Healthy spaghetti and meatballs?! Count me in! Like most of us, spaghetti and meatballs is just one of those meals I will always love, there is something so comforting about a bowl of warm spaghetti with meatballs and tomato sauce, and now we can add healthy to that! This version of spaghetti and meatballs is made with an organic whole wheat spaghetti that is just as tasty if not tastier than regular spaghetti, the brand I used was Delverde, and I highly recommend it. The meatballs are made with lean ground turkey instead of beef, lean turkey is a healthier meat option than beef is, and the flavors are great when you mix the right ingredients together! I made a delicious mushroom tomato sauce with fresh herbs which married all the flavors together nicely! Lastly, I served the spaghetti with fresh basil, shredded parmesan cheese, olive oil, and a simple side salad of baby spinach and kale.
Since we used the whole wheat spaghetti for this, we can benefit from whole grain (bran and germ) so we get more of the fiber, B vitamins, and protein with fewer calories.
The lean ground turkey used for the meatballs is composed of only the white meat so it has only 2 grams of fat (0.5% saturated), only 100 calories per serving (about 2 meatballs), and 26 grams of protein per serving.
The mushroom tomato sauce adds tons of flavor and is also very light! It is made with crushed tomatoes which are very high in lycopene (antioxidant). Fun fact: processed tomato products like tomato sauce, paste, or canned tomatoes actually contain a higher antioxidant content than a regular tomato! So with the canned crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and fresh tomatoes, we are receiving tons of great antioxidants to fight those free radicals in our body!
Lastly, pair this pasta dish with a simple side salad of your favorite greens, I chose baby kale and spinach, topped with parmesan, balsamic, lemon juice, olive oil, and more tomatoes! This will add vitamin K, calcium, Vitamin C, and others!
Overall, this is a very nutritiously balanced meal with whole grain, protein, healthy fats, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals!
-1 pound lean ground turkey
-1/4 cup of bread crumbs (Italian)
-3 tablespoons crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
-4 garlic gloves (crushed)
-1/4 red onion (minced)
-1/4 cup chopped parsely
-3 leaves of chopped fresh basil
-1 1/2 stalks of fresh thyme (chopped)
-1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- salt and pepper (about 1 teaspoon)
Mushroom Tomato Sauce:
-1 can crushed tomatoes
-1 small can of tomato sauce
-1 tablespoon vegetable oil
-1/2 red onion
- 1 small box of your favorite mushrooms (I chose shitake)
-4 basil leaves
-1 1/2 stalks thyme
-1/4 cup of fresh parsley
-salt and pepper (about 1 teaspoon)
-halved cherry tomatoes
Simple Side Salad:
-1 cup baby kale and spinach
-5 cherry tomatoes
-1/2 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
-1 tablespoon of olive oil
How To Make It:
1. Preheat Oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Put the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl along with the salt, pepper, and dried oregano
3. Add in the bread crumbs, egg, onion, garlic, crushed tomato, chopped parsely, basil, and thyme. Now mix everything together using your hand until everything is mixed together.
4. On a baking sheet with foil and cooking spray, portion out 1 and a half inch meatballs. Bake for 15-20 minutes flipping them halfway through for even cooking.
5. Remove the from the oven.
6. Place meatballs in the tomato sauce and simmer.
Mushroom Tomato Sauce:
1. Heat a large skillet with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.
2. Add chopped onion, garlic, salt, pepper, dry oregano. ( I also added any remaining onion I had from the meatballs)
3. Add the sliced mushrooms and optional cherry tomatoes (for more tomato body).
4. Add the crushed tomatoes, small can of tomato sauce, 1/4 cup of chopped parsley, 4 leaves chopped basil, 1 1/2 sprigs of thyme.
5. Add the meatballs and 1/2 ladle of the spaghetti water and let simmer!
As for the spaghetti I just followed the directions on the box and boiled a large pot of water and salt and added the spaghetti in and cooked it for about 8 minutes checking it often to make sure it does not over cook.
Optional: Serve the pasta with fresh basil, parmesan cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil!
Here are a couple of different serving suggestions! And don't forget that side salad for a well balanced meal!
|Simple Side Salad w/ Pasta, sauce, meatballs, drizzle olive oil, parmesan, basil.|
|Pasta topped with sauce, meatballs, drizzle of olive oil, fresh basil.|
|Pasta, sauce, meatballs, drizzled olive oil, parmesan cheese, basil.|
|Simple Side Salad|