Tender, juicy meatballs and hearty whole wheat pasta. This recipe is healthy, kid-friendly and so easy to make. The best part? This entire meal only requires 5-simple ingredients!
In this hearty weeknight meal turkey meatballs are seared in a skillet until golden brown, then simmered in you’re favorite store-bought marinara sauce and served with whole wheat pasta and lots of grated parmesan cheese. The secret ingredient to these meatballs is… grated zucchini! The zucchini adds a ton of moisture and keeps the meatballs tender and juicy!
Looking for the perfect pairing? Serve 5-Ingredient Turkey Meatballs along side; Kale Caesar Salad and Broccolini with Calabrian Chilis.
Ingredients You’ll Need
All you need is 5-Simple ingredients: ground turkey, zucchini, parmesan cheese, whole wheat pasta and a jar of your favorite marinara sauce. note: salt, pepper and oil are all fair game for 5-Ingredient meals and therefor don’t count towards the total 5.
Recipe Step by Step:
Step 1. Mix and Portion the Meatballs
Mix together the meatball ingredients: grated zucchini, ground turkey, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Next portion and roll the mixture into meatballs. Pro tip: use a cookie scoop. It makes this task so quick and easy!
Step 2. Sear and Simmer
In a large pot sear the meatballs until they’re golden brown on all sides then pour in the sauce and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through.
Step 3. Serve
Serve your turkey meatballs with freshly cooked pasta, sauce and extra parmesan cheese on the side!
FAQs and Expert Tips
Sure! You can use any type of ground meat for these meatballs.
My favorite method for testing meatball doneness is to just break one open and see if it’s cooked inside. If you prefer a more civilized approach use a thermometer and look for a temperature of 160F, or higher.
Absolutely! You could serve these meatballs with any kind of pasta you like or even spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles.
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Five-Ingredient Turkey Meatballs with Whole Wheat Pasta
- 1 24oz jar marinara sauce
- 2 lbs ground turkey
- 1 large zucchini
- ⅓ c grated parmesan cheese
- 1 lb whole wheat pasta
- salt and pepper
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Place a box grater over a clean kitchen towel (or a few layers of paper towel) and then grate the zucchini directly onto the towel. Fold up the edges of the towel and firmly ring out the excess moisture. Set aside.
- In a large bowl use clean hands or a spoon to mix together the ground turkey, grated zucchini, parmesan cheese and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Scoop and roll the mixture into 24 golf-ball sized meatballs.
- Heat a large pot over medium heat. Pour the olive oil into the pan then brown the meatballs on all sides. You may need to do this in two batches depending on the size of your pot.
- Once the meatballs are nice and brown pour the sauce into the pot. Cover and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through. While the meatballs are simmering cook and drain the pasta.
- Divide the pasta and meatballs between bowls. Top with lots of grated parmesan and serve immediately!
- My favorite method for testing meatball doneness is to just break one open and see if it’s cooked inside. If you prefer a more civilized approach use a thermometer and look for a temperature of 160F, or higher.
- If prepping the meatballs ahead, allow them to cool to room temperature and then place them in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat over low heat in a saucepan or in the microwave.