This is my love language.
Everything good (in this case: lean turkey veggie meatballs and smooth, tangy tomato sauce with fresh green herbs) tangled up in hot pasta and just exploding with color and texture. *closes eyes and purrs* I seriously love it.
I don’t often make spaghetti and meatballs but I’ve had it on my overcrowded food idea board for a looong time now and I may or may not have just gotten tired of looking at it. Know what I mean? One of the advantages of listing your ideas: getting tired of looking at all the things you haven’t done yet which forces you to follow through. And I’m so so glad this recipe actually happened because both Bjork and I could eat it for every meal all week forever. Well, we ARE eating it all week. I made the recipe twice which resulted in at least 900 little containers of skinny spaghetti and meatballs in the fridge waiting to be packed into a lunchbox.
Here’s the deal on the skinny.
The reason this recipe is skinnier than your average spaghetti and meatballs is because:
- Half of the meatball mixture is chopped veggies.
- The other half of the meatball mixture is lean ground turkey.
- I spy a few whole wheat breadcrumbs, too.
- Unrelated to the meatballs, this is a good time to try low glycemic or gluten free noodles. I’m usually all over the whole wheat pasta but I just can’t do it with spaghetti. But I’ve tried like three different “healthier” spaghetti varieties lately and I’ve been impressed by all of them. SCORE.
- Somebody is going to be ultraskinny and use spaghetti squash in place of the pasta. I am not that person but more power to you, health nut.
So to make this happen, you’ll have to chop up your veggies really small. Like, food processor or bust small. I used those teensy tiny red peppers that everybody loves right now and I just chopped the heck out of them with my food processor. In addition to cutting some calories and packing some nutrition into the meatballs, you are going to get some rockin’ sweet red pepper flavor in your meatballs and you are not going to complain. Because YUM.
Veggies + turkey + whole wheat breadcrumbs + cheese = these.
You guys, the meatballs. Excuse me for yelling but BJORK LOVED THEM.
I loved them too, but I guess I don’t fall for meatballs quite as extremely as he does? I don’t know. It was just ridiculous; he kept walking by the meatball bowl and just popping those little things like candy. And again. And again. And after we completely inhaled our hot plates of spaghetti and meatballs for a nice little Saturday night dinner date at home, he went back for… more meatballs. Just meatballs on the plate.
Between the turkey and veggie meatballs, the sauce (storebought all the way! there’s a generic brand that I love with a short ingredient list, no added sugar, and a super smooth texture so why the heck not?!), the hot sticky spaghetti noodles, and the fresh herbs and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, there’s a lot to luv about this meal. If we were normal people who made recipes more than once, this would forsurely make its way into the permanent weeknight dinners category.
Just so many good vibes right now.
- 1⅓ lbs. lean ground turkey
- 2 cups minced bell peppers (about 15 mini peppers)
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ¾ cup Italian seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus extra salt and pepper
- 35 ounces super smooth spaghetti sauce (my preference)
- 16 ounces uncooked spaghetti
- fresh minced parsley and additional cheese for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prep the peppers. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs and stir until thick and sticky. Add the bell peppers, turkey and salt. Mix with your hands to really get the mixture incorporated.
- Roll the mixture into meatballs (I did smaller sized meatballs and I was able to make about 50) and place on a greased baking sheet. They WILL stick and brown on the bottom as they bake. Sprinkle the meatballs generously with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the baking sheet and set aside.
- Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Heat the spaghetti sauce in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the meatballs and some fresh parsley; stir gently and cover. Let the mixture simmer until the noodles are done cooking and the sauce is warmed through. Combine the sauce and noodles directly in the pan, or just scoop the sauce on top. Sprinkle with a little cheese for good luck.