Slow Cooker Italian Turkey Meatballs
Want the secret to making the juiciest turkey meatballs ever? Add shredded zucchini. Since we’re all busy and want dinner on the table with as little prep time as possible, rather than frying or baking the meatballs first, this recipe from Skinnytaste plops them right into the sauce and lets them slow-cook together. For a complete meal, serve over whole-wheat pasta or zoodles. (A 6-quart slow cooker is recommended for this recipe.)
For the Meatballs
1 medium zucchini (7 ounces), shredded
1 1/4 pounds 93/7 lean ground turkey
1/4 cup seasoned whole-wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
For the Sauce
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, smashed slightly
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano
1 bay leaf
Black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
For the meatballs: Using paper towels, squeeze all the excess water from the zucchini. Put the zucchini in a large bowl, and add the turkey, bread crumbs, Romano, parsley, garlic, egg, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Gently form 24 meatballs (about 1 1/4 ounces each). Set aside.
For the sauce: In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker and add the tomatoes, Romano, bay leaf and pepper to taste.
Slowly drop the meatballs into the sauce so they are all in a single layer at the bottom of the slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low for 4–5 hours, until meatballs are tender and cooked through. To serve, discard the bay leaf and garnish with basil.
Serves: 6 | Serving Size: 4 meatballs + 2/3 cup sauce
Per serving: Calories: 235; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 104mg; Sodium: 471mg; Carbohydrate: 10g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 22g
Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 443mg; Iron: 12%; Vitamin A: 32%; Vitamin C: 50%; Calcium: 13%