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.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 45 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Inactive: 45 min
  • Cook: 45 min
  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Nutrition Info
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Ingredients

1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats

6 ounces kale, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped (about 4 packed cups) 

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

  1. 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.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling water according to package directions. Drain well.
  7. 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.