Turkey Philly Cheesesteak Meatballs

Are you a fan of a good Philly cheesesteak sandwich? Once in a while, certain foods just sound amazing. This is one of those foods. So, in my attempt to make a normally not-so-healthy sandwich into a healthier alternative, I came up with these delectable turkey Philly cheesesteak meatballs.

Trust me…these will NOT disappoint. They were a hit with the whole family. Each healthy turkey meatball is bursting with flavor from the banana peppers, onion, bell pepper, and mozzarella cheese! Try these at dinner tonight and taste for yourself.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Affiliate links are clearly marked with an asterisk (*).

🥰If you give this ground turkey meatball recipe a try, leave me a recipe rating or comment below!

healthy turkey meatballs in a white bowl

What’s In An Authentic Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich?

A Philly cheesesteak (also known as a Philadelphia cheesesteak sandwich) is traditionally made with ribeye steak, sliced thinly with melted cheese on a hoagie roll and topped with caramelized onion. Often times, shops will offer other toppings as well, including:

  • Bell peppers
  • Marinara sauce
  • Banana peppers (pepperoncini)
  • Mushrooms
  • Other cheeses (Cheese Whiz, provolone, white American cheese)
traditional Philly cheesesteak sandwich
A traditional Philadelphia cheesesteak sandwich can contain around 680 calories, 33 gm of fat, and 18 gm of saturated fat!

Nutritional Comparison

These healthy turkey meatballs provide much less calories, fat, sodium, and cholesterol than a traditional beef Philly cheesesteak sandwich. By using 93% lean ground turkey, each serving (4 turkey meatballs) will provide:

  • 130 calories
  • 4.4 gram of total fat
  • 2 grams of saturated fat
  • 229 mg sodium
  • 32 mg cholesterol.

If health is your goal, you can use other types of meat as long as you make sure it is lean. This will ensure the amount of total fat and saturated fat is low.

The American Heart Association recommends aiming for no more than 6% of calories from saturated fat per day to help lower cholesterol.

This is about 13 grams of saturated fat and per day if you’re following a 2,000-calorie diet.

How does THIS recipe measure up? I’ll be honest and tell you it has ~14% of its calories from saturated fat. However, at the end of the day, these homemade baked turkey meatballs smash the traditional Philly cheesesteak competition by a landslide.

Compared to a traditional Philly cheese sandwich, these homemade turkey meatballs are:

  • 66% lower in total calories
  • 70% lower in total fat
  • 81% lower in saturated fat

Healthy Recipe Substitutions

To make this recipe healthier I add in some traditional vegetables used in a Philly cheesesteak. Onions and bell peppers along with a sprinkling of banana peppers give flavor along with nutritional value.

To cut back on cholesterol, I opted for egg white in place of using whole eggs. However, if you don’t have high cholesterol and blood levels of vitamin D have been low, you can opt for whole eggs.

FYI, the bottom line on eggs and heart health, is that research is inconsistent. My professional opinion is that eggs have gotten a bad reputation over the years, which is undeserving considering all the nutritional benefits they have. So if you choose to add whole eggs in this recipe, go for it!

Related Article: 5 Healthy Recipe Substitutions [Plus Free PDF]

Ingredients

Ground Turkey– To cut back on calories and fat, I use 93% lean ground turkey in this recipe.

Wasa CrispbreadWasa brand crispbreads* (affiliate link) are very dry flatbread crackers. They come in several varieties. You can use whichever flavor you prefer. In this recipe I use multigrain. See the recipe notes below for substitutions if you cannot find these in your area.

Bell Pepper– If you want a traditional Philly cheesesteak taste, use a green bell pepper in this recipe. I didn’t happen to have one on hand, so I substituted an orange bell pepper. Any color bell pepper works great in this recipe!

Onion– Add more flavor and texture with a yellow onion. Don’t forget to roughly chop or dice them into smaller pieces so the flavors can get into each turkey meatball.

Banana Peppers– (Also called pepperoncini peppers). I originally used mild bell peppers in this recipe so it wasn’t too spicy for the kids, but after trying the HOT banana peppers, I’m hooked!

Egg Whites– To reduce the amount of cholesterol in this recipe, I use egg whites only. If you prefer to use whole eggs, substitute 2 whole eggs for this recipe.

Oregano– Dried oregano helps to add an Italian flare along with so much flavor and aroma.

Garlic Powder– I cannot make a meatball recipe without adding garlic. If you have minced garlic, you can use this in place of garlic powder by adding 2 tablespoons.

Mozzarella Cheese– A Philly cheesesteak is nothing with the cheese. Shredded mozzarella is the perfect cheese to mix in this recipe. If you want to try provolone cheese, that would also add an excellent Philly cheese taste!

Black Pepper– Add a little black pepper to taste to round out this healthy baked turkey meatball recipe. Notice there’s no salt. You won’t even miss it, I promise! 😉

Turkey Philly Cheesesteak meatball ingredients
Pictured: ingredients for turkey Philly cheesesteak meatballs

How To Make Turkey Philly Cheesesteak Meatballs

Like any easy meatball recipe, this is a one-bowl mix-and-bake recipe. This is also a quick recipe to make on busy weeknights because it’s ready to eat in less than an hour. Here are the step-by-step instructions.

Step 1: Prep Your Ingredients

Okay technically the first thing you want to do is set your oven temp for 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then prep everything so it’s easy to toss together.

Start by chopping your veggies (onion, bell pepper, and banana pepper rings). I roughly dice them so they are fairly small in size. Making them smaller in size allows the flavors to get into each tiny meatball.

Then crush the Wasa crispbread into crumbs. I did this by placing them in a plastic baggie and gently crushing them with a rolling pin.

Expert Tip: If you want to save time by using whole wheat bread crumbs or Panko (Japanese bread crumbs), those also work very well.

Step 2: Combine Everything

In a large mixing bowl, combine all of your ingredients together. I use my hands for this which is the quickest and easiest technique for me.

Step 3: Bake It in the Oven

After spraying a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray, start forming your meatball mixture into balls.

Each turkey meatball should be around 2-inches in diameter. You should end up with around 32 meatballs when finished.

Place each meatball onto your baking sheet. FYI, I needed two baking sheets to fit all of my turkey meatballs.

Next, place your baking sheets into the 350-degree preheated oven for about 35 minutes or until cooked through. It’s best to turn them at least once, about halfway through baking, to ensure they cook evenly.

After taking them out of the oven, let them cool for a few minutes and enjoy your healthy turkey Philly cheese meatballs!

healthy turkey philly cheese meatball being held between two fingers

Serving Suggestions for Turkey Philly Cheesesteak Meatballs

If you want to add some toppings to your meatballs, like most sandwich shops do, I’d suggest trying some:

  • Marinara sauce
  • Melted cheese
  • More sautéed onions and green bell peppers

Another great suggestion is to make turkey meatball subs! Just place a few turkey meatballs into a crusty hoagie bun with your toppings of choice to make a healthy meatball sandwich.

You can also make this a complete meal by adding one or two of the following side dishes:

Recipe FAQs

Can you freeze turkey Philly cheesesteak meatballs?

Absolutely! After cooking and cooling your meatballs, you can store them in an airtight container for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to cook them, simply defrost them overnight and reheat in a microwave or bake them at 350 degrees until heated through.

How long do turkey Philly cheesesteak meatballs stay fresh in your fridge?


If you are making the meatball mixture ahead without forming the meatballs or cooking them, you can keep them in the fridge for no longer than 1-2 days prior to baking. This is to prevent the mixture from going bad and protecting you from food-borne bacteria.

After cooking them, your healthy turkey meatballs should keep well for up to 5 days. Always store them properly in an airtight container of course.

healthy turkey meatballs in a white bowl

Turkey Philly Cheesesteak Meatballs

A fun twist on the indulgent sandwich from the City of Brotherly Love. These are a perfect, healthy alternative for when you're craving that Philly cheesesteak taste. You can even make these into turkey meatball subs! Plus, these are a quick weeknight meal you can make in under an hour.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 231 kcal

Equipment

  • 1-2 baking sheet
  • large mixing bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs 93% lean ground turkey
  • 2 slices Wasa multigrain crispbread crushed
  • 2 Tbsp oregano dried
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 medium yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper any color, finely chopped
  • cup part-skim mozzarella finely shredded
  • 56 gm mild banana pepper rings (~24 rings) finely chopped
  • black pepper to taste
  • non-stick cooking spray

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Prep the vegetables (onion, bell pepper, banana pepper rings) by dicing them into bite-sized pieces. Then prep the crispbread by placing it into a plastic bag and crushing with a rolling pin.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add all of the ingredients and combine thoroughly with your hands or a spoon.
  • Form your turkey mixture into ~32 2-inch sized meatballs and place them onto a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Bake in your 350° oven for ~35 minutes or until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle. Turn each meatball halfway through baking for even cooking.
  • Enjoy your healthy turkey Philly cheesesteak meatballs!

Video

Notes

Additional Suggestions: 
  • Try any color bell pepper in this recipe. For a traditional Philly cheesesteak taste, use a green bell pepper
  • Use a different type of cheese, like traditional provolone, which is used in many Philly cheesesteak recipes
  • To save time, you can buy store-bought  whole wheat or Italian bread crumbs in place of the Wasa brand crispbread. I’ve tried this healthy meatball recipe using Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) and it’s amazing!
  • I use mild banana peppers in this recipe but have also made these with hot banana peppers for a bolder taste. Either way is delicious!
Overall Makes: ~32 meatballs
 
Nutrition Information Per 4-Meatball Serving (Makes 8 servings): 
231 calories, 10 gm total fat, 3.5 gm saturated fat, 6.9 gm carbohydrate, 26 gm protein, 1.8 gm fiber, 275 mg sodium, 428 mg potassium, 95 mg cholesterol 
Keyword meatballs, turkey

💬 Share With Me: Did you try this healthy turkey meatball recipe? Do you agree it’s a healthy alternative to the authentic Philadelphia cheesesteak sandwich? Comment below and let’s chat!

Feel free to pin this post to save and share with others!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating