Dinners/ Pasta

Spaghetti & Turkey Meatballs

Spaghetti & Turkey Meatballs | The Foodwright

Um, so, does the world need another spaghetti & meatballs recipe?

Looks like I’m really on a roll this week because the world didn’t really need another chocolate chip cookie recipe, either. (I think it did, though?) But classics are classics for a reason, am I right or am I right?!

I’m right.

This is just a plain and simple, classic, go-to recipe for spaghetti and meatballs. It makes for a perfect weeknight dinner and it’s a pretty dang healthy meal, too, if you control your portion size (as if), add some veggies, and you could even use whole wheat pasta (even though it tastes like cardboard.) You do you. No judgment here. The meatballs are worth the extra time and patience because what says I love you to your partner more than rolling out little balls of meat for them and then putting those a top a bed of warm, comforting pasta??!!

Mmm, probably a couple other things.

I’m trying to be more intentional about posting dinner recipes because Lucia can sometimes be the worst dinner maker EVER. Some nights it’s dinosaur oatmeal, some nights it’s toast, and some nights if I can get my crap together it’s something like chicken and brown rice or homemade pizza. We really love our homemade pizza. This dough?! Easy peasiest thing. Uses an exorbitant amount of yeast but gets the job done in less than half an hour. Boom, baby.

BACK TO THE PASTA THOUGH. It’s easy. It’s peasy. It’s breezy. It’s not sleazy.


Spaghetti & Turkey Meatballs | The Foodwright

Spaghetti & Turkey Meatballs | The Foodwright

Now, I’ll be honest, the real stars of this pasta show are those meatballs. And just like the best cheese, they get better with age. Day 2 meatballs = mm. Yes. So good. Moist, juicy, flavorful meatballs. Obviously don’t let them age past, like, you know, day 4 or 6 because gross.

Okay can I ask you something? You know that one song that goes, “on top of spaghetti, all covered in cheese, I lost my poor meatball, when somebody sneezed…” like, who sneezed there? A freaking elephant? Paul Bunyan? (#MidwestJoke) Meatballs are little lumps of dense meatloaf, girlfriend, and one sneeze isn’t gonna make you lose it. Also it can’t possibly roll out the door because it doesn’t have enough velocity or whatever, and at least all the meatballs that I’ve met don’t have any legs to help out in the escaping process. It doesn’t make logical sense! Insanity, I tell you.


Spaghetti & Turkey Meatballs | The Foodwright

Spaghetti & Turkey Meatballs | The Foodwright

Serves 4-6; Makes around 10 meatballs, depending on how big you make them 


1 lb spaghetti

1 28 oz. can San Marzano peeled tomatoes, thrown in a blender for about 5 seconds to puree

1 t dried basil

1 t dried oregano

1/2 t salt

1 t sugar

1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes

4 cloves garlic

1 c diced yellow onion

2 T olive oil

1 c freshly grated parmesan cheese, for topping

For the meatballs: 

1 T olive oil

1 lb ground turkey

1/2 t dried basil

1/2 t dried oregano

1/2 t garlic salt

1 egg

1/4 c breadcrumbs


Prepare spaghetti noodles according to package directions. Drain & set aside.

In a large skillet on medium heat, prepare the sauce. Throw in the olive oil, onions, and garlic, and saute for about 5-7 minutes, until the onions are clear and the garlic is fragrant. Add to that the remaining sauce ingredients: San Marzano tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, sugar, and crushed red pepper flakes. Turn the heat down to low-medium and let simmer until the meatballs are done.

For the meatballs: in a large bowl, mash together the ground turkey, basil, oregano, salt, egg, and breadcrumbs. It’ll look pretty gross, I know, but hang in there. Pour the olive oil in a large skillet and heat to medium-high heat. Using an ice cream scoop, or just rolling the meat into balls by hand, scoop it out and place onto the skillet. Let sear on all sides, turning them over as needed, and then reduce the heat ever so slightly to let them finish cooking, covering the skillet with the lid. It’ll take somewhere around 5-7 minutes. Don’t let them overcook! Sacrifice one meatball and cut into it in half to ensure doneness.

To assemble, toss 3/4 of the sauce with the pasta noodles and put on plates. Add the meatballs on top, adding a little extra sauce to cover them. Sprinkle a generous amount of fresh parmesan cheese on each plate and serve.

Spaghetti & Turkey Meatballs | The Foodwright

xo, Lucia

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