Turkey Pancetta Meatballs


Ground turkey is my preference when it comes to meatballs for a couple reasons. The first reason being that they are more moist, in my opinion. The other reason is just simply that I feel they are healthier than ground beef.

Tonight for dinner I made ground turkey and pancetta meatballs to serve over spaghetti noodles. I was setting up my Halloween decorations and I figured that once the meatballs were simmering away in my sauce, I could continue on with the decorating without having to stand over the cooktop.


Check out these awesome witches boots I found today at Home Goods! That put me in the mood to put the rest of my Halloween out.

For the meatballs, I mixed together a pound of ground turkey, 4 ounces of pancetta, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 2 teaspoons Pizza seasoning (that I bought at The Spice Way – http://www.thespiceway.com, 1 tablespoon fresh minced thyme, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 egg, and 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs. Note: You can certainly use Italian seasoning in place of the pizza seasoning.

I mixed everything together in a glass bowl lightly with a fork.


I rolled my meatballs into about a 2 inch size before placing them in my Dutch oven.


After I placed my meatballs into the Dutch oven, I added 2 28-ounce cans unsalted crushed plum tomatoes, 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes and 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning. I mixed the seasonings together with the tomatoes and let it simmer on my cooktop for 45 minutes.


A little something funny happened, my can opener fell apart while opening the third can of tomatoes. Of course, it was the can of plum (whole) tomatoes – so those couldn’t slip through a small opening. It was quite comical, really. 

These meatballs were really tasty. Both Dennis and Kylie really loved them. Kylie is a bigger fan of ground beef meatballs and mentioned that she loved these just as much. She even asked if she could have leftovers for lunch tomorrow!


Can you see the little pieces of pancetta in the meatballs? Yum!

I hope you get a chance to make these meatballs and that your family will love them as well.

Ingredients for Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 4 ounces pancetta
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Pizza seasoning (or Italian seasoning)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Ingredients for Sauce

  • 2 28-ounce cans crushed (unsalted) plum tomatoes
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  1. Place ground turkey, pancetta, kosher salt, pepper, pizza seasoning (or Italian seasoning), egg, garlic, thyme and bread crumbs into a large bowl.
  2. Gently mix together with a fork.
  3. Form 2-inch balls and set into a Dutch oven or large pot.
  4. Pour tomatoes over meatballs and add kosher salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning and stir. Gently stir meatballs into the sauce.
  5. Cook on Medium to medium-low for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep meat balls off bottom of pan.
  6. Serve with your choice of pasta.


Until next time, Kris




Author: Sunshine and Savory

I love when my house is filled with people, having friends and family over for a meal feeds my soul. There is nothing I enjoy more than preparing for a dinner party, a holiday dinner, or a book club meeting when it's my turn to host ... If I could, I would own a Bed and Breakfast! This would ensure I'd always have someone to prepare a meal for. Being with others and sharing my table is what I look forward to most. I was born in Wisconsin and after I got married in 1987, my husband and I moved west for his job. He had just graduated college and we were married a couple months later. An interesting tidbit about me is that I never cooked a meal before I got married. I taught myself how to cook and found that I really enjoyed it. One of the first meals I made after we were married was a shrimp pasta dish. I made this for myself when my husband was on business travel and I had so much fun inventing this meal - this was the start of my love of cooking. I probably won't be posting much on shrimp dishes, since I am now allergic. Big bummer! I was allergic to lobster, and then had an issue with scallops, so just never had a shrimp after the scallop incident. Why couldn't I be allergic to something less enjoyable?! My favorite celebrity chefs are Ina Garten and The Pioneer Woman. I hope you enjoy my blog!

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