Zoodles (zucchini noodles) and Meatballs (turkey meatballs) = my favorite go-to when I need an easy peasy, amazing dinner that I won’t feel in my 2th a$$ the next day. This recipe is not only totally satiating and totally good for you, but it’s also a breeze to modify, so you can tweak it however you wanna. Here’s what you need:
First and foremost, if you don’t already own this bad boy, go scoop one up for yo-self at Williams-Sonoma. It’s about $40 bucks and turns veggies like zucchini and squash into long thin noodles in about 20 seconds. You just twist the crank – like a Jack in the Box. Super easy to clean too.
2 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This is the best marinara sauce on the planet. It tastes like Aunt Mary Lucianna made it in her kitchen in Italy – it’s all homemade and chunky and amazing.
If you can’t find that, you can also use Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil – it’s about $1.99, all natural-ish and is pretty good.
NOTE: I’ve been using and tweaking this recipe for years. Updated on 9/13/16 as I have now tweaked it to perfection. Using the best ingredients makes all the difference:
1 pound ground turkey (I used 93% lean)
1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
1/2 of a small onion, diced (throw that sucker in the food processor… also, sometimes when I’m lazy, I just leave this out. #whoops)
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. dried oregano
10 fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded (if you don’t have fresh, you can use 1 tsp. dried basil)
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 dashes Sriracha (you can sub Frank’s if you don’t have Sriracha)
1 1/2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup half & half
1 clove garlic, sautéed in EVOO
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (it’s most $$ but makes all the difference)
3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1. Whip together beaten egg, all liquids and spices, chopped onion and sautéed garlic in large mixing bowl. Then fold in turkey, part & breadcrumbs. Mix with your hands or with a fork. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in skillet on medium to medium high heat. Roll ping pong-sized meatballs balls from mixture and set aside. Then, pour half a jar of this most amazing marinara in bottom of a 13×9 inch (or slightly smaller) glass baking dish.
2. Heat 2-3 Tbs. EVOO in a pan on medium to medium high. Lightly brown meatballs on a few sides in sauté pan, being careful not to cook them too much. I turn them with my hands after a little less than a minute on each side. Once they have a nice golden-brown color on the outside, transfer meatballs to marinara pan and smother with remainder of marinara. Bake on 375 for 13 minutes.
3. While meatballs are baking, run 6 zucchini through the spiralizer, then pat dry with a paper towel. The hill of zucchini this yields will look like you’re feeding an army, but it will cook down a bit so don’t worry. And you can also save some for later this week if you don’t wanna use it all.
4. Once meatballs are cooked, fold zoodles in little by little with meatballs/sauce mixture to coat them. They will cook down and cook (enough) while you do this… I have blanched them before and you can do it that way, but they’re easy to overcook, and then your hill of zucchini is all soggy and fits in a thimble. So the folding route is how I like to do it.
5. Top with basil leaves, extra parm shavings or whatever tickles your pickle.
Happy Cooking, Campers! This should serve 3-4 peeps.