Step-by-Step Healthy Italian Meatballs

copyright: Karen Morris 2012

Time: 35 mins
Recipe Serves: 1

Nutritional Values per serving*:
Cals: 585; Fat: 16g (of which are Saturates: 6g); Carbs: 65g; Protein: 41g; Fibre: 5g; Sugar: 9g; Sodium 1194mg
(*may vary slightly depending on brands used)

  • This dish tastes great served with tagliatelle pasta and a simple marinara sauce
  • You can add in extra fibre by using brown bread in the recipe instead of white - it will also add extra flavour! 
  • It can be made using either beef, pork or turkey. I've used turkey for this particular recipe as it's lower in fat and rich in vitamin B6!
You will need:
For the meatballs:
75g of Turkey mince (fresh or frozen, but if it's frozen, be sure to defrost it first!)
3 small or 2 medium slices of brown bread
1 medium egg
20g of grated cheese (I use Weight Watchers Mature Cheddar as it's low in calories)  
2 shredded basil leaves
Fry Light or any other low-cal cooking spray

For the really simple marinara sauce:
100g of Italian passatta - here you can choose between the plain tomato one or one made with olive oil, garlic and other herbs. I use plain tomato as I add herbs into mine.
1 beef OXO cube
2 tsps of Italian Herb Seasoning  

50g of Tagliatelle pasta 

1. Slice the bread into small squares and place in a bowl. Beat the egg and add this to the bread, mixing it using a fork to ensure the bread absorbs some of the egg.

2. Next, take your desired meat, in my case turkey, and chop it into small chunks. You can also chop the grated cheese up a little smaller if you wish. Add the meat, cheese and shredded basil leaves to the bowl and mix it using a fork. 

3. Now take the mixture and roll small amounts into little balls using your hands - or a meatballer if you happen to have one (I've just excitably ordered one online!). Aim to make around 6 meatballs. (Obviously, the smaller they are, the more there will be). 

4. Heat up a deep frying pan, or if you're a student like me with a small selection of cooking equipment, you can use a wok (Sorry to any of those that frown upon this!). Spray the pan (or wok) with the cooking spray and pre-heat on a medium heat.

5. Add the meatballs to the pan and use wooden or metal tongues to turn them frequently, ensuring every side of the meatballs are turning brown (remember: pink = risk of food poisoning!)  

6. Whilst the meatballs are frying (...and making the kitchen smell divine), add your chosen pasta and cook according to the instructions - which are usually along the lines of boil in a saucepan of water for about 10 mins or until the pasta is a soft as you wish.

7. We'll also make the marinara sauce whilst the meatballs are doing their thing - simply add passatta to a jug, crumble in the OXO cube and add in the herbs and the garlic if you wish, stirring this with a fork for a few seconds until it's mixed well.

8. Are them meatballs nice and brown? Add in the marinara sauce and then turn the heat down low. Flip the meatballs using the tongues, ensuring that each side of every meatball is coated in the marinara sauce. 

9. Has your pasta cooked by now? If so, drain it and add it to the pan, mopping up any excess sauce using the pasta. 

10. It's ready to serve, scoop out the contents onto a plate and if you like, top with more shredded basil for added flavour. Enjoy!

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