Italian Meatballs with Marinara
over zucchini noodles
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.
- Turkey, ground and lean - 1 lb (sub any ground meat)
- Eggs - 1
- Italian seasoning - 2 tsp
- Salt - 1 tsp
- 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
- 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
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)
Lettuce / Tomatoes / Garlic - Prep as directed.
Olives - Drain and rinse olives.
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.
Remove sauce from heat and season with some salt and pepper. Stir meatballs (remember to reserve half if doubled for Thursday) into sauce.
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.
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.
Serve meatballs and sauce over zucchini noodles. Enjoy with salad on the side.