This recipe for Italian-inspired turkey meatballs is a sacrilege to traditional Italian cooks because these meatballs are not fried in lots of oil before being submerged in tomato sauce. You form them and gently add them raw to marinara sauce, where they simmer until cooked through.
Sautéing onions and finely chopped mushrooms helps give the meatballs a meaty taste. By not frying them, you save fat, calories and WW Points, which leaves room for pasta and Parmesan cheese to complete your meal. If you're on the fence about this no-fry method, you'll just have to try it once to see how well it works. The meatballs hold their shape and are tender, moist and best of all, delicious!
Make your own tomato sauce, or use your favorite jarred sauce, making sure to use a brand that doesn't contain added sugar. Lidia's and Rao's marinara sauces are the best.
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
1 cup mushrooms, finely diced
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs (whole wheat preferred)
1/3 cup milk
1 lb. lean ground turkey
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 egg white, lightly beaten (I use a whole egg)
24 oz. sugar-free jarred (or home made) marinara sauce
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet and sauté onion and mushrooms until softened. Remove to a large bowl, add breadcrumbs and allow mixture to cool to room temperature. Slowly stir in milk.
Gently add ground turkey, basil, Parmesan cheese, 1 tsp. salt and egg. Form into meatballs about the size of small golf balls. You'll end up with approximately 20 meatballs, depending on the size you make them.
Bring marinara sauce to a simmer. Add optional red pepper flakes and submerge meatballs in the sauce. Partially cover and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Serve with pasta and Parmesan cheese.