Zucchini Spaghetti and Meatballs

After a short hiatus (due to all of the end-of-the-year craziness at work!), I’m back with another spiralizer recipe!

This recipe is pretty much the reason why I invested in a spiralizer.  I wanted a way to enjoy my favorite pasta dishes without all of the carbs.  The spiralizer is the solution!  It effortlessly turns zucchini into spaghetti, creating much more figure-friendly “pasta” meals.  It seems to good to be true, but I assure you it’s really delicious!  I did not miss the real thing at all!

The turkey meatballs also had great flavor and are a bit leaner than traditional beef meatballs.  I really enjoyed the extra flavor the fire-roasted tomatoes added to the sauce.  My only complaint is that I prefer a “saucier” sauce.  This one was a bit chunky for my liking.  Next time, I’ll go with crushed tomatoes or will puree the sauce with my immersion blender before adding the zucchini noodles.

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Start by preheating your oven to 375°…

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.

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  • Finely chop a red onion and mince up a few cloves of garlic.

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  • Add the garlic to the skillet.

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  • Sauté until golden, about 1 minute.
  • Add the red onion.

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  • Season with crushed red pepper flake.

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  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.

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  • Add a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes.

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  • Stir to combine.

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  • Break the tomatoes up with a potato masher (a handy tip I learned from watching Rachael Ray).

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  • Season the sauce with some s&p.

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  • Sprinkle in some dried oregano.

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  • Stir, then let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes.

While the sauce simmers, start on the meatballs…

  • Place 1 package of ground turkey in a large bowl.
  • Pour in 1 cup of Italian-style breadcrumbs.

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  • Mince up some more garlic.

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  • Add the garlic to the bowl.

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  • Pour in some grated Parmesan cheese.

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  • Season with s&p.

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  • Sprinkle in a little dried oregano.

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  • Chop up some fresh parsley.

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  • Add it to the bowl, reserving some for a garnish later.

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  • Crack an egg into the bowl.

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  • Add just a little bit of warm water.

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  • Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

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  • Take off your rings and mix all of the ingredients together.

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  • Form the turkey mixture into 12 meatballs.
  • Evenly space the meatballs on the baking sheet.

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  • Bake for about 6 minutes.

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  • Flip the meatballs.

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  • Continue baking for another 9 minutes, until the turkey is cooked through.  (The internal temperature of the turkey should be 165°.)

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  • While the meatballs bake, spiralize 3 zucchini through the shredder blade to create noodles.

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  • Add the zucchini noodles (or zoodles as Gina over at Skinny Taste and now I like to call them!) to the simmering sauce.

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  • Gently stir to combine.

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  • Let the zoodles cook until they have softened slightly and are warmed through.

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Pile the zoodles onto your plate (no guilt with this dinner!).  Top with the meatballs.  Sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese and some of the reserved parsley on top of everything to brighten it up.  Enjoy!

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Zucchini Spaghetti and Meatballs (serves 4)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flake
  • 1 small can fire roasted diced tomatoes with garlic
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, divided
  • 1 package Italian flavored ground turkey
  • ½ cup Italian style breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 3 large zucchini, spiralized through shredder blade

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat your oven to 375°.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add half of the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
  • Add the onion and red pepper flake.
  • Stir and cook until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the diced tomatoes.
  • Crush the tomatoes with a potato masher.
  • Season with salt, black pepper, and half of the oregano.
  • Stir and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine the turkey, remaining garlic and oregano, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley, egg, and warm water in a bowl.
  • Mix until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  • Coat a baking sheet with the cooking spray.
  • Mold the turkey mixture into 12 equal-sized meatballs.
  • Place the meatballs on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 6 minutes, then flip the meatballs and return to the oven.
  • Bake until the meatballs are cooked through, about 9 more minutes.
  • While the meatballs finish cooking, add the zucchini noodles to the tomato sauce.
  • Mix to combine.
  • Cook until the meatballs are done, stirring occasionally.

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