Pan seared herb turkey meatballs full of flavor and incredibly tender. You wouldn’t even know these are made with lean ground turkey and you won’t mind an inch that they are.
Spaghetti and meatballs. Such an iconic and timeless duo! Today I’m sharing with you my special turkey meatballs and pasta recipe. Yes, I said TURKEY. Ground turkey to be exact. They are so (x100) tasty.
The thing I love about ground turkey is that it picks up all the flavors of what you cook it with. And you know I’m packing a punch of flavor in these. Things like fresh parmigiano reggiano and fresh basil leaves really make these meatballs a shining star.
My sister-in-law actually turned me on to ground turkey yeeaars ago. She made spaghetti but instead of using beef in her spaghetti sauce she used turkey and I was a little skeptical at first but she was on to something because it rocked!
From then on out I used ground turkey for my pasta sauce and my meatballs and my life was complete and delicious.
To make dinner fun I use different shaped noodles for my pasta and meatballs every time. Two kids under 5 you have to keep it fun and exciting and I like it when they get excited about what they are eating. With all the fun shapes available, why not!?
There are tons of methods to making meatballs. This recipe is fool proof. I pan sear the meatballs in my Calphalon saute pan to get a nice golden crust on the outside, transfer to a plate and then transfer and finish cooking them in the sauce. They are juicy and tender, what meatball DREAMS are truly made of!
Herb Turkey Meatballs and Pasta
- 1 pkg ground turkey
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- splash of cream
- ¼ c parmigiano cheese
- ¼ c panko bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 2 big garlic cloves minced
- ½ small yellow onion fine chop (pulsed)
- 3 tbsp Italian parsley
- ½ tsp salt
- 8 oz pasta noodles
- jar of sauce
- 3 tbsp fresh basil
- ½ c pasta water
- In a bowl, mix together ground turkey, tomato paste, cream, parm cheese, panko, egg, garlic, onion, parsley, salt and pepper
- Form into 1 tbsp round balls (easiest to use a tbsp cookie scoop)
- Heat a large pan over medium heat
- Drizzle the pan with olive oil
- Place the meatballs in the pan, so they are not touching and have enough room to brown
- Cook until the bottom is golden, turn over
- Cook for a few minutes
- Grab the pan by the handle and in a swirling motion, roll the meatballs around a bit, gently, getting all sides to cook a bit more
- Transfer to a plate and do another batch
- Continue this process until all the meatballs are cooked
- Add the sauce to the pan and 2 tbsp of chopped fresh basil
- Return meatballs to the sauce and cover with a lid
- Bring the sauce up to a low bubble and cook for 20-25 minutes
- Halfway through the meatballs cooking in the sauce bring a pot of water to a boil, add a few pinches of salt and the noodles
- Once the noodles are al dente, take ½ c of the pasta water and add it to your sauce
- Put pasta in a bowl, top it with the meatballs and some fresh basil and parm cheese