I think I can speak for everyone and say “We all love meatballs!”. Here are healthy meatballs I made so far: slow cooker porcupine meatballs in clear sauce, Mexican turkey meatballs, turkey quinoa meatballs and even meatless meatballs with Parmesan (no one will know).
When I told my kids I’m making meatballs for dinner, the eyes exploded with fireworks. I recently was at Ikea and saw their new vegetarian meatballs, and then their traditional meat meatballs which apparently are now made with more sustainably raised meat. Thanks for trying, Ikea! So, I got “turned on” by Ikea meatballs. Plus it is a true Fall weather which begs for warm cozy food aka easy turkey meatballs.
Meatballs are really a dummy recipe: meat, egg, breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. That is pretty much it. The key to tasty meatballs is to brown them slightly first. That way they hold their shape and are more flavourful. My grandma always made meatballs. We didn’t eat them with spaghetti but rather mashed potatoes. Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes would be great with these!
Then you can either cook them in the oven or a slow cooker. Really depends on your schedule that particular day.
My recipe for easy turkey meatballs got even dumber because I used jarred pasta sauce. I was too lazy to make my own and frankly there is no need to when there are such great options as Simply Natural organic pasta sauces. They do not have added sugar and are delicious. I buy mine at Costco for a sweet price. If you do not have a pasta sauce on hand, make your own. I like the one I used in my zucchini Parmigiana recipe.
I used whole wheat panko style breadcrumbs because that is what I had on hand. Because it is real life. Remember, I said we eat 90% organic because there is a world outside of my well-controlled kitchen. Panic style bread crumbs are not clean and not organic. Feel free to use any bread crumbs. In my neck of the woods, it is very hard to find organic whole wheat breadcrumbs hence is probably why I didn’t have them on hand. I will try better next time…
I honestly have a hard time keeping up with being perfect in every department of my life and actually am not really trying to anymore…I laugh when I see bloggers having a menu for the week in a cute font hand written on a chalkboard. How about “pumpkin soup soy seeds” in Notes on iPhone at 6AM hockey practice?! That chalkboard would be smudged in 5 minutes in my house. And how do you clean that so it stays black?! But wait, where do you buy that?! And where do you keep that so it isn’t used as a shield in the next sword fight. It is already Halloween in my house full swing, with costume changes and mattress fights. Honestly, I run away from any extra piece of anything that collects dust or needs cleaning. So, that is super cute but my real life is the bigger pot with meatballs – the better. And lots of spaghetti! Zoodles?! What zoodles?!
Enjoy these easy turkey meatballs!
- 2 lbs ground turkey
- 1 small onion, minced*
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- 1 egg, large
- 1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs (GF if necessary)
- 1/2 tsp salt**
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 24 oz jar organic pasta or marinara sauce (I used Simply Natural)***
- Cooking spray (I use Misto)
- In a large mixing bowl, mix to combine all ingredients, except pasta sauce. Form into 40 golf ball size meatballs (I use small ice cream scoop) and place on a large plate.
- Preheat large non-stick skillet on medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Cook meatballs until browned, turning once and working in batches.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (if using slow cooker skip this step). Pour pasta sauce in a large heavy bottom saucepan or slow cooker and add browned meatballs. Cover and bake for 30-40 minutes in the oven OR cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours in a slow cooker. Garnish with fresh basil or parsley and serve hot with whole wheat spaghetti, brown rice or quinoa.
*Pulse onion, garlic and egg in a food processor or blender cup for an easy chop. **Use more salt if your pasta sauce and ground turkey do not contain much sodium. ***I like this Balsamic Tomato Sauce recipe too.
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Amount Per Serving = 5 meatballs:
Total Fat: 6.1 g
Cholesterol: 91.9 mg
Sodium: 532.5 mg
Total Carbs: 10.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.3 g
Protein: 28.3 g
WW Points+: 5