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Caprese Meatballs

Caprese Meatballs are a flavorful ground turkey mixture, including fresh basil, with a mini mozzarella ball tucked into each one for a cheesy surprise. It’s such a fun pop of cheesy flavor – and it even oozes out of some of the meatballs as they bake! The meatballs are baked to perfection, then served over spaghetti, with some more mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, basil and Parmesan.

The fresh basil and the mozzarella really come through in this recipe, and the meatballs are just so light and flavorful. And pop-able! Try them dipped in a little bit of pesto. And I’m pretty sure they would be delightful on top of a Caprese-style pizza!

This is a delicious meal that’s ready in just 30 minutes. That’s a weeknight winner if you ask me! If you love mozzarella as much as I do, you’ll also love my Cheesy Italian Chicken Burgers and will love this Tomato Avocado Pasta Salad.

Caprese Meatballs

Photo of Caprese Meatballs
  • 10 minutes
  • 20 minutes
  • 30 minutes
  • 28 meatballs


1.25 lbs ground turkey (see notes)
1/4 cup grated onion (or very finely chopped)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large egg
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 oz. fresh mozzarella "Perline" pearl size balls

For Serving
Hot, cooked spaghetti, additional mozzarella balls, chopped tomatoes, extra fresh sliced basil, extra grated Parmesan cheese (see notes for other ideas)


  1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, onion, garlic, egg, Worcestershire sauce, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, fresh basil, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper. Mix until combined, but be careful not to overmix. I usually start with a fork to get things somewhat combined, and then use my hands to gently mix it together well.
  3. Take about 2 tablespoons of meatball mixture per meatball and shape into a small nest-like shape in your hands. Place a single Perline mozzarella ball into the nest them cover the ball with the meatball mixture, sealing it in. Use your hands to roll it into a ball and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining meatball mixture until you have used it all up.
  4. Bake the meatballs at 400 for 20-22 minutes, until done. Serve immediately.


  • Ground turkey: Lean ground turkey (the 93% lean kind) is my go-to for most meatballs. You could probably also substitute lean ground beef or use ground chicken, if you prefer.
  • Onion: Grating the onion (on a regular cheese greater) really helps it dissolve into the meatballs. You’ll need about a half of a small onion to get 1/4 cup. You can also chop the onion very small if you’d rather.
  • Mozzarella: The “Perline” size of mini fresh mozzarella balls, usually sold in liquid in round containers, is the size you need for tucking into the middle of these meatballs. You can use more of those or even use sliced fresh mozzarella for serving.
  • Serving: Add these meatballs to your hot, cooked spaghetti, along with some chopped fresh tomatoes and more Perline mozzarella balls, then sprinkle the whole thing with more Parmesan cheese and sliced, fresh basil. You can also mix the pasta noodles with some pesto. Or, serve these meatballs with marinara for a more traditional spaghetti and meatballs dinner. They'd also be great on a Caprese pizza!
  • Leftovers: Leftovers, once cooled, will keep in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to 4-5 days. You can also freeze the baked meatballs for up to 5-6 months.


  1. This looks SO delicious I can’t wait to try it! The recipe calls for 25 pounds of ground turkey. Is that a typo? Thanks!

    1. Thank you for pointing out this error Roseann! You will see we have corrected it to 1.25 lbs of ground turkey. We hope you enjoy this recipe!
      -Tristen, ADA Mideast Communications Manager

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