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  • Writer's pictureLisa Jarvis

Turkey Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

This is an Italian-American favorite, but I made my meatballs with turkey instead of beef or pork. They are lighter and healthier, but oh-my-goodness so delicious! My family was too busy gobbling them up to ask what was in them! I served them with my homemade marinara sauce, which I will share the recipe with you, or you can use your favorite marinara sauce. Serve these over your choice of pasta, whole wheat, or zucchini noodles. You can also make these meatballs up ahead and just reheat in the sauce.

Here's what you need for the meatballs ( serves 4-6)

1/4 cup Italian dried bread crumbs

1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 T milk

2 eggs, beaten

3/4 cup grated parmesan or Romano cheese

3/4 t salt

3/4 t black pepper

1 pound ground turkey

1/8 cup olive oil

Marinara sauce ( your favorite brand, or my recipe follows)

In a large bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, eggs, milk, 1/2 cup of the cheese and the salt and pepper. Add the turkey and stir to combine. Shape the meat mixture into bite-size balls.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook on one side without turning for about 3 minutes or until browned. Then turn to the other side and cook another 3 minutes. Cook until all sides are browned. Add the marinara sauce and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or so. It is ready to serve with your favorite pasta! Top with the rest of the cheese and parsley to garnish. Try whole wheat pasta or spiralized zucchini noodles for an even healthier meal.

Marinara Sauce:

1 quart petite diced tomatoes, or crushed tomatoes (drained)

5 cloves garlic minced

1 T olive oil

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

1 t dried oregano

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/2 t pepper

salt to taste

Saute the garlic in the oil until golden brown. Combine all other ingredients except the basil leaves. Cook until it has cooked down and the tomatoes break down, about 45 minutes to an hour. Add the basil in towards the end of cooking time.


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