Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Marinara and Turkey Meatballs


This recipe is an upgrade from the classic spaghetti and meatballs — it has more fiber and vegetables, less saturated fat and sodium, but it sure delivers on taste!



Servings 6  
Marinara sauce

  • 14 oz. canned, no-salt-added, or, low-sodium, sliced carrots
  • 14.4 oz. packaged, frozen pepper stir-fry (onions and peppers) (thawed)
  • 1 medium zucchini (chopped)
  • 4 clove fresh garlic (minced) or 2 tsp. jarred, minced garlic
  • 52 oz. cubed, no-salt-added or low-sodium tomato (crushed)
  • 2 tsp. salt-free, dried Italian spice blend

Whole wheat spaghetti and turkey meatballs

  • 1 lb. extra-lean or fat-free ground turkey breast (95%-99% lean)
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 cup whole-grain cereal flakes (crushed, optional)
  • 1 lb. whole-wheat spaghetti


Marinara sauce:

  1. In a large pot (not over any heat yet), add carrots. Use a fork or potato masher to mash. Add stir-fry vegetables, zucchini, garlic, crushed tomatoes, and spice blend.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, and reduce heat to medium-low so sauce is simmering.

Whole wheat spaghetti and turkey meatballs:

  1. In a bowl, combine turkey, pepper, cereal and parsley. Form meat mixture into golf-size meatballs to make about 20 to 25 meatballs.
  2. Add meatballs into the simmering sauce, trying to get the majority of meatballs covered by sauce. Cover and cook until meatballs are cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Make spaghetti according to package directions (omitting the salt and fat). Serve with marinara and meatballs.

Quick Tips

Cooking tip: There are several kid-friendly kid steps in this recipe. Kids can help mash the carrots, crush the cereal in a sealed plastic bag, and use clean hands to form the meatballs.

Keep it healthy: Make sure to compare sodium levels in several brands of canned vegetables and choose the product with the least amount of sodium you can find in your store.

Tip: Products simply labeled “ground turkey” will likely also include the skin, which elevates fat and calorie levels greatly. Make sure to purchase “ground turkey breast,” which includes only the lean breast meat.

Source: American Heart Association

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