Homemade Turkey Meatballs, Pennsylvania State University

Menu Part: 
Cuisine Type: 
50 meatballs

A couple of years ago a campus initiative was started at Penn State University, in University Park, to promote healthier eating within residential dining halls. That initiative prompted Corporate Executive Chef of Culinary Support Services Bill Laychur and his team to adjust recipes to make them healthier without sacrificing taste or texture. One example of the initiative in action is found in dining services’ meatball recipe. The team substituted ground beef and pork for turkey. “We test marketed [this recipe] at a conference at our Altoona Campus over rigatoni topped with fresh marinara, sprinkled with fresh shaved Asiago cheese and basil,” Laychur says. “It looked beautiful and we actually almost ran out.” Laychur says because of the response at the conference the recipe has been added to the dining menu for this fall. 


6 lb. + 9 ounces 90/10 ground turkey
10 ½ oz. diced Spanish onions
2 ½ oz. minced garlic
12 ½ oz. grated imported Romano cheese
1 ¼ oz. cups ketchup
5 oz. Grey Poupon mustard
2 cups fresh ground breadcrumbs
6 fresh eggs
3 oz. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. oregano leaves
2 tsp. oregano leaves
1 tbsp. basil leaves
2 tsp. basil leaves
2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 ½ tsp. salt 


1. In large mixing bowl, combine ground turkey, breadcrumbs and all other remaining ingredients until well blended.

2. Scoop with a 3-ounce scoop to make large meatball and 1 ½-ounce scoop for smaller version. Roll into balls and place on oiled sheet pan.

3. Bake in oven at 325°F or at 275°F in convection oven, until temperature reaches 165°F.

4. Let rest for 10 minutes to drain before placing in sauce or holding separate to serve.

5. Serve meatballs over pasta with marinara sauce. 

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