Recipe: Veggie Noodles with Turkey Meatballs

Fresh vegetables and lean meat make this classic comfort food a healthy choice.

Photo by Asia Bradlee

Photo by Asia Bradlee

Last weekend’s frigid temperatures likely had you reaching for any comfort food in sight. Instead of feasting on carb-heavy spaghetti and meatballs, though, you can make this version, which uses veggie noodles and turkey meatballs.

All you need to make the noodles is a spiralizer or a metal vegetable peeler, both of which can be purchased inexpensively. While this recipe uses zucchini and carrots for the noodles, try experimenting with different vegetables. Summer squash and sweet potatoes are two other delicious options.

Serves 2

For the meatballs:

1 pound 99 percent lean turkey
1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg

For the noodles:

2 medium zucchini
2 carrots
2 tbs olive oil

For the sauce:

3 medium tomatoes
2 tbs olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine the turkey, breadcrumbs, cheese, basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and egg. Roll the turkey mixture into small balls and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

Spiralize or peel the veggies into thin strips. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat until sizzling. Add the spiralized vegetables and cook for about five minutes, or until the zucchini becomes tender, but not mushy. Set aside.

For the tomato sauce, heat two tablespoons of olive oil and the minced garlic in a saucepan or small pot on low heat. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces and add to the pan once the garlic is just beginning to brown. Add in the basil and salt and mix well. Cover the pan and let the sauce simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes if you want a chunkier sauce, or 25 to 30 minutes if you want a thinner sauce.

Once the sauce is done, place the noodles and turkey meatballs in a bowl and ladle the sauce on top. Sprinkle with some mozzarella or parmesan cheese and enjoy.