Baked turkey spinach meatballs with marinara sauce

My boyfriend and I are spinach-lovers but we often struggle to incorporate it into our diets effectively. We usually have a bag or two chillin’ in a fridge 🙂 I am usually too conservative about adding spinach to the classic dishes, but I knew a great meatball recipe calling for some veggies – in this case, I went with spinach. Roasted peppers and onions would be a great addition too!

I usually opt in for baking instead of frying – this way I don’t end up with greasy meatballs. The only drawback is a lack of crusty, browned exterior, but I assume that grilling/broiling them (after they are baked) for a few minutes will give you an excellent result.

Note: While you form the balls, it is helpful to keep a bowl of cold water close, so you can dip your hands in it to prevent meat from sticking to your palms. Also, don’t forget to spray or brush some oil on the baking sheet – these meatballs love to stick, trust me on this one!

Obviously, marinara sauce is the great accompaniment for any meatballs, but we all know that many store-bought ones are packed with salt and sugar. Yet, it is so easy to make at home and require a handful of ingredients which I always have on hand, but feel free to customise it with your favourite herbs and spices – and I am saying yes to any extra veggies in a sauce. Bell peppers, spinach, chillies, go with whatever you have in your fridge.

I served my meatballs with some brown rice – it was to die for. We had some leftovers for the next day, but they should stay good for up to 3-4 days in a fridge (or 3-4 months in a freezer).

Turkey spinach meatballs

  • Servings: 5-6
  • Time: 50 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 150g spinach, chopped
  • 450g turkey mince
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • a pinch thyme
  • a pinch red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a frying pan, sauté onion and garlic until they soften. Add oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes for 1 minute until they become fragrant. Add spinach and sauté for a few more minutes until it wilts down. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine minced turkey, breadcrumbs, an egg, salt, pepper, and cooled down spinach mixture. Form golf-ball-sized meatballs and place them on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with non-stick spray. If the meatballs stick to your hands, wet them with some water.20160217_151810.jpg
  3. Bake at 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6 for 20 minutes flipping half way through.
  4. After baking, transfer the meatballs into marinara sauce and let it simmer for 10 more minutes.

Marinara sauce

  • Servings: 5-6
  • Time: 30 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 400g tinned tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium-sized pot, sauté onion and20160217_160310.jpg garlic until they are translucent. Add paprika, oregano and basil and let them become fragrant – about 1
    minute.
  2. Add tomatoes, bring to boil and simmer for about 15 minutes stirring often. Add tomato puree and vinegar. Add baked meatballs and continue to simmer for 10 more minutes.

IMG_20160217_161319.jpg

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