Close-up of Rustic Turkey Meatball Pasta, as seen on The Pioneer Womam, season 33.
Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond

Rustic Turkey Meatball Pasta

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 50 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
This dish is a healthier spin on classic spaghetti and meatballs, using lean ground turkey. As turkey can be a little flavorless, Ree makes an herb mixture to give the dish a little zing.



  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Grease a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the parsley, basil, Parmesan, oregano, garlic and lemon zest and juice until combined and chopped. With the machine running, add 1/4 cup of the olive oil until a thick paste forms.
  3. Place the cherry tomatoes in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and toss with half of the herb mixture. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and set aside.
  4. Add the ground turkey, egg, remaining herb mixture, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to a large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Pinch off 1 1/2- to 2-inch mounds and scatter them around the greased baking sheet.
  5. Place the meatballs on the top rack of the oven and the tomatoes on the lower rack. Bake until the meatballs are cooked through, browned and crisp and the tomatoes have begun to burst, 18 to 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, boil the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta.
  7. Add the pasta, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and a splash of the pasta water to the pan of tomatoes. Toss, adding pasta water as needed, until a sauce forms. Taste and season as needed. Top with the meatballs and more grated Parmesan. Add some parsley leaves and torn basil for garnish before serving.