Thursday, July 14, 2016

Zoodles & Turkey Meatballs

I have been looking to mix-up my normal go-to's when it comes to meal planning every week and I have heard so much BUZZ about zucchini noodles! They look so pretty and I have seen so many different kinds of recipes that incorporate them that I finally decided to buy a spiralizer and try one out! I mean, if I can still have "pasta" but avoid the carbs I am definitely game! :)

I picked up a spiralizer from Walmart for about $17 the other day and finally tried it out last night. I was a little worried that it wouldn't work well, but it actually did it's job just fine. I am sure that there are nicer ones out there that you don't have to turn with your hand, but it was easy enough to use either way. 

I found a recipe on Pinterest from "A Cozy Kitchen" blog that we tried last night and it was SO GOOD! Even my son who doesn't care for most vegetables loved it! So, before I ramble on more about how much I love zoodles and well, food in general, here is the recipe we made last night! :)

Zoodles & Turkey Meatballs

Ingredients for Meatballs:

1 LB of ground turkey
2 TBSP Dried Fine Breadcrumbs
2 TBSP Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Large Egg
1 tsp Kosher Salt
Olive Oil
1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
3 TBSP Finely Chopped Italian Parsley
2 TBSP Freshly Chopped Sage
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper

Ingredients for Sauce:

2 tsp Olive Oil
1/4 Yellow Onion, diced
3 Garlic Cloves
2-3 Sage Leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 28-Ounce Can of Tomatoes (San Marzano is good)
1 Parmesan Rind (optional)


4 Medium Zucchinis, ends trimmed and either spiraled or julienned


1. In a large bowl, add the ground turkey, dried bread crumbs, parmesan, egg and salt.

2. In a medium sauté pan, placed over medium heat, pour in a teaspoon of olive oil. Add the diced onion to the oil and cook until translucent and soft, about 5-7 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and add the minced garlic, Italian parsley, sage and crushed red pepper. Add the onion mixture to the bowl of meat. Mix the turkey mixture until completely combined, but being careful to not over mix. Scoop out two tablespoons of the turkey mixture, and using your hands, roll it into a ball. Repeat until all meatballs are formed.

3. To sear the meatballs, add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the sauté pan (you can use the same one you just used for the onion mixture–we’re into saving dishes around here). When the oil is hot, gently add the meatballs and sear on all sides for about 1-2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Transfer them to a bed of paper towels to drain. Repeat until you’ve seared all of the meatballs, adding more oil, if the pan needs it.

4. To make the tomato sauce, add the olive oil to a dutch oven or medium pot. When the oil is hot, add the diced onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, sage leaves and crushed red pepper; cook for an additional minute, until fragrant. Pour in the can of tomatoes and add the parmesan rind (if using); mix and cover the pot, allowing the tomato sauce to simmer, over low heat, for 20 minutes.

5. Remove the rind and using an immersion blender or regular blender, puree the tomato sauce until smooth (if you're using a regular blender you may need to do this in batches). Transfer back to the pot and salt to taste.

6. Add the seared meatballs to the tomato sauce and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.

7. To make the zucchini noodles, add a teaspoon of olive oil to a sauté pan. When the oil is hot, add the zucchini noodles, cooking them for about 3 to 5 minutes. I say go with what you like. I go a bit under because I like them to have a bit of bite. Add them to a big bowl and toss with a few tablespoons of tomato sauce. Place the meatballs on top and garnish with a small sprinkling of parmesan cheese and a handful of Italian parsley.

* I did not strain the zoodles after sautéing them so they are a little watery.  I would recommend doing that if you try this recipe! :) Still good either way, but it will look prettier with less liquid... ;)

Feel free to share this recipe and please come back and let me know if you give it a try! Enjoy!

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