Spaghetti and turkey meatballs with spinach pesto is a delicious and healthy dish that combines classic Italian flavors with a nutritious twist. This recipe is perfect for those looking for a lighter alternative to traditional spaghetti and meatballs, as it uses lean turkey instead of beef. The meatballs are seasoned with a blend of herbs and spices to add extra flavor, while the spinach pesto sauce adds a vibrant green color and a burst of freshness.
To make this dish, start by preparing the turkey meatballs. Combine ground turkey with breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and herbs in a bowl. Form the mixture into small meatballs and bake them until they are cooked through and golden brown. While the meatballs are cooking, cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions. In the meantime, prepare the spinach pesto by blending fresh spinach, basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and olive oil in a food processor until smooth.
Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain it and combine it with the spinach pesto sauce. Toss the spaghetti until it is evenly coated with the pesto. Serve the spaghetti topped with the turkey meatballs and garnish with fresh basil leaves. This spaghetti and turkey meatballs with spinach pesto dish is a perfect option for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion. It is packed with flavor and nutrients, making it a satisfying and healthy choice for any pasta lover.
Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs:
- Ground turkey: Lean ground turkey is used as the base for the meatballs, providing a healthier alternative to traditional beef or pork.
- Bread crumbs: These help to bind the meatballs together and add texture.
- Egg: An egg is added to the meatball mixture as a binding agent.
- Garlic: Freshly minced garlic adds a robust flavor to the meatballs.
- Italian seasoning: A blend of herbs and spices, such as basil, oregano, and thyme, gives the meatballs an authentic Italian taste.
- Salt and pepper: These basic seasonings enhance the overall flavor of the meatball mixture.
- Olive oil: Olive oil is used for cooking the meatballs.
- Fresh spinach: Spinach leaves are the main ingredient for the pesto sauce, providing a vibrant green color and a mild earthy taste.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic adds depth and complexity to the pesto.
- Pine nuts: These nuts contribute a rich, nutty flavor to the sauce and provide a creamy texture.
- Parmesan cheese: Grated Parmesan cheese adds a salty and tangy element to the pesto.
- Olive oil: High-quality olive oil is necessary to create a smooth and silky pesto sauce.
- Lemon juice: A squeeze of fresh lemon juice brightens up the flavors and adds a hint of acidity.
In addition to these main ingredients, the recipe may also call for pantry staples such as spaghetti, salt, and water for boiling the pasta. Optional garnishes can include freshly chopped parsley or additional grated Parmesan cheese.
- Prepare the meatballs: In a large mixing bowl, combine ground turkey, breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, chopped parsley, salt, and black pepper. Mix well until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Shape the meatballs: Take a small portion of the turkey mixture and roll it between your palms to form a small ball, about 1-inch in diameter. Repeat this process until you have used all the turkey mixture, making approximately 24 meatballs.
- Cook the spaghetti: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook spaghetti according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Cook the meatballs: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, until they are browned and cooked through. Remove the meatballs from the skillet and set them aside.
- Prepare the pesto: In a food processor, combine spinach, garlic, pine nuts, grated Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. Process until smooth and well blended. Gradually add olive oil while the processor is running until the pesto reaches a desired consistency.
- Combine the spaghetti, meatballs, and pesto: In a large serving bowl, toss the cooked spaghetti with the spinach pesto until well coated. Add the cooked meatballs and gently toss to combine. Serve hot, garnished with additional grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
Now you can enjoy a delicious plate of spaghetti and turkey meatballs with spinach pesto!
High in Protein
The turkey meatballs are made from ground turkey, which is a lean source of protein that is low in fat. They are seasoned with herbs and spices to add flavor, and then baked in the oven until cooked through. Each meatball is packed with protein, making them a filling and nutritious addition to the dish.
- Turkey meatballs are a great source of protein.
- Whole wheat spaghetti adds even more protein to the dish.
- Spinach pesto also contains protein.
In addition to the turkey meatballs and spaghetti, the spinach pesto used in this dish also contains protein. Spinach is a great source of plant-based protein, and when combined with olive oil, garlic, and pine nuts, it creates a flavorful and nutritious pesto sauce. The spinach pesto adds an extra boost of protein to the dish, making it a well-rounded meal.
|Protein Content||Per Serving|
|Whole Wheat Spaghetti||8g|
Overall, spaghetti and turkey meatballs with spinach pesto is a high-protein dish that is both delicious and nutritious. It is a great option for those who are looking to increase their protein intake, and it provides a balanced combination of lean protein from the turkey meatballs, plant-based protein from the spinach pesto, and additional protein from the whole wheat spaghetti.