Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Cheese-stuffed Turkey Meatballs with Pasta

It's hard to believe that I wasn't a big fan of  "macaroni" when I was growing up. What I wouldn't give to be able to eat pasta more frequently now! Lately I've been making it on Sundays, looking for new and more healthy ways to prepare it. Since Larry is a big spaghetti and meatball fan, I decided to try this take on the classic Italian-American favorite. We were both glad that I did.

(Adapted from Points Plus cookbook)
Serves 4
8 oz ground turkey
1/2 c grated cheese, divided (I prefer Pecorino Romano)
1/4 c bread crumbs
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley
1/4 c fat free milk
1 large egg white
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch cayenne
1 (1 oz) piece part skim mozzarella cut into 16 pieces (I know, right? I used a piece of string cheese)
2 cups fat free marinara sauce (I prefer the Barilla fire roasted sauce)
1/2 cup water
8 oz spaghetti
2 c thinly sliced escarole

Stir together turkey, 1/4 c cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, milk, egg white, garlic, and cayenne in a large bowl. Shape turkey mixture around cheese cube to form 16 meatballs.

Bring marinara sauce and water to a simmer in a large skillet. Add meatballs, cover, and simmer, stirring gently a few times, until meatballs are cooked through, 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile cook pasta according to package directions, adding escarole during the last 1 minute of cooking. Drain.

Divide pasta mixture among 4 bowls; top evenly with meatballs and sauce; sprinkle evenly with remaining cheese.
(N.I.: 415 cal; 6 g fat; 61 g carb; 11 g fiber; 30 g prot; 10 points plus)
When I first noted that the escarole was added to the pasta, I was skeptical. I adore 'scarole, but generally eat it sauteed with garlic and olive oil. I decided to give it a try and was pleasantly surprised that I loved the escarole with the marinara sauce. For such a simple recipe, this was very flavorful. In fact, I intend to make the meatballs again to use in sandwiches. They are very soft, but hold their shape well. Another filling, healthy dinner that you can feel good about serving.


  1. I love this meal we only use turkey... great post!

  2. that is sure yummy I use ground turkey as well as Timmi in face she got me using it. I will give her this


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