Add a healthy twist to classic meatballs and spaghetti with these flavorful turkey meatballs with zucchini noodles (AKA zoodles). This recipe comes from Joy Bauer’s cookbook, From Junk Food to Joy Food: All the Foods You Love to Eat … Only Better.
Joy and I dish about this recipe on Episode 30 of the Liz’s Healthy Table podcast. Tune in to hear about my tiny tweak (hint: I used Herbs do Provence for a big flavor boost) and why Joy and her family (and now mine) love the recipe so much.
Click the PLAY button above to listen to my interview with Joy Bauer, MS, RDN.
Every time I cook this recipe makeover of Joy’s, I’ll be thinking about my recent kitchen makeover.
Tim and I decided to paint our kitchen cabinets white, which of course, opened up Pandora’s Box. From there, it made sense to replace the dark counters with something a lot lighter, rip out the old tile and replace it with a simple white subway, and paint the walls. In the midst of the chaos as I was arranging my interview with Joy, I cooked up her zucchini linguini and turkey meatball recipe. You could say that I christened my kitchen with Joy’s zucchini linguini and meatball recipe!
Thankfully I still had a working kitchen at the time, albeit a messy one. And here’s my almost-finished kitchen 😉
- Serves: 4
- Serving size: 2 cups linguini and 4 meatballs
- Calories: 410
- Fat: 10.5g
- Saturated fat: 4.5
- Carbohydrates: 31g
- Sodium: 900mg
- Fiber: 7g
- Protein: 49g
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped or grated
- 2 cloves garlic, minced, or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian herb blend or 2 teaspoons dried basil plus 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt or coarse sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1¼ pounds ground turkey (at least 90 percent lean)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking rolled oats
- One 24-ounce jar marinara sauce, store-bought or homemade
- 8 large zucchini (* I used 4 zucchini)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Onion powder to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- To make the meatballs, combine the onion, carrot, garlic, Parmesan cheese, Italian herb blend, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the ground turkey, egg and oats. Mix until the ingredients are well combined.
- Shape the meat mixture into about 34 meatballs, about 1½ inches in diameter and carefully place them one at a time into a large pot with the marinara sauce. Do not stir; stirring will cause the meatballs to break apart. Do not worry if some of the meatballs are not completely submerged in the sauce. Cover the pot and simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes.
- Remove the lid and gently stir the meatballs to thoroughly coat them with the sauce. Continue to simmer, uncovered, for an additional 20 minutes.
- To make the zucchini linguine, while the meatballs are cooking, cut off the ends of the zucchini and julienne using a spiral slicer to create noodle strands. (You can peel the zucchini or leave the skin intact.) If you don’t have a spiral slicer, use a vegetable peeler or knife. Wrap noodle strands in a few layers of paper towels and squeeze to remove some of the moisture.
- Liberally coat a large skillet with nonstick oil spray and warm mover medium heat. Add the zucchini linguine, garlic powder and onion powder, and sauté for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Drain the liquid and divide among 4 plates. Top each plate with 4 meatballs and the sauce.
Hop on over to the Show Notes from this week’s show to enter to win a copy of, From Junk Food to Joy Food.
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