Turkey Meatballs and Marinara

Now that fall has officially arrived, I am craving comfort food. This week I prepared my Italian great grandmother’s meatballs and marinara sauce. I brought some to my close friend and her family who just welcomed their third precious baby girl. I remember how tough it was to get dinner on the table with a newborn in my arms. Some of my good friends delivered meals to me after I had John, and I was so grateful. Now I’m paying it forward.

I put my own spin on Mama Carter’s meatballs to make them healthier, substituting turkey for the traditional beef. I doubled the recipe so that I would have dinner ready for my own family too! You could also freeze half to use later on. It comes together quicker than you might think and makes for a special homemade meal that is healthy and fresh. Here’s my recipe!

Turkey Meatballs

  • 1.25 lbs of ground turkey or ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (or whole wheat bread diced into small pieces)
  • 2 Tbsp. parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Parsley and Ingredients

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. It works best to get your hands in there and mush it all together. As a former vegetarian, this part is a little hard for me. Prepare a large skillet by spraying with non-stick spray and drizzle with a  little EVOO. Form meatballs. I like to make them no bigger than a cherry tomato. Otherwise they brown too much on the outside before they cook through. Brown the meatballs on all sides until cooked through. To brown all sides I lean them up around the outside of the skillet.

Turkey Meatballs

Marinara Sauce

  • 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes, 29 oz.
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar

Heat oil in warm skillet, add onion and garlic. Saute until fragrant. Add other ingredients. Simmer 25 to 30 minutes. Mix in cooked meatballs. Serve with your favorite pasta. I use whole wheat penne or fettucine.


I picked up some locally made pasta, garlic bread, cannoli and wine to deliver along with the salad I made, the meatballs and sauce. I know she can’t drink much yet because she is nursing, but she deserves a nice tall glass or two to celebrate all her hard work. It was so wonderful to see my dear friend and to meet the newest addition to her beautiful family.

Special Delivery

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