceships 😀

  18. Leslie, sounds good to me!

  19. I am trying these tonight. But with a few additions. I am making 1 1/2 times the recipe and adding: onion powder, kosher salt, black pepper, frozen spinach and chopped crimini (baby bella) mushrooms. Also, about 3 TBS almond flour. Have not cooked them yet but they are all mixed up and I think they are going to rock!!