Turkey Meatballs with Pesto

Yield: 2 servings (about 8 meatballs)

These tasty meatballs come together quickly; I consider this week-night material. The pesto packs such a flavor punch, you won’t miss the fat typically found in the beef version. I doubled everything in this recipe but used just one egg (or rather, flax meal/water substitute for a dairy-free version). It worked just fine. If you double the recipe, brown the meatballs in two batches. If you crowd the pan, they won’t brown as nicely. Enjoy these with your favorite whole wheat pasta (or roasted spaghetti squash!) and a mixed green salad.


  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • ½ pound ground turkey
  • ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup pesto
  • 1 egg white (or 1 tablespoon flax meal mixed with 3 tablespoons water; allowed to sit for 2 minutes)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey with the breadcrumbs, pesto, egg white (or flax meal/water substitute), and salt. Mix well using a spoon or your hands.
  2. Use an ice cream scoop to measure evenly sized meatballs. Scoop the meat, then pack it like you would a patty, and then shape into a ball. Repeat. Set meatballs aside, on the counter, on a piece of parchment paper.
  3. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to the skillet and swirl to cover. Add the meatballs to the hot skillet and shake the pan vigorously to avoid sticking. Brown meatballs on all sides, using a spatula or tongs to rotate them. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  4. Add pasta sauce to the skillet – be careful, it will bubble. Return to low heat, cover, and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately over cooked pasta or squash, with sauce.


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