Zoodles with Creamy Tomato Sauce & Turkey Meatballs
I eat this at least once a week for dinner and 1-2 times for lunch the days after (I always make extra). I saw Ariana Grande post her homemade zoodles on her instagram story once, and since her family is Italian, it must be an acceptable way to make pasta🤔.
However, LET'S FACE IT, it's not as good as the real thing..but it's almost as good.. and if you eat it a few times you'll begin to really like it, and even crave it. I love a delicious homemade tomato sauce and meatballs, and this gives a lighter option to that dish.
You will need to get a spiralizer, but nowadays you can find all different ones at different prices. I just ordered mine on amazon. I use it a a lot, so it's definitely worth it (you can spiralize other veggies like carrots, butternut squash, or beets for salads or stir fry). You can also make zoodles with many kinds of sauces (cheesy pesto, or I even do a Pad Thai sometimes). Basically what I'm trying to say is, it's quite useful!
*you could also use spaghetti squash as noodles instead of zucchini if you don't like zucchini or don't want to buy a spiralizer.
*also this sauce is similar to a carbonara sauce (a creamy tomato sauce) because I like to have some healthy fats with every meal to feel full longer and help digest the vegetables better. However, feel free to omit to coconut milk if you don't want to make it slightly creamy (I make it like this too and it's just as good!).
serves 4 people. Prep time: 20 min Cook Time: 50 min Total Time: 1 hour 10 min
Meatballs (GF, PALEO):
- 1 lb of lean ground turkey
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup of almond meal
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- pinch of salt and pepper
Creamy Tomato Sauce (GF/PALEO/VEGAN):
- 3 cans of crushed tomatoes
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 cup of fresh basil
- pinch of salt & pepper
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 6 zucchinis
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- pinch of salt
- fresh basil leaves
- chilli flakes
For the sauce:
- In a large pot, over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the chopped onion while stirring for about 10 minutes (until it's translucent).
- Add the garlic and stir it for 2 minutes (don't let it get brown).
- add in the crushed tomatoes, maple syrup, bay leaves, oregano, coconut milk, salt & pepper. Stir and bring to a gentle boil.
- Taste it and adjust to your liking (adding more salt or pepper or maple syrup or chilli flakes for spice).
- Reduce the heat and simmer for around 20 minutes (it will be a bit long later once you add in your meatballs)
While your sauce is simmering on low heat, spiralize your zucchini (set off to the side in the fridge), then make your meatballs (if vegan prepare vegan meatballs).
For the meatballs:
- add the lean ground turkey, minced garlic, and egg into a large mixing bowl. Mix it together by hand.
- To a side bowl, add the almond meal, onion power, dried oregano, dried basil, salt and pepper. Mix together.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix all ingredients together really well.
- form 2-inch diameter balls by hand, and place them on a plate.
- Over medium heat, add the olive oil to a skillet or frying pan. Once the oil is hot, add your meatballs to the pan.
- cook for about 1 minute then turn it and cook another minute until you get all sides so they are slightly seared. (don't cook the inside all the way through because they will cook more in your sauce later- they may get dry).
7. take them off the frying pan and add them to your sauce.
8. cook meatballs in the sauce for 20 minutes
While that is cooking take out your zucchini, and pat it dry with a towel.
For the zucchini:
- Add some olive oil to a frying pan and stir fry your zucchini with a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes (until they reach your desired consistency).
- Place the zoodles in a strainer.
- when the sauce is ready, plate the zoodles.
Add the sauce with meatballs, and any garnishes (chilli flakes, nutritional yeast flakes, fresh basil) to the plate. Then enjoy!
Let me know your thoughts on this recipe, or any yummy sauces you make with it that work well!