Turkey Meatballs with Quick Tomato Cream Sauce

For this week’s offering to Presto Pasta Roundups (hosted by Katie of Thyme For Cooking), I decided on turkey meatballs. You know how they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?  Well Kelly, you should be flattered because DAMN these were awesome.  I made a couple of minor changes based on what I had in the house but I will absolutely be making these again (and grinding the onions fine so my husband can’t see them).  The original recipe can be found over here at Evil Shenanigans. Do go check out her lovely pictures.  My kitchen table is currently covered in renovation supplies and I have nowhere to set up my light tent for good pictures myself.



  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 2/3 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute (Kelly used a real egg)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • Fresh cracked pepper


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 – 12 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup fat free half and half (Kelly used real cream)
  • 1 pound of pasta (she used papradelle, I used whole wheat spaghetti) [Cook’s note: The original recipe serves 6.  As there are only 2 of us, I used only 5 oz. of dried pasta for one meal, and I’m saving the meatballs for subs.]


  1. Preheat your oven to broil.
  2. Mix the turkey, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, egg substitute, and grated carrot.
  3. Add the herbs and spices and cheese.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking oil.
  5. Form into balls (I used a 1/8th cup to scoop them out).  You should wind up with between 25-30.  I think I got 28.
  6. Top with a dash of paprika.
  7. Pop into the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the core temp is 165 degrees.  My broiler seems to be doing weird, so I definitely used the full 15 and then a few.
  8. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmery and start your salted pasta water to boil
  9. Add the onion and saute until translucent (about 3 minutes).
  10. Add your pasta to the now boiling water.
  11. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan with the onion and saute for another 30-60 seconds.
  12. Add in the can of diced tomatoes with juice and bring to a simmer.
  13. Add the sugar, salt, and fresh herbs (not the basil) and bring to a simmer again.
  14. Dump this into your blender with the basil (I tried an immersion blender and it didn’t work, so use the real blender) and zap until smooth.
  15. Pour the sauce back into the pot and heat to a simmer again.
  16. Turn off the heat and add the half and half.
  17. Drain your pasta.
  18. Toss the pasta with half the sauce and drizzle the rest over the meatballs once you place them on the pasta.
  19. Garnish withe torn basil and more cheese.

Each meatball works out to 37 calories and 1.5 grams of fat.  I used 2.5 oz. of dry whole wheat pasta per person for 248 calories and 1 gram of fat.  The sauce works out to 272 calories and 13.5 grams of fat for the whole batch.  The way I served it, it worked out to 538 calories and 12.5 grams of fat per person.

Printable version.

2 thoughts on “Turkey Meatballs with Quick Tomato Cream Sauce

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.