This Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini Spaghetti is a budget-friendly and veggie-packed meal for the whole family.
I’ve been making these meatballs forever, it’s one dish that everyone in my family actually enjoys. Truthfully, it took a bunch of iterations before coming up with Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini Spaghetti. A few years ago, I added ground mushrooms to pump up the veggies and extend the portion size. Much to my dismay, I have kids who are veggie challenged. Luckily, adding “the blend” of mushrooms to the turkey is happily accepted. This meal features zucchini, mushrooms and tomatoes, that’s 3 veggies, woot! And, another secret hack is to stir some canned pumpkin into the sauce before cooking. It adds creaminess and another healthy veggie! I kept the ratio of zucchini to pasta pretty small so it’s not overwhelming but enough to extend the pasta portion.
This month’s Recipe Redux challenge is to create budget-friendly eats costing $3 or less per serving. No problem. This whole recipe makes up to 6 servings and costs around $10 depending on the sauce you choose. My favorite marinara is prepared with only tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, basil, onions, salt, and spices and no added sugars. Check your labels- there is a huge variation among marinara sauce ingredients. I love red pepper flakes and fresh parsley or basil on my finished plate. Since the kids want no part of that, it’s fun to create a little topping bar with fresh herbs, spices and parmesan.
*Gluten-free option- substitute the bread crumbs for gluten-free and serve over any bean based or gluten-free pasta.
*Lower carb option- make an extra batch of zucchini noodles and decrease the amount of pasta. Also, try bean based pasta which is much higher in protein and fiber than traditional or whole wheat pasta.
- (1) 1.3 pound package of ground turkey, 93% lean
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup whole wheat seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- (1) 8oz package white or baby bella mushrooms, ground in food processor or blender
- (1) 25 ounce jar marinara sauce
- 1 zucchini, spiralized
- (1) 12 ounce box whole wheat pasta
- salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
- Parmesan cheese to garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a large bowl add turkey, water, bread crumbs, egg, ground mushrooms and about ½ cup of sauce.
- Stir until thoroughly combined.
- Add remaining sauce to a large baking dish with a lid.
- Roll turkey mixture into balls, dropping one by one into the sauce. Should make 18-20 meatballs.
- Cover and bake for 1 hour.
- While meatballs are cooking, boil water and prepare pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, spiralize zucchini and saute in a pan sprayed with nonstick spray for about 3 minutes.
- Remove from the pan and place in a strainer lined with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
- When ready to serve, add desired amount of pasta and zucchini to a bowl, top with meatballs and sauce. Garnish with parmesan cheese.
- For extra flavor, add basil, parsley, red pepper flakes or any other spice you prefer.
This recipe feeds my family of 4 with leftovers for about 2 people. If feeding extra hungry people, like teenage boys, it should definitely feed 4.