Recipe: Healthy Meatballs

Growing up in an Italian family, eating tons of delicious, not-so-healthy dishes was a family past-time. I don’t remember a time where we went to my grandparents house and some variation of pasta with meatballs wasn’t being served – lasagna, penne, baby pastinas, spaghetti… you name it – we definitely didn’t discriminate.

One of my favorite things to do at Grandma and Grandpa’s house was to help Grandpa roll the meatballs. I looked forward to it every trip.

Now, as I’m older and I’ve¬†grown to prefer healthier, lighter alternatives to some of my favorite dishes, I’ve come up with a healthier version of a family favorite – meatballs. I’m sure even Grandpa would approve.

For this recipe, I made a pretty big batch for my big family, and for leftovers for lunches. You could easily half this recipe for a smaller quantity.

Processed with VSCO with a5 presetIngredients:

  • 3 lbs Lean Ground Turkey
  • 15 oz. Fresh Spinach
  • 1 cup Oat Flour (more for sturdier meatballs)
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 cup of finely diced Onions
  • 1 1/2 tsp. minced Garlic
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • 1 tbsp. Dried Parsley
  • Olive Oil

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What I love about this recipe is that the swaps are simple but make a huge difference! We traded out the ground beef for ground turkey, the breadcrumbs for oat flour and added spinach for a nutrient boost! A bonus: this recipe is pretty quick to throw together and you can make your pasta while you wait for your meatballs to bake.


Preheat your oven to 400 F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil.

Over medium heat, cook the minced garlic and diced onions until onions begin to become transparent.

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Add fresh spinach. (Depending on how you prefer, you can choose to remove the stems and chop your spinach into finer bits.)

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Continue to cook the onions, garlic and spinach until the spinach is wilted. This should only take a few minutes.

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Beat the large eggs until yolk is separated into the whites.

In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, oat flour, eggs, spices and mix.

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When thoroughly combined, knead in spinach, onions and garlic mixture.

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Scoop evenly portioned balls of the meat mixture and roll into balls (I used an ice cream/cookie dough scoop).

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Space the meatballs evenly on a baking sheet.

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Bake the meatballs for about 25 minutes, depending on the size of your meatballs.

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It took two batches to get rid of all the meatball mixture. I served mine with edamame spaghetti and traditional pasta sauce!

Let me know some of your favorite “healthier” pasta alternatives! I’m always up for a yummy Italian-inspired meal. : )