Goulash with Turkey Meatballs

When the weather is dreary and the day has been long I love to serve my family a good, hot meal of real comfort food. I try to sneak in healthy recipes whenever I can. Here is my recipe for goulash with meatballs.

This version is made healthier by using reduced-sodium canned tomatoes and ground turkey.

Goulash with Turkey Meatballs | Foodal.com

The mixture can either be mixed via a goulash or layered on top of Penne for an Italian-inspired pasta effect.

Looking for more healthier alternatives using ground turkey? Try our balsamic meatloaf, a delicious update to this comfort food classic.

For more tasty meatball recipes, get ready for more amazing meals with some of our favorites:

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Goulash with Tukey Meatballs | Foodal.com

Goulash with Turkey Meatballs

  • Author: Lynne Jaques
  • Yield: 4 people 1x


A quick and hearty wintertime family meal.


  • 1/2 lb Penne pasta
  • 1 15 oz can reduced sodium stewed diced tomatoes Italian style
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano (dried)
  • pinch Basil (dried )


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix meat, egg, a handful of bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and oregano. Mixture should stick together and form balls but should not be too dry, if too dry add a little juice from the tomatoes.
  2. Form mixture into balls. Pour oil into skillet and heat over medium heat until hot, place meatballs into skillet one at a time and brown them on all sides, they should still be pink in the middle.
  3. Remove meatballs and place in baking dish, cover with foil and place in oven. Allow to cook while preparing pasta.
  4. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta and add tomatoes including the juice. Toss pasta until coated. Add meatballs and toss again, if there seems to be too much tomato juice, allow to cook, uncovered, on stove top over low heat until most of the liquid is gone. Serve with green salad.


If you are looking for easy, healthy recipes you should give this one a try.

About Lynne Jaques

Lynne is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. As a former US military officer and the spouse of an active duty US military member, Lynne enjoys traveling the world (although not the moving part!) and finding new cuisine and methods of preparing food. She also has the habit of using parenthesis way too much!

22 thoughts on “Goulash with Turkey Meatballs”

  1. I had no idea it was this easy to make meatballs, i have always wondered and asked around but i think no one had a clue, glad to have found the super secret recipe, you can bet that am going to experiment on making them one of these fine days, just crossing my fingers i succeed at it 😉

  2. Thank you so much Lynne! If you have not read my previous comments on the Stuffed French Toast and Chicken Mac N Cheese recipes yet, I have been searching for something special to do for my husband. His 39th birthday is this weekend and he has been sick with a horrible cold. So, he’ll be stuck in bed all day on he’s birthday. When I saw the Stuffed French Toast recipe I knew right away that a great present for him would be breakfast in bed. Then I continued to browse your recipes and found your Chicken Mac N Cheese. I thought to myself, ‘he’s going be stuck in bed all day, why not make him dinner as well!’ I now, I found his lunch entree. His birthday breakfast, lunch and dinner in bed menu is complete thanks to you!!!

    • Wow, talk of being spoilt rotten on his birthday… may he live to blow a million candles…hope you guys have a blast all the same despite his horrible cold…i agree with you MLNewkirk, the recipes on this blog are one of a kind, i’m having lots of fun in the kitchen nowadays, regardless whether its a trial and error or a complete success, i love it 🙂

    • Happy Birthday to your husband! I am very jealous of the menu for the day, it sounds like he will be spoiled in eat all his meals in bed! Yes the recipes on this site are great for special occasions and even just regular dinners.

  3. Ah I remember eating goulash on the streets of Budapest a few months ago. Delicious AND cheap and filling. I’ve never thought about eating it with pasta though, so this is interesting.

  4. The Hungarian goulash I tasted contained paprika so was a lot spicier than this recipe seems to be. I’d never thought to serve it with pasta before either.

  5. I remember eating this exact dish when I was a kid! My family was comprised of 5 kids, so my mother did not have that much time to cook amongst other chores such as cleaning or taking care of us. She always cooked pasta with meatballs and this sauce. It tasted delicious for the time it took to prepare it!

  6. This looks delicious! I normally like meatballs, but I always eat them as a stand alone, and never a part of my pastas. I don’t know why I don’t want to mix these two. I just love to eat them separately.
    Anyhow, the picture is again amazing. It keeps whispering for me to ditch my twirl or elbow pastas in favor of penne pasta.

  7. Imrpessive, but I noticed that the sauce isn’t very runny and is very minimal. You could substitute your penne pasta for something that slides well like spaghetti or lenguini. I bet the turkey meatballs taste great though.

  8. This looks like a great way to use all my leftover turkey from Christmas! Canned tomatoes and dried herbs are easily available all year round, so there’s nothing that’s hard to obtain during the winter season.

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. This looks great! Growing up my mother used to make goulash with shredded leftover beef and tons of ketchup as her secret ingredient. She would literally pour three entire squeeze bottles of ketchup into her sauce mixture and let it simmer on the stove for hours! I can’t wait to try this recipe to see how a more mainstream version of goulash compares to my grandmother’s recipe! To be honest it will probably pale in comparison to my childhood memories, but this simpler version will be great for my family on a busy night! I’m sure it will be a lot healthier after omitting all the sugar and preservatives that ketchup has in it as well!

  10. I think I would try something like this with chicken, but probably not turkey. I have been generally disappointed with the flavor of things that traditionally have red meat when turkey is substituted.

  11. This looks delicious!!!! I generally eat meatballs with spaghetti, however, I also enjoy them as a sandwich. It has been quite some time since I’ve made my own meatballs since the grocery stores make it so easy to pick up a bag of prepared meatballs for you. After seeing your recipe and how easy it is, I am definitely going back to making my own….mmmm perhaps this will be tomorrows dinner.

  12. I’ve always hated goulash, but that’s because I’ve never ate one like this – with pasta, meatbals and tomatoes!
    Those photos made my mouth water 🙂 I also like that it’s looking easy to prepare.

  13. This recipe looks like something i ate while in Manchester over the holidays. I love pasta a lot but i’m kind of allergic to meat. I’ll try it out but with soya to replace meat.

  14. I would love to have something like this for dinner. The idea of using turkey is cool. It’s a great change of pace to eating beef. This would also be a good alternative for those who don’t eat beef anyway. Now I have another recipe to try out for sure.

  15. I’m glad this recipe is short and easy to follow. I often times have trouble if it becomes too complex. My only concern is that I’m not sure that I’m too keen on the type of pasta you chose to use. I might substitute it for angel hair or maybe rotini. Other than that it looks perfect.

  16. im so open to turkey meatballs, I bet they are great. I’m more of a spaghetti person though. I don’t know when I’ll try cooking different types of pastas.

  17. We make a way different variation in my family. It’s made with rice, tomato sauce, kidney beans, onions/peppers and ground beef all mixed up together. It’s an awesome unusual dish. Everyone always asks my mom for the recipe. I had this same pasta dish for dinner last night that you have pictured. It’s such a filling and satisfying meal. I never knew this was called Goulash also. I always called this dish American chop suey, Bolognese sauce with pasta or Meatballs and pasta. I learned something new today!

  18. My aunt recently got ahold of this recipe, and made it for dinner last sunday while we were visiting. This was THE BEST goulash we have ever had! I actually snagged the recipe from here, and I’m sure i’ll be making it again. Tastes way better with the turkey meatballs, rather than the beef ones.


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