Gluten Free Turkey Meatballs | Whittier, CA | PIH Health

Follow Us

For the latest Health Information and Wellness Tips from PIH Health.

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Instagram

Published on March 14, 2022

Gluten Free Turkey Meatballs

Image of turkey meatballs with sauce on a yellow plateEggplant substitutes for bread crumbs in this tasty turkey meatball recipe. Cooked in a chipotle tomato sauce, these gluten free meatballs have a spicy kick. Make these meatballs ahead of time so they can soak up the chipotle flavor. Perfect for any appetizer plate or snack.


Roasted Eggplant:

  • 1 eggplant (about 2 lbs)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced


  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 4 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 cup canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves


  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • Roasted eggplant (see above)
  • 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin
  • Black pepper to taste


Roasted Eggplant:

  • Roast the eggplant: On a cutting board, slice the eggplant in half lengthwise. With the tip of a knife, score the flesh by making 2 or 3 long cuts. Rotate the eggplant to make another set of cuts to create a diamond pattern. Press on the edges of the halves to open the cuts and sprinkle 1/8 tsp of salt into the cuts. Set aside the eggplant, cut side up, for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 500° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Over the sink, gently squeeze the eggplant to extract the juice. Brush the cut side of each eggplant half with 1/2 teaspoon of the oil. Arrange each half, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Roast for 1 hour. Let cool for 20 minutes before handling. With a spoon, scoop out the eggplant flesh and discard the skin. Chop the flesh and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat the remaining 3 teaspoons of the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the onion and the remaining 1/8 tsp salt and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the roasted eggplant and cook for 3 minutes, or until the mixture is dry. Remove the eggplant from the skillet and set aside.


  • Make the sauce: In the same skillet, add the onion and sauté over high heat for 30 seconds. Add the garlic and black pepper and reduce heat to low. Meanwhile, in a blender, blend the tomatoes, chipotles, honey, tomato paste and water. Transfer to the skillet with the onion and garlic and stir. Add the rosemary, bay leaves and cook over medium heat partially covered, for 1 hour, stirring often. Discard the bay leaves.


  • Make the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the turkey, roasted eggplant, cheese, parsley, cilantro, egg white, cumin and black pepper to taste. Chill for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 450°. In two 12-cup muffin pans, place a teaspoon of tomato sauce in 18 of the muffin cups. With an ice cream scooper, scoop 2 oz of the meat mixture and drop each into the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Transfer the meatballs to the skillet and toss gently with the sauce. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 3 meatballs

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 214
  • Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 57mg
  • Sodium: 243mg
  • Carbohydrates: 16g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Protein: 17g

Copyright 2016-2022 © Baldwin Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.  Health eCooking® is a registered trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Cook eKitchen™ is a designated trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein without the express approval of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. is strictly prohibited.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.