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Mozzarella-Stuffed Turkey Pesto Meatballs

I’m so in love with this recipe for Mozzarella-Stuffed Turkey Pesto Meatballs. It’s the perfect family-friendly recipe to serve with spaghetti and it freezes great.

Mozzarella-Stuffed Turkey Pesto Meatballs

My cousin Jacquie shared a version of this Turkey Pesto Meatball recipe on her Instagram account last year and I couldn’t wait to make it.  The pesto makes the meatballs so flavorful that you’d never know they were made with ground turkey.  No extra spices required!

Since I freeze my favorite meatloaf recipe raw I knew I could freeze these meatballs raw too.  I bought a big pack of ground turkey at Costco last week and made a couple pans with these other freezer-friendly recipes with ground turkey:


Mozzarella-Stuffed Turkey Pesto Meatballs

Yields: 18 meatballs


  • 14.5oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 4-5 mozzarella string cheese sticks, cut into 4 pieces each
  • 4oz mozzarella cheese, shredded (about one cup)

To Cook

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Pour diced tomatoes into 9×13″ baking pan.
  3. In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, egg, pesto, breadcrumbs, and parmesan cheese.  Form into 18 meatballs.
  4. Press one piece of mozzarella cheese inside each meatball and place in baking pan.
  5. Cover with shredded mozzarella cheese.
  6. Place in oven and bake 30 minutes or until cooked through.

To Freeze and Cook Later

  1. Pour diced tomatoes into 9×13″ aluminum or disposable baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, egg, pesto, breadcrumbs, and parmesan cheese.  Form into 18 meatballs.
  3. Press one piece of mozzarella cheese inside each meatball and place in baking pan.
  4. Cover with shredded mozzarella cheese.
  5. Cover pans with layers of plastic wrap and foil, and freeze for up to three months.
  6. When ready to eat, uncover and bake at 350°F for 90 minutes (You can shorten the cooking time by thawing overnight in the refrigerator.).

Serve with spaghetti and a salad.

Thoughts or questions?  Please leave a comment below and I’ll respond as soon as I can.  I’d love to hear from you. 


  • Gia says:

    I’ve made this recipe a couple of times now, and my entire family LOVES it! It is easy to assemble, and my daughter can put it in the oven after school so that it is ready when I get home from work.

  • Katie Flynn says:

    I made these tonight and my whole family LOVED them! All of your recipes have been great!! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Sarah says:

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was so yummy! I added a jar of pasta sauce to the can of tomatoes just so we’d have more sauce to put over the spaghetti. Definitely will be making this again. Can’t wait to try freezing it. Thanks!

  • Scott Heinze says:

    Why ground turkey and not a ground beef/ground pork mix? Thanks.

  • Pam says:

    In the ASSEMBLING ‘NO-COOK’ FREEZER MEALS ebook, there are no serving sizes per recipe. How many servings do they provide?

  • Amy C says:

    Hi Kelly, I LOVE these meatballs! I’ve been cooking them in the oven, but I’m wondering… would the instructions be the same if I did them in the crockpot? Make the meatballs, put them in the crockpot with diced tomatoes and top with mozz cheese toward the end of cooking?

  • Laura says:

    I love this recipe! I wanted to double it and give to a friend, but I realized someone in their family is allergic to tree nuts. Any ideas on what I could substitute for the pesto that would make it just as tasty?

    • Laura, If I were in your shoes, I would just make the peso without the nuts…especially since it’s being mixed into another recipe, I’m sure it will be just as delicious and your friends will be very thankful for your thoughtfulness.

  • Danielle says:

    I’ve made these a few times now and everyone loves them! They also make a great dish to take tailgating or to bring to a friend’s house. I love these recipes, thank you! I just got my baggie holders from Amazon today (I used the affiliate link). Can’t wait to use them for my prep session on Sunday.

  • Trisha Kent says:

    I mixed up the meat and such but it’s really sticky and won’t hold the shape of a meatball. What do I do? I don’t have any more meat to add to it…would more breadcrumbs help?

  • Trisha Kent says:

    I made these tonight – I am gluten free and substituted the breadcrumbs for gluten free ones. I followed the recipe as written but they didn’t turn out very good. Flavor is okay but the texture is really soft and didn’t stay together. I would not suggest this recipe for gluten free use.

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