Turkey and spinach meatballs with corkscrew pasta and marinara


4 Servings, 700 Calories/Serving

30 – 40 Minutes

Marinara-smothered, lean turkey meatballs and protein-packed quinoa pasta add up to hearty classic you can feel good about.


  • ½ pound gluten-free quinoa fusilli
  • 3 scallions
  • 2 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 pasture-raised organic egg
  • ½ cup whole wheat panko
  • Meatball spice blend (dried oregano - sweet paprika - granulated garlic)
  • 3½ ounces shredded carrots
  • Sun Basket marinara (tomatoes - tomato paste - balsamic vinegar - fresh garlic - olive oil - salt - black pepper)
  • 1 romaine heart
  • ¼ pound mixed greens
  • Sun Basket house dressing (olive oil - balsamic vinegar - Dijon mustard - fresh garlic)
  • 3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan



Cook the fusilli

Bring a medium sauce pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the fusilli and cook until tender, 6 to 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
While the water heats and the fusilli cooks, prepare the meatballs and sauce.


Make the meatballs

  • Trim the root ends from the scallions; finely chop the scallions, keeping the white and green parts separate. Set aside the white parts for the sauce.
  • Finely chop the spinach.
  • Cut off a small corner from the ground turkey packaging and drain off any excess liquid. Transfer to a plate and pat dry with a paper towel.
In a large bowl, using a whisk or fork, blend the egg with the green parts of the scallions, spinach, panko, and meatball spice blend. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add the turkey and mix until just combined. Using wet hands, form the mixture into 1-inch meatballs.


Brown the meatballs

In a large sauce pot over medium-high heat, warm 1 to 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Working in batches if needed, add the meatballs and cook, turning once, until browned but not yet cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the meatballs to a plate. Do not clean the pot.


Make the sauce; finish the meatballs

  • Divide the shredded carrots into two equal portions; set aside half for the salad.
In the same pot used for the meatballs, if dry, add 1 tablespoon oil and warm over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the white parts of the scallions and half the carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the marinara and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the meatballs and simmer until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the fusilli, stir gently to coat, and cook until warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
While the sauce and meatballs cook, prepare the salad.


Make the salad

  • Trim the root end from the romaine heart.
  • Coarsely tear the romaine leaves.
In a large bowl, combine the romaine, mixed greens, remaining carrots, and house dressing and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.



Transfer the fusilli and meatballs to individual plates, sprinkle with the Parmesan, and serve with the salad.

Chef’s tip: Before cooking the meatballs, you can test the seasoning of the turkey mixture by cooking a tablespoon or so in a small frying pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat.

Kids can!
  • Wash the scallions, spinach, and romaine.
  • Tear the romaine.
  • Dress the salad.
  • Sprinkle the pasta with Parmesan.
  • Serve the meal.

Nutrition per serving: Calories: 700, Protein: 40 g, Total Fat: 40 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 21 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5 g, Saturated Fat: 8 g, Cholesterol: 130 mg, Carbohydrates: 66 g, Fiber: 10 g, Added Sugar: 0 g, Sodium: 660 mg
Contains: milk, wheat, eggs

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