A Clever Spin on a Classic: Turkey Meatballs with Carrot Noodle Spaghetti

A fun way to eat your veggies, this creative spin on a classic dish subs carrot “noodles” for spaghetti and tops them with cheesy turkey meatballs. Inspired by the spiralizing technique, this clever recipe for Turkey Meatballs with Carrot Noodle Spaghetti offers a shortcut for those without a spiralizer at home. Simple to make—and still totally twirlable—these off beat noodles will satisfy even the most devout carb-lovers.

Large carrots are easiest for creating long, noodle-like ribbons. To yield wide, even ribbons, hold one end of the carrot firmly while peeling. Frequently rotate the carrot, yielding as many ribbons as you can until you reach the thin center.

Want to know more about spiralizing? Check out for more info!

1 pound jumbo carrots
⅛ ounce parsley
¼ ounce basil, divided
3 cloves garlic, divided
1 red onion, divided
12 ounces ground turkey
¼ cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
⅓ cup grated pecorino cheese, divided
½ tablespoon tomato paste, divided
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 can crushed tomatoes

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg
kosher salt
black pepper
12″ large pan with lid


Prepare Ingredients:

Rinse carrot, peel outer layer, and discard. Using the vegetable peeler, continue peeling carrot lengthwise into wide ribbons (see Recipe Tip). Rinse parsley and basil. Roughly chop leaves, discarding stems. Mince garlic. Peel onion and halve, then cut half into small dice. Pat turkey dry with paper towel. Save remaining onion for another homemade meal.

Make Meatballs:

In a large bowl, combine turkey, parsley, breadcrumbs, half of basil, half of garlic, half of diced onion, half of pecorino, half of tomato paste, and 1 egg. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Using your hands, mix well, then form into 8-10 equal balls, about 1½-inches in diameter.

Seat Meatballs:

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add meatballs and sear, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 8-10 minutes total. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Make Tomato-Basil Sauce:

Wipe pan from meatballs clean and return to medium heat. Immediately add 1 tablespoon olive oil, oregano, remaining garlic, and remaining diced onion. Cook until onion is soft and translucent, 3-5 minutes. Add remaining tomato paste and cook until fully combined, 1-2 minutes more. Add crushed tomatoes and season with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Increase heat to medium-high.

Cook Carrots:

When sauce begins to bubble, return meatballs to pan and spoon over sauce. Reduce heat to medium and cover. Simmer until meatballs are cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Transfer meatballs to a plate and add carrot ribbons to pan with sauce. Stir to coat and cook until carrots are just softened, 3-4 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in remaining basil. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.

Plate Spaghetti and Meatballs:

Divide carrot ribbons and tomato-basil sauce between 2 plates. Top with turkey meatballs and remaining pecorino, and dig in.

in Nourish


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