Turkey Meatballs and Marinara

Turkey Meatballs and Marinara: Tender, juicy meatballs seared then simmered in robust marinara sauce. Healthy twist on a classic without sacrificing taste.

Main Dish | February 27, 2017 | By

If you think beef is the only way to go with meatballs, think again. Turkey Meatballs and Marinara are pan-seared then braised in rich, robust marinara for a dish that not only your family will love but it’s classy enough (if you’re the type that has classy friends) for company too. While I could be perfectly content with old-school marinara my husband is a card-carrying carnivore that needs meat and actually believes it improves his life. Who am I to argue? These turkey meatballs won over the carnivore who calls them “fowl balls“.  I can’t make this stuff up. They’ll win over your pickiest eater, too.

Turkey Meatballs and Marinara: Tender, juicy meatballs seared then simmered in robust marinara sauce. Healthy twist on a classic without sacrificing taste.

I also added some chopped fresh spinach to the meatballs and while it doesn’t change the flavor, it adds nutritional value. There’s no magic involved to get to this delicious taste. Followers know I love to sear meat ~ you cant’ substitute the flavor you get when the meat hits that hot pan. That’s Part I. Part II for this Turkey Meatballs and Marinara recipe is braising the meatballs in a quick homemade marinara so they absorb all that robust tomato-garlic flavor. 

Turkey Meatballs and Marinara: Tender, juicy meatballs seared then simmered in robust marinara sauce. Healthy twist on a classic without sacrificing taste.

Healthy Turkey Meatballs Ingredients:

  • Olive oil 
  • 1 pound of ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Progresso Italian Style breadcrumbs (or your favorite brand)
  • 1/4 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh spinach, stems removed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper

Turkey Meatballs and Marinara: Tender, juicy meatballs seared then simmered in robust marinara sauce. Healthy twist on a classic without sacrificing taste.

Add the turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, parmesan, spinach, parsley, onion, Worcestershire, tomato paste, salt and pepper to a medium size bowl.  Gently blend everything together using your hands without over mixing then roll into about golf ball size balls.

Turkey Meatballs and Marinara: Tender, juicy meatballs seared then simmered in robust marinara sauce. Healthy twist on a classic without sacrificing taste.

Next add a drizzle of olive oil to a deep skillet or pot. When the oil is warm, add the meatballs getting a nice sear on two sides. NOTE: the meatballs will NOT be cooked through at this point. As they brown, remove them from the skillet or pot and reserve.

The Marinara:

  • 2 – cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • small pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup of red wine (whatever kind you’ll be drinking with the meal)
  • 1 – 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil, chopped

In the same pot add another drizzle of olive oil and the garlic, crushed red pepper and onions. Season with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat stirring so the garlic doesn’t burn. When the onions are soft, fold in the tomato paste, cooking 3-4 minutes.

Turkey Meatballs and Marinara: Tender, juicy meatballs seared then simmered in robust marinara sauce. Healthy twist on a classic without sacrificing taste.

Pour in the wine, reduce the heat and simmer about 5 minutes then stir in crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper and parsley.

Turkey Meatballs and Marinara: Tender, juicy meatballs seared then simmered in robust marinara sauce. Healthy twist on a classic without sacrificing taste.

Once the sauce is combined, transfer the meatballs to the pot. Cover and simmer 25-30 minutes. Stir in the basil and cook another 2-3 minutes, then serve the Turkey Meatballs and Marinara with your favorite pasta.

Love Italian cuisine like I do? This Chicken Parmesan is another favorite of mine!

Turkey Meatballs and Marinara: Tender, juicy meatballs seared then simmered in robust marinara sauce. Healthy twist on a classic without sacrificing taste.

 

Turkey Meatballs with Marinara
Packed with protein and all the flavor of it's cousin, the beef meatball because they're simmered in a rich, tomato-garlic marinara.
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Ingredients
  1. MEATBALLS
  2. Olive oil
  3. 1 pound of ground turkey
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1/2 cup Progresso Italian Style breadcrumbs (or your favorite brand)
  6. 1/4 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
  7. 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh spinach, stems removed and chopped
  8. 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  9. 1 small onion, finely chopped
  10. 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  11. 1 1/2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  12. 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  13. 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  14. MARINARA
  15. 2 – cloves of garlic, grated
  16. 1 medium onion, diced
  17. small pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
  18. 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  19. 1/2 cup of red wine (whatever kind you’ll be drinking with the meal)
  20. 1 – 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  21. 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  22. 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  23. 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  24. 1/4 cup of fresh basil, chopped
Instructions
  1. Add the turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, parmesan, spinach, parsley, onion, Worcestershire, tomato paste, salt and pepper to a medium size bowl.
  2. Blend together using your hands then roll into about golf ball size balls.
  3. Add a drizzle of olive oil to a deep skillet or pot. When the oil is warm, add the meatballs getting a nice sear on two sides. NOTE: the meatballs will NOT be cooked through at this point. As they brown, remove them from the skillet or pot and reserve.
  4. In the same pot add another drizzle of olive oil and the garlic, crushed red pepper and onions. Season with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat stirring so the garlic doesn’t burn. When the onions are soft, fold in the tomato paste, cooking 3-4 minutes.
  5. Pour in the wine, reduce the heat and simmer about 5 minutes then stir in crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper and parsley.
  6. Once the sauce is combined, transfer the meatballs to the pot.
  7. Cover and simmer 25-30 minutes then stir in the basil and cook another 2-3 minutes.
  8. Serve over your favorite pasta.
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