Turkey Meatballs In Marinara Sauce

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Turkey Meatballs In Marinara Sauce on a plate

Turkey Meatballs in Marinara Sauce are so good and tender. Use low-fat turkey breast and you won’t miss the beef or the calories

Turkey Meatballs In Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey breast
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Italian style season breadcrumbs (or more as needed)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup finely grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, (packed in oil) rinsed, drained and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves, plus some for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves, or dried
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano leaves, or dried
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 batch Basic Marinara Sauce, or 1 (28 -ounce) jar marinara

Method

Step 1

Preheat broiler. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet, or cover with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.

Step 2

In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey with the olive oil, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, carrot, onion, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, thyme, oregano, egg, salt, and pepper. Using your hands, mix well, if the mixture feels too loose, add a bit more bread crumbs until the meat holds together when forming a ball. Form into 2 inch balls (do not compact the meat, use a light touch when making the meatballs); place on the baking sheet. Place under the broiler for about 10 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally so all sides get brown and the meatballs are almost cooked.

Step 3

Heat the marinara in a saucepan. Add meatballs; cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the meatballs absorb some of the sauce.

Step 4

Divide the pasta between 6 heated pasta bowls; top with meatballs and marinara sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

 

 

The story behind Turkey Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

A printer-friendly recipe card can be found at the bottom of this post

Where’s the Beef?  You won’t miss the beef or the calories with these tasty turkey meatballs in marinara sauce!

 

Turkey Meatballs In Marinara Sauce on a plate

 

Ground Turkey Meat vs Ground Beef

Turkey meatballs are lower in saturated fats and calories than meatballs made with ground beef because I used lean, ground breast meat.

Buyer Beware: Turkey breast is lean, but the dark meat isn’t, and some ground turkey contains both. A quarter-pound of regular ground turkey contains 3g sat fat. Compare that to only 2.5g in the same amount of sirloin.

Ground turkey breast, on the other hand, has just half a gram of sat fat, so the right cut of turkey is a significant fat-cutter.

So be sure to look at the label.  If you can’t get lean ground turkey breast at the store, you could buy a half breast and grind it yourself (or ask your friendly butcher to grind it for you), or substitute ground chicken breast, or use lean ground sirloin.

The Marinara

For the marinara, you could use your favorite jarred sauce. Or make a simple homemade marinara. I usually make a large batch of fresh, then freeze it. That way I always have some homemade marinara available.

Pasta Choice

The choice of pasta is up to you, but these meatballs are best served on long kinds of pasta such as spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine. 

 

Yield: 6 servings

Turkey Meatballs In Marinara Sauce

Turkey Meatballs In Marinara Sauce on a plate

Turkey Meatballs in Marinara Sauce are so good and tender. Use low-fat turkey breast and you won’t miss the beef or the calories

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey breast
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Italian style season breadcrumbs (or more as needed)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup finely grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, (packed in oil) rinsed, drained and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves, plus some for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves or dried
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano leaves or dried
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 batch Basic Marinara Sauce, or 1 (28 -ounce) jar marinara

Instructions

Step 1

Preheat broiler. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet, or cover with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.

Step 2

In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey with the olive oil, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, carrot, onion, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, thyme, oregano, egg, salt, and pepper. Using your hands, mix well, if the mixture feels too loose, add a bit more bread crumbs until the meat holds together when forming a ball. Form into 2 inch balls (do not compact the meat, use a light touch when making the meatballs); place on the baking sheet. Place under the broiler for about 10 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally so all sides get brown and the meatballs are almost cooked.

Step 3

Heat the marinara in a saucepan. Add meatballs; cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the meatballs absorb some of the sauce. While the meatballs are cooking; prepare pasta of your choice according to package directions.

Step 4

Drain the pasta and divide between 6 heated pasta bowls; top with meatballs and marinara. Garnish with fresh parsley and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Notes

Best served on a long pasta such as spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 257Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 641mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 30g

Nutritional values may not be 100% accurate


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Nutritional Info

This information is per serving.
  • Calories
    532
  • Carbohydrate
    74g
  • Dietary Fiber
    5g
  • Cholesterol
    87mg
  • Sodium
    966mg
  • Fat
    13g (3g Sat, 3g Mono, 2g Poly)

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