Turkey meatballs in tomato & fennel sauce

Turkey meatballs in tomato & fennel sauce

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(47 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 25 mins


Serves 4
This quick, tasty and economical supper is a healthy way of getting the family fed

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal216
  • fat8g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs12g
  • sugars6g
  • fibre2g
  • protein26g
  • salt0.46g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 400g turkey mince
  • 25g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 carrot, diced



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
    Fennel seeds

    Fennel seeds

    feh-nell seeds

    A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener,…

  • 400g can chopped tomatoes



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400g spaghetti, cooked, to serve


  1. Put the mince in a mixing bowl with the breadcrumbs and half the garlic. Season and mix well to combine. Using your hands, shape the mixture into 12 balls, then chill for 10 mins.

  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the onion, carrot and remaining garlic. Cook for 5-6 mins until softened. Add the fennel seeds and cook for a few secs. Tip in the tomatoes with half a can of water, then stir in the tomato purée. Season and simmer for 15 mins until thickened. Using an electric hand blender, whizz until roughly smooth.

  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the meatballs for 8-10 mins until cooked through. Transfer to the sauce and simmer until piping hot. Serve with spaghetti.

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.

Comments (53)

djluckyheather's picture

Quick easy and a nice change from beef mince the kids loved it

lloydwillcox's picture

Followed the recipe exactly. Superb flavour and the breadcrumbs in the meatballs works a treat. Very health and would cook this again without any concerns.

abeddy84's picture

I made this for dinner and we really enjoyed. I did add extra seasoning to the meatballs (salt, pepper, garlic powder and mixed herbs) and let it all cook together for a good half hour to give the flavours time to develop.

sbristow's picture

Just read the comments about the calorie count - I did wonder as it seemed to good to be true and was just about to add all the calories together to check for myself. It would help if recipes stated the calories for everything that was included in the ingredients

sbristow's picture

Really nice. I put more garlic in the turkey than the recipe said and also some spring onions (just found them in the fridge lying around). I put oregano, basil and mixed herbs in the meatballs as some of the comments had indicated the turkey could be a bit bland. My sauce ended up a bit thick (more like paste) so next time I will put two tins of tomatoes in.

laurabuttrick's picture

Inexcusably terrible, will not be making this again

Auntie Ellen's picture

Made this for the OH and myself and our two kids aged 5 & 3 - went down a storm! Added onion, dried thyme (as had no fresh) and some grated apple to the meatballs and it worked well. Will def be making this again - good way to get the kids eating more healthily. And it's easy - what's not to like!

dillyfrost's picture

made this last night, but used ready made Asda turkey meatballs, it turned out well, also added a pinch of suagr and a drop of red wine to the sauce, will definatley make it again.

rjolly's picture

The meatballs needed more herbs and seasoning next time i'll leave out the fennel,

WeeScot's picture

A really nice healthy recipe. After reading others' comments I added smoked paprika, extra garlic, parsley and some crushed chilli to the meatball mix to add extra flavour and they tasted great - obviously not as juicy as beef or pork meatballs due to the reduced fat content. Also added a courgette to the sauce for extra veg and used less oil - a great recipe if your looking for a healthy but tasty meal.

emmamac78's picture

Instead of using the fennel in the sauce, I ground them up a bit and added it to the meatballs. Also, didn't have pasta so served with couscous. Recipe was lovely and a big hit with my husband (who normally hates turkey as he thinks it's tasteless) and, miraculously, my 2 year old daughter who gobbled them up! Will definitely be making again.

cafren23's picture

This was delicious! My hubby and I thought it was lovely, really tasty. I added some celery to the veg. My kids turned their noses up at it though. Think the fennel threw them a bit as I wouldn't usually use it.

rjolly's picture

I added parsley to the meatballs and made lots of small ones rather than 12 big ones. I found these were fine but the fennel in the sauce was over powering and unnecessary. Not sure aniseed works in this kind of dish. Honestly, I probably won't amke this again.

rbarton22's picture

Turkey meatballs were bland; will add a little something to them next time.

spottedsparrow's picture

While somewhat mediocre if you follow the recipe exactly it can really shine with a few modifications. Add parsley and double garlic to the meatballs. Add 1-2 pinches of red pepper flakes to the oil when making the sauce, then some oregano after adding the tomatoes.

For those watching their waistlines, it seems the calories listed don't include the pasta. A 90g (dry) serving is about 300 calories by itself.

abwerner's picture

It's OK, but I think it could taste better if use different mince and without fennel.

abwerner's picture

It's OK, but I think it could taste better if use different mince and without fennel.

megarrr's picture

The first time I made this I thought it was a bit bland. Added some chilli flakes to the meatballs and a few extra fennel seeds plus a fresh chilli to the sauce and it was a huge improvement.

nwindle's picture

First comment didn't save! Good dish and a healthy alternative to beef/pork meatballs. I added mixed herbs to the sauce, but wish I had left out the fennel. I also soaked the breadcrumbs in some skimmed milk for 10 mins before adding to the meat. It made the meatballs incredibly moist! Also added some chilli flakes for that extra kick. Thought the blitzing of the sauce worked well - will definitely be doing that again.

nwindle's picture

Oh...also wanted to ask...I assume that the 216 calories per serving does NOT include the pasta??


Questions (2)

Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved…

Be the first to ask a question about this recipe…

Tips (3)

Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.

Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe…