Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs is an age-old classic. In fact, my family’s own Sicilian recipe is my absolute FAVORITE. Now, as a single woman with no kiddos or a husband, I’m not about to spend 2-3 days making a huge batch of my family’s recipe, so I created my own health version of a family favorite. As someone who is always watching what I eat (because I love pasta so much), I took a new twist on this classic with turkey instead of veal and beef meatballs and cooked up an amazing sauce. This can be a quick, weeknight recipe or something you let simmer all day long! It’s totally up to you. Regardless, this will be my new favorite Sunday recipe perfect just for me or to share with friends and family.

Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

Servings: 4
Calories per serving: 653
Fat: 4.4
Carbs: 108.6
Protein: 47


For the meatballs:

  • 1 lb of extra lean ground turkey
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 3-5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp egg whites
  • 1/2 onion, grated
  • dash of salt and pepper

For the sauce:

  • olive oil spray
  • 1/2 onion, grated
  • 3-5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 28 oz san marzano tomatoes
  • 14 oz of water (about half the can)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp of honey, or more if you like a sweeter sauce
  • salt, pepper, crushed red pepper – to taste
  • 16 oz spaghetti
  1. Combine all of the ingredients for the turkey meatballs into a large bowl. Refrigerate and cover for up to an hour (or more!).
  2. While your balls are marinating in the fridge, add your garlic, herbs, onion to a large pot that has been sprayed with olive oil. Add your spices in, as well. Saute until fragrant.
  3. Add your tomato sauce and tomato paste to the onions and garlic. Be sure to let this come to a bubble, and then taste. If there are any flavors missing, add in what you need (extra garlic, more salt!). This is the time you can choose to add your honey. I just add a small teaspoon, but I’m not a fan of sweet sauces. Allow your sauce to simmer for up to 2-3 hours. You can always go with less time here, but the longer…the better.
  4. Begin forming your meatballs once your turkey mixture has had time to marinade. I like to make smaller meatballs (about an inch), but you can make these as large or as small as you wish!
  5. Get a frying pan on medium heat and add some olive oil spray. Brown your meatballs on each side, but be sure not to cook through completely. You can also bake your meatballs if you wish, but the ol’ frying pan method is how I was taught.
  6. Add your browned meatballs to the tomato sauce. Allow the meatballs to simmer in the sauce for up to 25 minutes.
  7. Serve your sauce and meatballs over a heaping plate of hot spaghetti and top with lots of parmesan cheese!

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