Love it when I bring back one of my family’s favorite meals with a few twists and realize the macros are NO BIG DEAL. I honestly didn’t even miss the meatballs of my past stuffed full of ricotta, parmesan, pancetta and bread crumbs….. although now that I see that in writing … that sounds pretty good. But seriously I’ll make THESE every time now. And I’ll save those fat and carbs for a giant ice cream sundae.
Lots of details in the recipe but basically, you’re just mixing stuff in a bowl, scooping and baking… then throwing them in whatever you want! On pasta, spaghetti squash, zoodles, pizza… Here we did a chewy crusty baguette with sauce and cheese. Easy! And a sandwich is always a winner for me.
The recipe’s giant so feel free to half it, but this is a protein worth keeping on hand for me. They freeze easy and after thawed, reheat so well by frying up real quick in a pan with some cooking spray and high heat. The outside crisps us more and they’re maybe even even better! Totally worth knocking out a bunch in a giant recipe to me.
The macros for my sandwich right here in case you’re interested, where I’ve hollowed out my baguette to save some carbs per usual: 36c 12f 28p and 377 calories. All the nutrition info for the meatballs is below. But the short version is MACROS ARE GOOD AND TASTE IS AMAZING. So you should make them. I wouldn’t steer you wrong.
Skinny Turkey Zucchini Meatballs
Perfect to make ahead and use all week! Or freeze half for later. Even BETTER reheated in a pan later to crisp up the outside even more.
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 10-12
- Method: Baked
- 2 whole packs Foster Farms 93/7 ground turkey which came to 3.4 pounds. (I get mine in the 4-pack from Costco.)
- About 4 cups of grated zucchini (345 grams) – I ended up grating AND processing in my food processor a little because I was worried my 6 year old wouldn’t touch them if he saw a whole strand of zucchini. But either will work. And all my kids love them!
- 1 large red onion (300 g)
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
- 8 cubes frozen garlic (or 8 cloves fresh)
- 4 cubes frozen basil (or 4 tbs fresh minced)
- 1 whole egg and 2 whites beat together
- 1 tbs salt
- 1 tbs oregano
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp italian seasoning
- 1 tsp fennel (if you like this flavor, I love it, makes it tastes like italian sausage a little)
- Strain out the excess liquid in the grated zucchini in a cheesecloth or a super clean dish towel. OR just squeeze it in a double layer of paper towels like I did.
- Add onion, parsley, garlic, and basil to the food processor and pulse until it’s well combined – a chunky paste?. (sounds good right?- looks even worse at this point)
- Combine turkey, zucchini, onion mixture (yes that’s a better word), eggs, and seasoning in a big bowl and MIX with your hands till it’s all combined. It’ll be really wet. That’s ok!
- Use a cookie scoop, big ones work too but I used my 2 tbs scoop. I like more edges that can get crispy. Scoop onto two foil or parchment lined cookie sheets. They can be close.
- Sprinkle with red pepper flakes if you like heat. Or you can mix it in, but I like to keep some without it for my kids.
- Bake in preheated oven on two middle racks at 425 for 15-20 minutes until browned and a little crispy on top. Switch pans halfway thru if you did this giant batch and have two pans stacked in there like me. (Drain off any excess liquid when you switch racks.)
- Try to use ground turkey that hasn’t been frozen yet. I’ve done both and it’s fine, just more watery if it’s been frozen and thawed.
- If you count macros, weigh zucchini first and THEN strain out the excess liquid. It’s lighter now but you’re still getting all the calories/nutrients of that original amount so don’t change your weight in your recipe.
- This made 80 small meatballs. The macros for ONE meatball are 1.5F .5C 3.8P. Six meatballs makes a nice portion for a sandwich. But six also makes a nice portion to pop in your mouth when they’re resting on the pan so be careful!
- Serving Size: 6 meatballs
- Fat: 8
- Carbohydrates: 3
- Protein: 23