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Ground Turkey Swedish Meatballs

Dinner  |  Published on Aug 10, 2019  |  Last modified on Aug 20, 2019

Swedish Meatballs in gravy in a cast iron skillet

Ground turkey Swedish meatballs for weeknight dinner to the rescue!  Swedish meatballs are delicious over brown rice or your favorite pasta.   

Creating these ground turkey Swedish meatballs

My family is Italian, so we love anything with pasta — especially meatballs! But I wanted to make something different and fun, because let’s be real, spaghetti and meatballs can get old.

Also, red sauce may contain a ton of sodium, especially if you are buying sauce from the jar. This led me to create these healthier Swedish Meatballs with pasta!

So in this recipe, I did not use any salt but I did use soy sauce in place of salt to boost the flavor. You’re probably thinking I am crazy. Soy sauce? In homemade Swedish meatballs? With pasta? Yup!

I used 1 tablespoon when making the meatballs and 1/4 cup in the sauce. By using 1/2 tsp. Soy Sauce in place of 1/2 tsp. table salt, you can cut the sodium content of the recipe by 1000mg. #funfact

Swedish Meatballs in gravy in a cast iron skillet tossed with wide egg noodles

Ground turkey Swedish meatballs ingredients

For the easy Swedish meatballs, you’ll need:

  • Ground turkey
  • Panko breadcrumbs (or you can use white bread)
  • White onion
  • Soy Sauce (or sub salt)
  • Fresh parsley
  • Flaxseed egg (or 1 large egg)
  • Spices: All-Spice, Cardamom, White pepper, salt, pepper
  • Water
  • Olive oil

And for the Swedish meatball gravy, you’ll need:

  • Unsalted butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Beef stock
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Heavy cream
  • Soy Sauce (or salt)
  • Worcestershire sauce
Swedish Meatballs in gravy in a cast iron skillet

How to make ground turkey Swedish meatballs

To make these ground turkey Swedish meatballs, simply add all the ingredients but the olive oil into a large bowl and mix everything together with your hands. Form the mixture into small balls, then brown in an oiled skillet.

Then, make the Swedish meatball gravy. You’ll first need to whisk together the butter and flour in a saucepan to make a roux. Once the mixture is brown, add in the rest of the gravy ingredients and simmer until thickened.

Carefully transfer the meatballs to the gravy and stir to coat them in the sauce. Serve immediately over rice or pasta.

Do I have to use panko breadcrumbs?

Yes, the panko breadcrumbs are essential in this easy Swedish meatballs recipe. The breadcrumbs help bind everything together, and if you omit it the meatballs will fall apart. You can also use 2 slices of white bread with the crust trimmed off.

Swedish Meatballs in gravy in a cast iron skillet tossed with wide egg noodles

Can I use another type of meat?

If you don’t have ground turkey on hand, you can use plain ground beef or ground pork (avoid any meat that’s spiced, like Italian sausage, as that would alter the flavor of these meatballs).

Tips for making ground turkey Swedish meatballs

For the best flavor, pick a ground turkey with a little extra fat in it. Turkey is naturally quite lean, but that additional fat will add flavor to these meatballs.

When cooking the meatballs in the skillet, be sure not to overcrowd the pan. You may need to cook the meatballs in batches to ensure they’re browned evenly on all sides.

The smaller your meatballs are, the quicker they’ll cook. Be careful not to overcook the meatballs, otherwise they’ll become tough and dry.

Swedish Meatballs in gravy in a cast iron skillet tossed with wide egg noodles

More ground turkey recipes:

Swedish Meatballs in gravy in a cast iron skillet

Turkey Swedish Meatballs

These ground turkey swedish meatballs are a healthier take on the classic dish. They're perfect over pasta, brown rice, or enjoyed plain!
5 from 2 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 people
Author: Tawnie Kroll



  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce (or 1/2 tsp. salt)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 flaxseed egg* (or 1 egg)
  • 1/4 tsp. Allspice (or nutmeg)
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil (to oil the pan)


  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 cups unsalted beef stock/broth
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, plain
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Worchestershire sauce


  • In a medium sized bowl, combine ground turkey, panko, white onion, soy sauce, parsley, flaxseed egg, spices and water until combined. Reserve olive oil for the skillet, step #2. Roll meatballs into a small/medium size.
  • In a large skillet (I used a cast iron) heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the meatballs and cook until the meatballs are browned on each side and cooked through the center. This may take several rounds depending on the size of your meatballs and the pan, add more olive oil to the pan if meatballs are sticking. (Makes ~25 meatballs) When cooked, transfer meatballs to a plate and set aside.
  • Next, make the gravy. Using the same pan – start by making the roux with the flour and butter. Whisk until brown and then slowly stir in the unsalted beef broth, heavy cream and yogurt. Lastly add in the soy sauce and Worchestershire sauce and simmer until sauce thickens. (Corn starch slurry may be used if you prefer a thicker sauce – 1 Tbsp. corn starch to 2 Tbsp. water).
  • Lastly, add the meatballs to the sauce and serve over the pasta of your choice or with rice. I love this recipe with wide egg noodles.
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Flaxseed egg = 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 2.5 tablespoons water
May sub 1 egg for the flax egg.
May use 1/2 lb. ground pork and 1/2 lb. ground beef in place of ground turkey
May sub salt for soy sauce. 
May sub 2 slices of white bread with the crust trimmed if you don’t have Panko.

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