Turkey Meatballs Baked with Polenta and Mozzarella

Sheet-pan of baked turkey and zucchini meatballs, rounds of polenta, melted mozzarella, tomato sauce and basil

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5 from 1 review

Turkey meatballs baked with polenta and mozzarella is an impressive and easy sheet-pan dinner! I serve this meal with garlic bread on the side. 

This recipe can also be made with any of your favorite meatball recipes. To make this dinner really easy, use frozen store-bought meatballs. 


Units Scale
  • One batch uncooked Turkey meatballs (or frozen pre-cooked meatballs, see cooking notes below)
  • 1 18-ounce log pre-cooked polenta, sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds (about 12 slices)
  • 1 25 to 28 ounce jar store-bought marinara sauce (I usually only use 3/4 of the sauce)
  • 1 8-ounce container small mozzarella balls (ciliegine) or 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese (see notes below about mozzarella)
  • Fresh basil


  1. Heat oven to 400 F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment or foil, or coat with non-stick cooking spray. 
  2. Set the sliced rounds of polenta on the sheet pan, evenly spaced. 
  3. Set the meatballs on the sheet pan, around the polenta.
  4. Mist the polenta and meatballs with cooking spray (I like Trader Joe’s olive oil spray)
  5. Bake 15 minutes, then remove the sheet pan from the oven. The meatballs will have released some fat and juice; this is fine and will add flavor to the marinara sauce. 
  6. Pour or spoon marinara sauce over and around the meatballs and polenta. Use as much as you like - I usually use ¾ of a jar. 
  7. Place a mozzarella ball on top of each polenta round. Set any extra mozzarella balls right on the sheet pan, around the meatballs. If using grated mozzarella, scatter it evenly over the sheet-pan. 
  8. Continue baking until the marinara sauce is hot, the cheese is soft and melted and the meatballs are 165 F, about 5 to 8 more minutes. 
  9. Top with fresh basil before serving. 
  10. I let the sheet-pan cool slightly, then put it directly in the table as the serving platter. 


Frozen Meatballs: If using frozen meatballs, lower the oven temperature to 325 F and cover the sheet-pan of meatballs and polenta with foil. Foil helps keep moisture locked in, preventing pre-cooked meatballs from drying out. Frozen meatballs can take up to 30 minutes to re-heat. When the meatballs are warmed all the way through, remove the foil from the pan and proceed with the recipe as written. 

Mozzarella: Small mozzarella balls (ciliegine) are fun and easy for this recipe. However, any type of fresh mozzarella, like ciliegine, will release some water while it melts. This will make the sheet-pan just slightly watery, but not overly so. Grated mozzarella cheese  is fine to use as well, and will be more like regular melted cheese. Also delicous!