Light Turkey Meatballs With Spicy Tomato Sauce

December 28, 2012

Light Turkey Meatballs With Spicy Tomato Sauce
I like to label some foods “Once I start, I can’t stop”. Since I was a kid, orange flavored Tic Tac make it to the top of this list. One mint after the other, until I completely empty the transparent box. It takes me about as much time as walking two NYC’s blocks to get that job done. That’s why I seldom buy them.Oh, while we’re at it. Do you know that Tic Tac box lids have a crevice made to catch exactly one mint? A friend of mine told that yesterday.
Not that I care. Personally, I like to shake the box until either 1 mint or better 10 come out. That’s just the type of life I’ve led up until now, and no amount of common sense will persuade me otherwise.

Light Turkey Meatballs With Spicy Tomato Sauce
Anyways, back to the “Once I start, I can’t stop” foods.
I experience the same kind of Tic Tac turmoil with these turkey meatballs.
I eat them while they’re baking in the oven; while I mix them with the tomato sauce, while I dish them up. I just keep eating them, until there’s none left.
Maybe I should start call them Tic Tac meatballs. It would make much more sense. At least to me.
Good thing that they’re low in calories, gluten-free, almost carbs free and packed with protein.
Hopefully, after reading this, you’ll be convinced to jump on the “Once I start, I can’t stop” meatball bandwagon.

Light Turkey Meatballs with Spicy Tomato Sauce                                                               Print this recipe!

Makes 50 bite size meatballs

For the meatballs:

1 lb / 450 gr organic ground turkey
½ tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
½ tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 clove garlic, pureed
1 small onion, very finely chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites (1 large egg)
pinch of black pepper

For the tomato sauce:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 14 oz / 400 gr can crushed red tomatoes
zest of one lemon (optional)
1 tablespoon oregano


Preheat oven to 375°F (180°C) and place the rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine all of the meatball ingredients. Scoop 1 heaping teaspoon of the mixture and roll into balls (they will be about 1”). Place them on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
While the meatballs are baking, in a large skillet combine the olive oil, red pepper flakes, garlic and sea salt. Stir while you heat the skillet over medium heat, saute for about 2 minutes or so until everything is fragrant. You don’t want the garlic to brown though.
Stir in the tomatoes and heat to a gentle simmer, this takes just a couple minutes. Lower the heat and taste it. If the sauce needs more salt add it now. Then, stir in the lemon zest.
By this time the meatballs should be done baking. Add them to the skillet and gently spoon the tomato sauce over the meatballs. Be careful to not break the meatballs while you’re doing this, you’ll end up with turkey bolognese sauce otherwise.
Before serving the meatballs, sprinkle with oregano.
I like to keep this dish gluten-free but it goes without saying that these meatballs could be served over whole wheat pasta or other grain of your liking.

Nutrition facts

1 meatball yields 20 calories, 1 gram of fat, 0.7 gram of carbs and 2 grams of protein.


  1. Best meatballs I've had in years. Phenomenal!

  2. I love meatballs and these look perfect. Can't wait to try.

  3. They look gorgeous!

  4. I agree with what's been said--these look phenomenal and I can't resist a spicy tomato sauce. To keep these going in the "light" direction, I might have mine over spaghetti squash.

    Perhaps you'll consider submitting this recipe for this month's Shine Supper Club? We're celebrating a return to healthy eating (and it can't come too soon!).

  5. Meat balls taste yummy when they're put into some gravy n are yet crispy. Love your recipe.

  6. Gracious! These look delish and divine! I can't wait to cook it up, along with the oatmeal protein cookies...I'm gonna be at the gym for a while...'cause I'm gonna eat everything myself! Muahaha!

  7. These are delicious. My boys love them. I made two pounds of meat and none of it was left. I especially love the sauce because it's spicy and tangy. Excellent!!