Turkey Meatballs and Tomato Sauce

All I can think about while it’s this cold outside is comfort food.  We all have our favorites, but recently spaghetti and meatballs has become something I’m constantly craving.  Classics like this are just perfect for this cool weather, but they are usually on the heavier side.  With just a few tweaks (like substituting turkey for red meat, spaghetti squash for pasta, or homemade sauce for store bought), you can make a much healthier meal that’s still just as satisfying.

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Turkey Meatballs

-1 lb ground turkey

-1/4 large onion, finely diced

-4 cloves of garlic, finely diced

-1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

-1 egg

-1 Tbsp tomato paste

-1/2 c breadcrumbs, I used gluten free Udi’s Bread for these

-2 Tbsp milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

-1/4 c chopped parsley

-1/2 tsp salt

-pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

Shape into golf ball sized balls and place on a lined and greased baking sheet.

Bake at 375 for 25 minutes.

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Tomato Sauce

-1/2 onion, finely diced

-3 tsp olive oil

-3 cloves of garlic, minced

-2 Tbsp tomato paste

-2 c. tomato puree

-1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

-1/4 tsp sugar

-salt and pepper to taste

-parsley to garnish

Add the onion and olive oil to a sauce pot.

Saute over medium-low heat until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and simmer for 1 more minute.

Add the tomato puree, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, sugar, salt, and pepper.

Simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes so the flavors have time to develop.

Serve the sauce and meatballs over your favorite pasta and garnish with parsley. Enjoy!

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Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti Sauce

This is really the only type of spaghetti we have at our house anymore. In fact I would almost like to have it weekly. It is so easy, cheap, and healthy. Plus you can keep most of the ingredients on hand. It is guy approved, and I would assume kids would like it too.

This is one of those recipes that can be as homemade as you want.,. Or as Sandra Lee would call it, “semi-homemade” and pair it with a dumb cocktail… Pairing with red wine works just fine.

Start by roasting your spaghetti squash (see recipe from previous post)

While squash is roasting, take your meatballs out of the freezer or make your own. I have done both. Making your own meatballs is fun and not hard at all but just takes a little bit more time and ingredients. Great Sunday afternoon project for sure!!

When you are short on time use frozen turkey meatballs. I always get mine from Trader Joe’s but most grocery stores will have great versions of these as well.

Now onto the spaghetti sauce.  This again is something you can make yourself or doctor up your favorite jarred version. In order to doctor jarred sauce, I saute garlic and onion, add the sauce to the pan, then toss in chopped in fresh herbs and black pepper.

Add the meatballs and cook for about 20 minutes or as directed on packaging.

Once your squash is roasted (takes about 40 minutes at 400), turn into spaghetti and top with your sauce and meatballs, add a bit of grated fresh parm and basil to finish.

Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Meatballs

1 spaghetti squash

1 package of frozen turkey meatballs (or make your own)

1 jar of spaghetti sauce (or make your own)

1/2 chopped sweet onion

2 cloves minced garlic

Fresh basil (and any other fresh herbs on hand)

Fresh Parmesan