Recipe courtesy of Joy Bauer

Pumpkin Meatballs with Cinnamon-Sage Tomato Sauce

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 35 min (includes chilling time)
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Ingredients

1 1/3 pounds 93 percent lean ground turkey breast

1 cup canned 100 percent pumpkin puree

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 egg, slightly beaten

Cinnamon-Sage Tomato Sauce, recipe follows

Spaghetti Squash Pasta, recipe follows, for serving

Cinnamon-Sage Tomato Sauce:

3 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

One 24-ounce jar of your favorite tomato or marinara sauce

One 15-ounce can 100 percent pumpkin puree

2 teaspoons dried basil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 fresh sage leaves, minced

Salt and black pepper

Crushed red pepper, optional

Spaghetti Squash Pasta:

1 large spaghetti squash

Directions

  1. Using a fork, mix together the turkey, pumpkin puree, sage, sugar, cinnamon, salt, black pepper, nutmeg, ginger, garlic powder and egg in a large bowl. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to help firm.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Form the turkey mixture into evenly sized (approximately 1.5-inch) meatballs. You should end up with about 22 in total. Note: If they're fussy, you can smooth them into a rounded shape once they're on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes on one side. Carefully turn them over and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Add the meatballs to a pot of simmering Cinnamon-Sage Tomato Sauce. Cover and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes, allowing the meatballs to soak up the yummy sauce flavor. Serve with the Spaghetti Squash "Pasta."

Cinnamon-Sage Tomato Sauce:

  1. Add the broth, tomato sauce, pumpkin puree, basil, garlic powder, cinnamon and sage to a large pot and mix well. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle on some crushed red pepper to kick up the heat if desired.

Spaghetti Squash Pasta:

  1. Microwave the spaghetti squash to soften slightly, about 4 minutes.
  2. Slice off the ends of the squash, then slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and pulp. Place the squash cut-side down in a baking dish with an inch of water. Microwave for 9 to 10 minutes. Once cool, use a fork to scrape out spaghetti-like strands.