Growing up, pasta was pretty much a staple in my diet. (I am Italian, after all!) Whenever my family would need to make dinner in a pinch, a heaping bowl of spaghetti with homemade tomato sauce & extra parmesan cheese was ALWAYS a crowd favourite.
Although I’d love to be able to eat pasta more frequently, my body type just doesn’t love pasta as much as my taste buds do. My stomach gets bloated, I tend to feel super sluggish, and the suggested serving size is NEVER what I end up eating (so you can bet I’m feeding my body way too many calories).
Enter zucchini noodles.
Zucchini has so many natural benefits, including:
It’s a high source of antioxidants and Vitamin C
It has anti-inflammatory properties
It’s a high source of potassium
It’s low in calories and carbohydrates
It can help improve digestion
Not only does zucchini have all the above benefits, but it also takes on the flavour of pretty much anything you mix it with. Blend it up in a smoothie, it tastes like the smoothie. Bake it into brownies, it still tastes like brownies. So, what better way to enjoy all the flavours of pasta without having to deal with all the calories and side effects?
This Zucchini Noodles & Turkey Meatballs recipe is a delicious low carb, high protein spin on traditional spaghetti & meatballs that’ll make you believe you’re actually eating a bowl of pasta. (And trust me, you won’t even miss the fact that there’s no actual pasta in it!)
Oh, and did I mention that the tomato sauce is completely homemade!? (Oh yes!!)
Recipe available below.
INGREDIENTS: [Makes 2 servings]
[for the tomato sauce]
1 tbsp olive oil
½ large onion, chopped (or 1 small onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes
4 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp Italian herbs (or equal parts garlic powder, oregano & basil)
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
[for the meatballs]
1 tbsp olive oil
9 oz ground turkey
[for the zucchini “pasta”]
2 medium zucchini, spiralized
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 1 tbsp grated parmesan
Spiralize zucchini noodles, press out any extra water and set aside.
Place ground turkey in a medium bowl and start forming into meatballs. Set aside for later.
In a medium skillet heated with olive oil, add in garlic and onion and sauté at medium-high heat until onions have started to caramelize.
Add in tomato paste and mix until onions have been fully coated.
Reduce heat to medium and toss in cherry tomatoes, mixing until combined.
Season your sauce with salt, pepper, garlic, oregano & basil (to your own preference). Mix together thoroughly.
Once the tomato sauce is simmering, it’s time to cook the meatballs. Add meatballs to another small pan with a bit of olive oil on medium heat and pan fry until fully cooked and browned on all sides. Remove from pan.
After about 10 minutes, sauce should have started to thicken. Reduce heat and toss ½ of the fresh chopped parsley overtop. (Save the other half for garnishing!)
In the same pan that you cooked your meatballs, throw in your raw zucchini noodles.
Allow noodles to soften before removing from heat and onto a plate.
Add meatballs to dish, and pour fresh tomato sauce overtop.
Garnish with remaining parsley and some grated parmesan (if preferred).
[Per 1 serving]
28 C | 20 F | 30 P