Turkey Meatballs Recipe: Dukan Diet Quick-Start Guide

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How I lost 20 pounds eating a lot of turkey meatballs…

turkey meatballs
Turkey meatballs were crucial to have around during my time on the Dukan Diet.

I am a foodie and a personal chef. Therefore I eat and drink and eat a lot. I’ve been known to order uni bucatini as a pasta course and again for dessert. I also hate going to the gym and never could be disciplined enough to do it on a regular basis.

With that said, it is not surprising that last summer I hit an all-time high for my weight. Aside from my clothes not fitting (requiring me to binge shop for a multitude of maxi dresses to make it through one of L.A.’s hottest summers), I felt awful. I had no energy, no inspiration, wasn’t sleeping well and was battling some existential demons. I knew I was out of whack. It was around this time that I was dining on an insanely delicious steak at Chi Spacca with a good friend and she was super excited because the diet she was on allowed it.

What is the Dukan Diet

Obviously, I was interested in what this magical diet was. Living in Los Angeles personal chef clients wanted to know what it was as well. Was this Atkins? No, this was the Dukan Diet, conceived by French doctor Pierre Dukan. It’s a high protein low carb diet that essentially resets your body, gets you down to your goal weight and gives you a path to keep off the weight forever. That’s where the turkey meatballs recipe comes in.

As I read more about the diet, I learned that the Dukan Diet is divided into four phases. The first two are for losing the weight. In The Attack Phase, you eat only lean proteins to kick-start your body into fat-burning ketosis. After that, in The Cruise Phase, you alternate days of pure proteins and days of proteins and vegetables to get your body down to its goal weight. The next two phases keep the weight off. The Consolidation Phase keeps you from ballooning back up once you’ve lost all the weight. While The Stabilization Phase gives you a few things you can do to keep the weight off permanently.

How long does the diet last? For me, I determined that I needed to lose about 20 pounds. I filled out this handy questionnaire on their website and they calculated that my timeline would be just under four months.

How to Master the Dukan Diet

I bought The Dukan Diet: 2 Steps to Lose the Weight, 2 Steps to Keep It Off Forever book to read up on how and why I was doing what I was doing. This is extremely important to the success of the diet. Otherwise, you’re more prone to cheat if you don’t understand the method behind your regime. It also thoroughly explains each step and outlines what you can and can’t eat. It includes recipes to help you come up with ideas of what you can eat. All things that I found to be extremely helpful.

Following the diet strictly until I hit my goal weight was a must. The first month, I cut out alcohol entirely—the first time I had such a sober stretch since college. I felt amazing. The pounds were falling off. I was sleeping through the night. My head was clear and with all the water the diet recommends you drink, my skin garnered compliments every time I was out in public.

There were a few things that really helped me get through those early months. One of the most important was planning and cooking ahead. On Sunday nights I would make one or two big meals like a roast chicken or a bunch of turkey meatballs, so I could eat them throughout the week and have them ready to go. I would also have a few cartons of egg whites ready to go for mornings (or evenings) where I wanted a quick and easy breakfast or dinner. If I wasn’t having egg whites, I was hitting the nonfat Greek yogurt pretty hard. You get such a protein boost from it that you’re not really hungry until lunch.

Dukan Diet Tips

The best way to achieve success with the diet is to find those proteins that you like and parlay them into your day-to-day eating. For me, it was egg whites, nonfat plain Greek yogurt, nonfat ricotta cheese, smoked salmon, salmon, ground turkey, and chicken. Once I knew what I could utilize, I could focus on the pure protein meals and the protein and vegetable combinations.

Eating out was the biggest challenge because there are always so many temptations. If I had to go out to eat, I’d hit up my favorite Mediterranean restaurant and get a kabob plate without the rice or hummus. Eating out at a Vietnamese restaurant, I could order pho with double meat and no noodles. At taco stands, I’d order chicken tacos or carne asada with no tortillas. Was I self conscious ordering that? No. I live in L.A. people, they get much weirder requests that that. The important thing was that I was losing weight and it was staying off.

Nearly a month after completing the four phases, I successfully made it through the holidays and am still at my goal weight. I continue to walk every morning and work three tablespoons of Oat Bran into my diet, per the diet’s recommendation. My skinny jeans are now too big for me, so as a big Christmas present to me, I bought two new pairs of skinnier jeans. Enough said.

You Can Do It

Why am I writing this post? Because everyone asks me what I did to lose the weight and keep it off, and still eat well. Also, because I know what it’s like to feel stuck. I’d been wanting to shed weight for the last few years, but didn’t know how to do it successfully. Like I said, the gym wasn’t working, going vegetarian and vegan didn’t move the needle, juice fasting was hilarious and cutting calories was just annoying. I really think the Dukan Diet is totally attainable. If you find yourself where I was, it’s might be just what you need to bring you the results you’re looking for.

Make Dukan Diet Turkey Meatballs


Have you ever tried the Dukan Diet? Tell me about your experience in the comments.

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Join the Conversation

  1. I live on these! The best recipe to kick start my attack phase. Thank you so much for this recipe!

    1. xtina Author says:

      So glad you like them! Best of luck with the diet. I know the attack phase and pure protein days can be tough, but when you start seeing results, you’ll be so motivated to stick with it!

    2. All I can say is thank you! This recipe is a game changer. I really dislike cottage cheese though so I substituted with fat free ricotta. So yummy, thank you again!

      1. xtina Author says:

        That’s such a great sub, Krista! Happy that it’s working for you!

  2. These look lovely going to try them tonight. Only on day 3 of attack. Great not feeling hungry. Hardest part is breaking old habits.

    1. xtina Author says:

      Good luck Gemma! And you’re right, it’s mainly about shedding the bad habits and picking up good ones. I figured out that if you make a plan for healthy eating and use your will power to stick to it, you can usually achieve it. But you definitely need a plan.

  3. Hi. That recipe sounds great. Can I ask how you got the oat bran into your diet? It’s the thing I think I’ll struggle with.

    1. xtina Author says:

      I hear you! I mixed it in with some non-fat Greek yogurt with a dash of cinnamon and ate it in the morning. Not so great, but I was able to easily eat it. Plus you get the protein punch from the yogurt.

      1. Jeannette Wellman says:

        I make the Gallette. Not sure of the spelling. It is a pancake. I put a thinly sliced of low fat ham and an egg on top. Great savory breakfast.

        1. I make the Dukan Museli. It is so good. My husband loves it to. I flavour it with maple flavouring

          1. Christina Xenos Author says:

            That sounds so delicious!

  4. Lucie Miller says:

    Hello, can you tell me how long these will keep in the fridge? Also, do you think I could freeze extras? I’m planning on starting Dukan soon and want to make a large batch of these. Thanks!!!!

    1. xtina Author says:

      The FDA says that you shouldn’t keep leftovers past 3 days, but I have kept these and eaten them for about 5 or so. It’s whatever you’re comfortable with. These will freeze really well. Let them cool, then stick them on one layer in a tray and put them in the freezer. Once they’re frozen, you can put them in a freezer bag. Having a large batch is really smart to have on hand for when you need a snack or a quick meal.

  5. Ashley Gibson says:

    Do you count the oat bran in these as your daily dose of oat bran? If so, how many meatballs would be equivalent to 2 tbsp of oat bran per day?

  6. Can I have any millk for tea…only starting??

    1. Christina Xenos Author says:

      Yes, you can! I believe in the book they recommend skim milk. I drank unsweetened almond milk throughout my time on the diet and was fine with that too. I definitely recommend reading the book as everything is outlined there.

      1. Can I bake the turkey meatballs instead of broiling? Also how would cooking temp/time change with lean ground beef?

        1. Christina Xenos Author says:

          Yes, you definitely can! You can bake them at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the meatball reaches 165 degrees (use a meat thermometer to confirm that).

  7. What can I use as a non dairy substitute for the cottage cheese?

    1. Christina Xenos Author says:

      Rachel, I think you can omit the cottage cheese, and use an extra egg white instead.

  8. For a non dairy version I just used non dairy yogurt! It worked wonderful. I also made them on a pan (made them a little flatter).

  9. In the oven right now. So excited to try them!

    1. Christina Xenos Author says:

      Hope you love them!

  10. This recipe looks awesome!!! Since I don’t use grain flour, do you think almond or coconut flour would work well as a substitute? Thanks!

    1. Christina Xenos Author says:

      Yes, almond flour will definitely work. I haven’t worked a lot with cocoanut flour. If you don’t think it will make the meatballs taste like cocoanut, then definitely use it. I also want to start experimenting with flaxseed too.

  11. YUM! I made this last night and it’s fantastic! I used both Sweet potatoes and white potatoes because I didn’t have enough sweet, and it worked out great. Thank you!

    1. Christina Xenos Author says:

      So happy you made this and love it!

  12. Martha P. says:

    These meatball are life (dukan) savers. 🙂 ….Thank you! Having them now w a spoon of ricotta on the side…perfect for cruise on pp days. Secret is always to keep simple. I’ve got to Dukan the same way you did ( need to loose 17lbs, tried work out more, eat less, vegan, plant base, fast metabolism)…looks like this is the only one that is working for me as well. Thank goodness, I was already thinking on giving up my skinny jeans and buying loose fitting flowery dresses and become a version of my sweet grandma <3 … Thanks again.

  13. Nancy Acord says:

    Thanks so much for this recipe!! I lost 23 lbs. on the Dukan diet about 4 years ago. Then I happily met, fell in love with and married a foodie!! Well there went the weight loss! This is the only diet that has ever worked for me….ever!! I’m almost 59 and have been dieting since my 20s. I plan to hit 60 being done with fighting with my weight!! Looking forward to stocking my freezer with these!! Thanks again!!

  14. Violet Wright says:

    Am trying to make the turkey meatballs but falling to understand the measurements, Sorry about this but what is 1/2c, I am from England . Is it cup?? So for example half cup of fresh mint leaves??

    1. Christina Xenos Author says:

      No problem, that would be about a handful of mint leaves.

  15. I made these last night (chicken pork combi), and can now understand why everyone is saying you can live on it! It is delicious and does not feel one bit it is part of dieting! Thank you for sharing your recipe! xx

    1. Christina Xenos Author says:

      So happy you enjoyed them! They are such a lifesaver 🙂

    2. Christina Xenos Author says:

      Also, I love the chicken/pork combo. I’m going to try that!

  16. I made these last night (chicken pork combi), Keep Sharing

    1. Christina Xenos Author says:

      Thanks so much!

  17. hello from Australia… I was sort of plant based for several years.. mid 60’s 109kg with heart disease… small amounts of fish/ prawns etc…but can not shift the weight.. with bilateral hip replacements and chronic pain… am trying the Dukan diet … any suggestions for getting through the attack phase with no cookbook please.

    1. Christina Xenos Author says:

      Hi Christina,
      I know how frustrating it can be. If you have heart disease, I would recommend discussing any new eating plan like this with your doctor. Personally, I would say a balanced diet with fiber would be essential for you and that isn’t always the case with the Dukan diet especially in the attack phase. As women past 40, it’s really difficult for us to shed weight much of the time because of hormone imbalances/menopause/perimenopause and loss of muscle mass. For the attack phase I would concentrate on low fat proteins like chicken breast, prawns, fish with high omega3s like wild caught salmon, and turkey. Whether or not you decide to do Dukan, in general I would recommend cutting down on simple carbs like potatoes/white rice/white bread, etc. and really concentrate on getting fiber either from vegetables or legumes (which aren’t on Dukan, but a great source of protein/fiber if you’re not doing the diet). I wish you the best of luck!

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