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Italian Meatballs with Marinara
over zucchini noodles

Active: 35 min Total: 35 min
Saucy meatballs over noodles are total Italian-inspired comfort food which is why we love this paleo-friendly version over zucchini noodles.
Smarts: Meatballs freeze well and there are so many ways to use them. We double this recipe to use leftovers in Thursday's soup, but feel free to scale the recipe up even more.
Dependency

Ingredients

Metric
Servings:
4
Italian-Style Meatballs:
  • Turkey, ground and lean - 1 lb (sub any ground meat)
  • Eggs - 1
  • Italian seasoning - 2 tsp
  • Salt - 1 tsp
Italian Meatballs with Marinara and Zucchini Noodles:
  • Zucchini - 12 oz, turned into noodles with a peeler or spiralizer or sliced
  • Garlic - 4 cloves, chopped
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
  • Basil, dried - 1/2 tsp
  • Oregano, dried - 1/2 tsp
  • Crushed tomatoes (28 oz / 794 g) - 1 can
  • Turkey meatballs (ingredients listed separately) - ~12
Italian Side Salad:
  • Lettuce, romaine - 2 hearts, chopped (sub butterhead)
  • Tomatoes, roma - 4, chopped
  • Black olives, sliced (2.25 oz / 63 g) - 1 can, drained and rinsed
  • Mustard, Dijon - 2 tsp
  • Vinegar, red or white wine - 1 Tbsp
  • Oregano, dried - 1/4 tsp
  • Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp

Nutrition Facts

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Prep

  1. Make meatballs - Double if making Thursday’s meal. Heat oven to 375F / 191C degrees. Mix ground turkey, eggs, Italian seasoning (portion for the meatballs) and salt. Brush or spray a sheet pan with some oil. Roll meatball mixture into small 1” / 2.5 cm wide meatballs and place onto sheet pan. Bake until just cooked through, 15 to 18 minutes. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
  2. Zucchini - Turn zucchini into 'noodles' with a spiralizer or peel off strips with a peeler. (Note: If you prefer, you can also just slice your zucchini to make a zucchini saute.)
  3. Lettuce / Tomatoes / Garlic - Prep as directed.
  4. Olives - Drain and rinse olives.

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Make

  1. Heat a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add first part of cooking oil and then garlic, basil and oregano (portion for the marinara) to heated oil. Cook just until fragrant, ~1 minute. Pour crushed tomatoes over top and bring to a simmer.
  2. Remove sauce from heat and season with some salt and pepper. Stir meatballs (remember to reserve half if doubled for Thursday) into sauce.
  3. Let meatballs sit in sauce while you heat a nonstick pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add second part of cooking oil and then zucchini noodles with a pinch of salt. Saute until zucchini is tender, ~2 minutes for zucchini noodles and 4 minutes for zucchini slices.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar and oregano (portion for the salad). Add olive oil while whisking. Top with tomatoes, lettuce and black olives. Toss to combine.
  5. Serve meatballs and sauce over zucchini noodles. Enjoy with salad on the side.

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving
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Reviews

Ratings

Original (93)
Gluten-free (6)
Paleo (15)
Vegetarian (7)

31 reviews

The meatballs were so good but it was messy and challenging to eat as a sub. The salad was disappointing for us.

By: Geneva
Posted: Oct 04, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

I ended up buying remade meatballs to save time. This was a great simple meal

By: Eric
Posted: Oct 02, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Toddler said this was her favorite meal ever. She mostly just ate the bread but I call it a win.

By: Angela
Posted: Sep 30, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

A lot quicker than I thought it would be. I didn’t have milk so I added some broth instead. Whole family loved it!

By: Rebecca
Posted: Sep 29, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Simple meal - great for on the go. I'm torn about the broiler to toast the bread first because the second round in the broiler got the bread too burned and the cheese was barely melted. I used jarred marinara for this.

By: Sara
Posted: Sep 28, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Very good and easy. My rolls became so soggy I had to cut and eat with a fork.

By: Judy
Posted: Sep 27, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful