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Turkey Meatballs with Avocado Citrus Dipping Sauce

These turkey meatballs with avocado are packed with spinach for a healthy meal or appetizer.

Remember how I ranted about winter back in October when we got that freak blizzard and went on and on about how much I hate the cold and hate the snow.

Well, it’s definitely true but from the first cold snap through the holidays I can tolerate it. When you grow up in New York, it’s supposed  to be cold during Christmas. Come January 1st though, I’m ready for spring. I want tulips, budding trees, insane pollen allergies, and warm weather.

Today’s high is forecast for 23.


That is not spring.

So, what do you do when you want spring but mother nature isn’t cooperating?

Turkey Meatballs with Avocado Citrus Dipping Sauce

You make it in your kitchen!

Turkey Meatballs with Avocado Sauce

Now, I don’t really associate meatballs with spring, but hear me out. It’s about the flavor in these meatballs and the dipping sauce that goes with them.

These are no tomato sauce simmering, Sunday pasta kind of meatballs (for that, try these cheddar stuffed turkey zucchini meatballs with tomato sauce). They’re bursting with lemon, lime, spinach, yellow peppers and fresh parsley.

Sound more springy?

Turkey Meatballs with Avocado

The avocado dip is basically a mock guacamole with more of a citrusy flare to complement the meatballs.

You can put it on the meatballs or you can eat it straight with a spoon.

Both are fine. 

Turkey Meatballs

These would make awesome party appetizers, go perfectly on top of some pasta using the avocado dip as a sauce or, just served plain as the protein component in a normal meal.

I ate them with an apple for lunch yesterday. Totally normal.

Turkey Meatballs with Avocado Citrus Sauce

Spring has sprung….in your mouth at least. Only 79 more days to go.

Worried about how to know when ground turkey is fully cooked? Check out this simple guide on how long to cook ground turkey for all the tips and tricks.

Turkey Meatballs with Avocado Citrus Dipping Sauce

These turkey meatballs with avocado are packed with spinach for a healthy meal or appetizer.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 20 servings


For the Meatballs

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 10 oz. frozen spinach thawed and drained
  • 1 yellow pepper diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt & pepper

For the Avocado Dipping Sauce

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1/2 a lime
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • salt & pepper to taste


For the Meatballs

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large skillet over medium high heat, saute onion, shallot and garlic with 1 tablespoon olive oil for 3-5 minutes until softened.
  • Add peppers and red pepper flakes and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Combine onions, pepper, garlic mixture in a large bowl with turkey and spinach.
  • Add remaining ingredients and mix together, using your hands if necessary.
  • Roll into balls, just slightly larger than golf ball size and set aside.
  • Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat in skillet.
  • Place meatballs in skillet and pan fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until browned.
  • Once meatballs are browned, place on a baking sheet that’s been lined with foil and sprayed with baking spray.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes until fully cooked through.

For the Avocado Dipping Sauce

  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mash together with a fork (or use a food processor) until fully mixed.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1SERVING | Calories: 130kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 103mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Cuisine American
Course Appetizers
Keyword spring turkey meatballs, turkey meatballs, turkey meatballs with avocado dipping sauce


Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

Recipe Rating


Tuesday 18th of June 2013

Made these tonight...perfect on this hot summer night in Anchorage. I could just eat a pound of the avocado citrus sauce....used greek yogurt instead of sour cream and was heavenly!


Sunday 21st of October 2012

The meatballs were pretty tasty. Maybe even too much citrus for someone, such as my aunt. However, the dipping sauce was not good at all, pretty ruined by all the lemon and lime.


Friday 25th of May 2012

Made these and they were DELICIOUS!!! The avocado topping was a perfect compliment to the turkey meatballs.


Wednesday 4th of January 2012

Can I complain that its not cold? And I want it to be? Rain would be nice too. Its currently 85 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. I know I'm spoiled, but I know SoCal will be paying for this easy winter with one hell of a fire season.

And avocado on meatballs? Bring it on. I bet some feta would be amazing in the meatballs too.

Running to the Kitchen

Wednesday 4th of January 2012

I will happily trade locations with you! ;)

Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers

Wednesday 4th of January 2012

What a yummy recipe! I love the taste of avocado, but I think I'm allergic. I will have to try the meatballs though!