“Sneak-Some-Veggies” Turkey Meatballs

This past weekend we enjoyed a little time at the beach and even though we have been here one year in the Philly area we had not been to the beach at all. Julianne had not even seen the ocean and she is almost 2 years old!

We went with another family who had been to Cape May before so we were not experiencing the area alone. It was a PERFECT day for some waves. We were talking to Julianne about water and she was excited because she thought it was the pool.

We get out of the car and start walking the sand and Julianne takes one look and goes “WATER!” How did she know? Maybe from “Finding Nemo?” Well, she just could not wait to get into the water. We got sunscreen on her and hardly had time to get Ryan’s sunscreen on before she was heading down the beach. She was so determined.

Six hours later and it was hard to pull Julianne away from it all. We DID manage to get BOTH girls to nap in between, surprisingly enough, and the day continued getting better. There hardly was anytime to eat but I made sure our little family stayed hydrated and fed somehow.

I am so glad that my toddler is such a good eater, of course there are hard days where all she feels like eating are carbs? Such a girl thing no? One of the go-to meals I know she will like are meatballs. If fact Ryan does not necessarily like turkey but he liked these meatballs as well, so I did well with this meal. :-)

Can you believe Julianne is 21-months old? She is growing and a growing girl needs her veggies any way even if it means sneaking them in! Julianne loves “moothies” or smoothies where I already knew was a great way to sneak kale or spinach. What a plus with this recipe.

Even though this recipe if for meatballs, I made it into a meal for the us parents. It gave me the option to offer pasta for Julianne. This dish has lots of flavor and has a Mediterranean flair with lots of garlic.

Do not be afraid to add the veggies because all your family will benefit from the colorful goodness in these meatballs.

“Sneak-Some-Veggies” Turkey Meatballs

by Noelle Kelly
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Keywords: cook saute lunch entree turkey spinach carrot

Ingredients (20-24 meatballs)

    • 1 pound 90-95% lean ground turkey
    • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
    • 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach
    • 1/2 cup carrots, grated
    • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

    • 1/2 pound penne pasta
    • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 small red onion, sliced
    • 1 cup marinated artichokes, chopped
    • 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

    Place ground turkey in a large bowl. Add the chopped veggies, beaten egg, seasonings, and breadcrumbs and mix well until the mixture comes together. Form into meatballs and set aside.

    Heat a large non-stick pan on medium heat with 1 Tablespoon olive oil and cook meatballs in batches. Each batch cooks for 15 minutes, moving the meatballs in between so that they can cook evenly.

    Prepare pasta while meatballs finish cooking.

    Place all cooked meatballs aside. Saute’ sliced red onions, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes in 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Add cooked pasta to the mixture and 2 garlic cloves. Toss the meatballs into the pasta and serve.
    Pasta and meatballs can be served to toddler but mine just liked the meatballs cut into 4 pieces.

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