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Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs with Asian Style Noodles

Gluten free turkey meatballs with Asian noodles
Gluten-free turkey meatballs with fresh herbs, ginger and lime.

Let it Roll, Baby, Roll

Okay, I confess. I admit it. When it comes to this recipe? I was totally inspired by Jamie Oliver and his Jamie's Food Revolution. I loved the flash mob stir-fry dance at Marshall University in episode four (view here at WabiSabi, one of the participants). The energy, spirit and creativity of the students, the killer combo of cooking and dance, with a generous dash of self expression and celebration got this creaky gluten-free goddess off the couch and movin'.

Not to mention, craving a pan-tossed noodle stir-fry.

No doubt about it, I've been more attuned to Asian inspired flavors since living in Santa Monica. Understandable. It's hard not to respond to the fresh, Pacific-infused tastes and heady scents of Asian fusion on the west coast. So when we decided to play around with meatball recipes this weekend, yours truly started conjuring fusion-style tweaks for the humble Mediterranean meatball recipe I know and love.

First- I wanted to use organic free-range turkey (come Spring, I favor lighter meatballs and meatloaf, don't you?). And I knew I wanted to use fresh chopped herbs- mint, cilantro and parsley. Perfect with a splash of lime. Some spring onion. A little ginger and chile. Boom.

This light and tasty Asian fusion meatball was born.

A quick note on my noodle choice- I've discovered Ancient Harvest Gluten-Free Quinoa Pasta and I love the texture and flavor. This is the least starchy gluten-free noodle I've found. And the best part is (perhaps due to the higher protein content of quinoa flour?) it stands up to pan tossing for brilliant stir-fries. However any gluten-free noodle or spaghetti you prefer will work (as long as you keep it a tad al dente).

Asian style turkey meatballs with noodles
Shake up your recipe routine with ginger-lime turkey meatballs.

Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs Recipe with Lime, Mint and Ginger on a bed of Asian Style Noodles, Baby Spinach and Fresh Herbs

Recipe posted 2010 by Karina Allrich.

I whipped up an easy Asian stir-fry sauce without soy. But you could easily substitute my molasses and balsamic blend with gluten-free wheat-free tamari sauce. 


2 pounds free range organic ground turkey- we use Heidi's Hens® Certified Organic Turkey
1 1/2 cups gluten-free bread crumbs
1 large spring onion or scallion (or 2 small), diced fine
1 medium large carrot, processed or diced very fine
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint leaves
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro leaves
1 organic free-range egg, beaten
Juice from 1 fresh medium lime
1 tablespoon molasses or wheat-free tamari sauce
1 tablespoon raw agave nectar or real maple syrup
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste (use less salt if you use tamari sauce)


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet Exopat or Silpat. Or double up baking sheets and line the upper pan with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, break apart and blend the ground organic free-range turkey with the gluten-free bread crumbs, using a sturdy metal spoon. Add in the diced spring onion, processed carrot, minced garlic, grated ginger, and fresh herbs. Mix just until blended. Add in the egg, fresh lime juice, molasses (or wheat-free tamari), agave. Mix lightly. Season with salt and pepper as you go- but don't add too much salt- especially if you use tamari sauce, which is already salty.

Form 28 meatballs using the palms of your hands to roll and round spoonfuls of the mixture. They should be roughly the size of a golf ball. Place the turkey meatballs on the lined baking sheet as you roll them. Wash your hands in hot soapy water- you know this, right?

Bake the meatballs in the center of a pre-heated oven for about 20 to 30 minutes until no longer pink inside. Place the baking sheet on a cooling rack and brush them with a little olive oil.

Serve immediately with Asian style noodles, recipe follows.

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For FODMAPs friendly, omit onions and agave as necessary.

Recipe Source:

Gluten-free meatballs with Asian style noodles.

Karina's Quick and Easy Asian Style Noodles 

As mentioned, I don't use soy, but a wheat-free tamari sauce would be delicious in this quick stir-fry sauce. Sub the molasses with the gluten-free tamari sauce. Or just add in some gluten-free tamari, to taste. 

Note: I don't add extra sauce on the meatballs when I serve them like this- but if you prefer your meatballs saucy, make extra stir-fry sauce.


1 package gluten-free noodles or spaghetti
Vegetable oil, as needed
2-3 spring onions or scallions, sliced (white and light green sections)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 fresh diced chile, or hot pepper flakes, to taste
1-2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger- or to taste
3-4 carrots sliced into matchsticks
3 tablespoons molasses or gluten-free Tamari
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Sea salt, to taste
1 12-oz. bag of baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons each of fresh chopped parsley, mint and cilantro


Bring a pasta pot of water to a rapid boil. Add a dab of vegetable oil. Add the noodles and stir. Cook the quinoa noodles until they are al dente- firm to the bite- not mushy! 4 to 6 minutes. Don't overcook. I mean it.

Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a large wok style pan or skillet over medium-high heat and add in the spring onions, garlic, chile, ginger, and carrots. Stir-fry until the carrots are tender-crisp. They should be done roughly in 4-5 minutes.

Add in the molasses and balsamic vinegar (or if using tamari sauce, use that in place of molasses) and stir to coat. Taste test to see if the carrots need a little salt.

Drain the al dente noodles and quickly add them into the wok/skillet mixture, tossing lightly to coat the strands. Add or adjust seasonings to taste.

Add in the baby spinach and toss again- just to heat through to barely wilting- not even a minute. 

Add in half the chopped fresh herbs and toss a bit.

Plate the noodles immediately. Add the turkey meatballs.

Sprinkle with the remaining fresh herbs.

The noodle recipe serves 4, with leftover meatballs.


Freeze leftover meatballs for an easy weeknight supper.

For FODMAPs friendly, omit onions and agave as necessary.

Recipe Source:

All images & content are copyright protected, all rights reserved. Please do not use our images or content without prior permission. Thank you. 

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More gluten-free meatball recipes from food bloggers:

I Am Gluten-Free's secret ingredient Gluten-Free "Meatballs"
Gluten-Free Day's lamb based Gluten-Free Meatballs
Greek Meatballs with feta at Kalyn's Kitchen
Gluten-Free Spaghetti and Marvelous Meatballs at Healthy Eats
Sensitive Pantry's Tiny Turkey Meatballs

xox Karina


  1. Ooo, this looks tasty! And its so relevant, I've been craving stir fry as well; the last Food Revolution episode certainly had A LOT of stir-fry! I thought the flash mob was pretty fun too :)

    ~Aubree Cherie

  2. These meatballs are wonderful!!! Im saving now!

  3. This looks fantastic!! I'm bookmarking :)

    Have you tried the Coconut Aminos from Coconut Secret? It's a slightly sweeter version of soy sauce, totally soy-free.

    (btw, I changed my blog name from City Girl Lifestyle and decided to use my first name instead of a moniker)

  4. I love the Asian influence on this classic dish. The flavors, the pictures, the whole thing is making me very hungry!

  5. Wonderful meatball dish. Layered with flavor. Beautiful photography. Cheers!

  6. Love the sound of these meatballs, especially the addition of ginger, parsley, mint, and cilantro. Has to taste amazing.

  7. i've never made turkey meat balls, just turkey meat loaf. this is such a great idea though - i definitely want to do this!

  8. Hi Karina! I have been on a meatball frenzie! Yours look wonderful! As well, just did a post on Jamie's newest cook book....I loved that episode on his Revolution Show!! Still learning the whole blogging thing...but you could check out the post on my site at

  9. Seriously, everyone should make the switch to Firefox for their browsing pleasure! I cannot stomach using IE anymore.

  10. Man, I have missed the passed two Food Revolution episodes. I better catch up because it seems like I am missing out. This dish look lovely. I'm a big fan of the colors you've got going on. You're meatball post took me by surprise because I always thought you were a vegan.

  11. MMM. I just went gluten free a week ago and I am so cooking this up for my family next week.

  12. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!! I am soy-free too and find it so depressing trying to eat "asian" food because a huge majority has soy sauce. You truely are a goddess; as soon as I have some free time (around end of the year classes/projects) I WILL be making this.
    Thank you again, your recipe index is the first place I look when I want to make/bake/cook something.

  13. Thank you for linking to my meatball blog post! And thank you for posting such a fab recipe. I love the Asian influence on just about everything. Not to mention how pretty the pix are!!!


  14. I am so excited about Jamie Oliver's Show!!!! That was an AWESOME scene!!! I love that he is bringing healthy eating to the attention of all. I have been thinking alot about noodle stir fry since the show- now you have inspired me more!!! Gotta try this!!! Thanks. Sherri

  15. So pretty! I too love Jamie Oliver's new show. I'm impressed - obviously your meatballs held together without egg - I've used flaxseed in mine before to help bind. (I'm not opposed to happy, free-range eggs, but sometimes, I'm just running low!) These sound delicious.

  16. Yummo! This is going on the menu for next week...made me hungry just viewing the pictures :)

  17. Love the combination of sweet and salty flavors here. I've been playing around with Asian turkey meatballs too. Must be something in the air!

  18. OMG! Looks so good! Everything on the plate.


  19. That's a beautiful dish! I love the twist on traditional spaghetti and meatballs. Lovely. :)


  20. Thank you, another great find, can't wait to try them. Karen

  21. Karina,
    I made the meatballs last night with the tamari but they were dry inside. I even used about 1/2 cup fewer breadcrumbs too. the only thing we have to avoid is gluten. i typically put an egg into my regular beef meatball recipe but since i have almost no experience with ground turkey i am hesitant to add an egg though that would moisten them up quite a bit. any reason why that wouldn't work? the flavor of the noodles and veges was good and i had never tried the quinoa noodles that way--good idea.

  22. Finally got around to making this tonight. A big hit for me and my husband! I didn't have spinach but have lots of lettuce in the yard right now so I served it over some chopped romaine. Really delicious with the fresh herbs- thank you!

    I was recently diagnosed with a bunch more food allergies (gluten-free for 3+ years now) and your blog has been helping me through the journey. Great recipes and nice to know I'm not alone in feeling allergic to everything these days! Take care.

    1. You're not alone! Glad you liked the recipe! Be well! - Karina

  23. Just made this for my daughter and I. AMAZING! Karina, your recipes are perfect and thank you for the soy free sauce that still has an Asian flare. I really appreciate it.

  24. Anonymous15:46

    Wash your hands in hot soapy water- you know this, right?


  25. Thank you again! Huge hit from our gluten-free family and an extra special thank you for the soy-free sauce!

  26. Going to make this while I am visiting my friends (who are really more like family) in Texas this week. My niece helped me pick this recipe out - she is going to be my assistant chef.

  27. These were so good! I made the meatballs with ground beef instead of ground turkey. I used 1/4 cup quinoa flakes (can be purchased at Whole Foods) mixed with 1/4 cup chicken broth instead of the GF breadcrumbs to keep the meatballs together. I've used that for various other meatball recipes and it works great!

    I usually use Ener-G egg replacer since we avoid eggs, but found it wasn't needed in these. They held up just fine with the quinoa flakes. Thanks again, my husband and I loved this!!!!!

    1. So glad, Julie- thank you.

  28. This sounds delish! Thanks for sharing, GODDESS!

  29. I just wanted to pop in and say thank you. In the last two weeks, we have had to go gluten free for my husband's health. I'm a baker and one of the ways I show love is by making homemade things in my kitchen. And I had just perfected my whole wheat bread recipe. I had already heard about your blog when looking for a recipe to make for a friend with gluten intolerance, so I knew to come here first.

    I'm just a beginner, but so far we've had success with your pizza dough recipe and your sandwich bread recipe. I was able to take my favorite salted fudge brownie recipe and sub out the wheat flour for a flour mix inspired by the one you use for your pizza dough. It turned out delicious and no one would ever guess it was gluten free. I especially appreciate the time you take to figure out what combinations of flours and starches work well together so that I'm not stuck paying top dollar for a mix that I don't really care for and can't truly afford. And my husband thanks you for giving him a way to keep eating sandwiches without having to eat the rather unpalatable frozen store-bought stuff I had him try this past weekend while we were traveling.

    Thank you so much for sharing your hard work with us in this format. You have helped my "mourning" be a whole lot easier as I learn to live and love without wheat. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comment- much appreciated! Keep cooking. Be well- Karina

  30. This sounds delicious! I will have to try out this recipe. Thanks!

  31. This was sooo good. I prepped it the night before so my husband could make it for dinner the next night. He loved it, my kids loved, I loved it. Wish I would have made a double batch.

  32. Beth20:34

    Made this tonight and it was a huge hit! Thank you for sharing all of these recipes. My picky son is gluten and dairy intolerant, so finding meals he likes is a little tricky.

    1. Yes! I love when that happens (with picky eaters).

  33. Thanks for another great recipe! I can have everything except the garlic. I can't wait to make this. Hopefully this week. I just need to find the soy free Tahini. Yummy

    1. Have you tried coconut aminos? A soy-free alternative.

  34. where did you buy the noodles?:)

    1. At our local supermarket- in the natural foods section. You can also find them at health food stores, and at Amazon.

  35. Thought you'd want to know that your Amazon links to the Tamari sauce don't work.

    Can't wait to try this...

  36. Sounds (and looks!) very-very good!

  37. I made this tonight for dinner. Yum! It was great and tasted so fresh with the lime and ginger. I left out the cilantro because I don't like it and just used plenty of regular parsley. I used mung bean noodles which were a nice compliment to all the Asian flavors. Thanks for the wonderful recipe. :)


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Wishing you a delicious and beautiful day!

Karina - Gluten-Free Goddess xox