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Turkey Meatballs with Spinach or Zucchini

Turkey meatballs in a dutch oven with pasta sauce

These easy turkey meatballs are packed with flavor and have a nice amount of spinach or zucchini in them to boot. 

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped OR 1 zucchini, shredded or finely chopped
  • 1 ½ lbs ground turkey
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup seasoned Panko crumbs
  • ¼ cup minced red onion
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ tsp plus a pinch of kosher salt
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • Pepper to taste (about ¼ tsp)
  • 1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (I like Newman’s Own “Common Good” Marinara Sauce)

 

Instructions

In a large skillet or pan, heat 2 tsp of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and chopped spinach or shredded zucchini. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 30 seconds. Add ¼ cup of water plus a pinch of kosher salt and a pinch of pepper. Continue cooking until liquid has evaporated. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl combine the ground turkey with the cheese, Panko, onion, eggs, ½ tsp salt, oregano, basil and pepper. Mix with your hands until everything is combined. Add in the cooled spinach/zucchini and mix in until well combined. Let the mixture rest for 2-3 minutes so that the Panko can absorb some of the moisture. When you grab a small handful of the mixture and press it together in the palm of your hand, it should not be liquidy and should hold its shape. 

Shape the meat mixture into balls with about 2 tablespoons of mixture per meatball. You can do smaller or slightly larger, but not not too much bigger.

Wipe down the skillet you used to cook the spinach/zucchini. Add 1 tbs olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the turkey meatballs one at a time, being careful not to toss them into the pan. You want to add them gently, both to prevent the oil from splattering and to make sure they hold their shape. Add enough meatballs to cover the pan in one layer. You may need to cook these in batches.

Cook the meatballs 2-3 minutes, then once they are lightly browned turn them over onto the other side with tongs. Continue until they are light brown on all sides. Remove to a plate and cook the next batch if working in batches.

Once all of the meatballs, remove them from the pan. Add a jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce along with ¼ cup of water. Mix it together well, then add the meatballs to the sauce. Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, simmering the entire time.

Serve over generous helpings of pasta topped with more Parmesan cheese. You can also serve these in bread rolls, over mashed potatoes, or eat them on their own!

Notes

Allow to come to room temperature, then store in an air tight container in the fridge. These meatballs will keep for 3-4 days. Reheat in a covered bowl in the microwave, or on the stove top (my preferred method).

Keywords: easy turkey meatballs, healthy turkey meatballs