Turkey, Kale and Oat Meatballs with Quick Tomato Sauce

A full bunch of vitamin-rich kale gives these turkey meatballs their vibrant green color. Rolled oats are used as a binder in place of breadcrumbs[ and add an extra bit of heart-healthy fiber.]

Total Time:
1 hr 45 min
Prep:
15 min
Inactive:
45 min
Cook:
45 min

Yield:
Serves 6
Level:
Easy

NUTRITION INFO
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 6 ounces kale, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped (about 4 packed cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound 99 percent fat-free ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • One 28-ounce can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
  • 2 sprigs oregano
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 12 ounces whole-wheat angel hair pasta
Directions
  • Pulse the oats in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add the kale, 1 teaspoon of the minced garlic and 1/4 cup of the chopped onion, and pulse until finely chopped and the texture is crumbly. Add the egg, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan, milk, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and pulse until just combined. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl, add the turkey and mix with your hands until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.

  • Heat the oil in a large, straight-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the remaining onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned in spots, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the remaining garlic, and cook until softened, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups water, 2 tablespoons of the remaining Parmesan, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt and the red pepper flakes. Stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, remove the turkey and kale mixture from the refrigerator. Shape level tablespoonfuls into round meatballs (about 36), and place on a rimmed baking sheet.

  • Remove the lid from the sauce. Use a metal spatula or 2 spoons to add the meatballs, one at a time, to the simmering sauce in a single layer. Cook, covered, until the meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, and let the mixture sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Discard the oregano.

  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling water according to package directions. Drain well.

  • To serve, divide the pasta among 6 plates or bowls. Top each serving with 7 meatballs and 1/2 cup tomato sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

  • Copyright 2014 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.


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    This recipe is featured in:

    Comfort Foods, Lightened Up