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Turkey meatballs with marinara sauce

Do you usually enjoy family dinners on Sundays? I know many Italians enjoy ‘gravy’ Sundays (I call it sauce). My family meets on Tuesdays for our family dinners, well before this quarantine. We are not Italian, but my mom has learned from an Italian friend how to make sauce and meatballs. She does a great job! Well since we can’t get together, I wanted to make my own but with turkey meatballs.

Now that we can’t get together, I miss it! I used to look forward to Tuesday family dinner. I know I took this time for granted. I am sure I am not the only one that took family time for granted. When we go back, I want to make sure I soak it all in.

My husband had the leftover meatballs in the sauce the other day, which he stated taste better than the day they were made. This is common with lasagna too! The meatballs taste better as they sit in the sauce longer and soak up all the flavors. We too need that ‘sauce’ in our life to soak up to be more flavorful and better. That ‘sauce’ can look like the community you surround yourself with, doing what you love, or soaking in the Lord’s word. Whatever it is for you, let’s not take any time for granted now and when this quarantine is over with!

Turkey meatballs with marinara sauce

Recipe by bittnutritionCourse: Dinner


Prep time


Cooking time






  • Ingredients for Marinara
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 white onion, diced

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 3 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 28oz can crushed tomato

  • 1 12oz can diced tomatoes

  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1 tbsp dried Italian seasoning

  • S&P

  • Ingredients for turkey meatballs
  • 1 lb of ground turkey

  • 1/2 onion, chopped

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs

  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • S&P


  • Preheat oven to 350 °F.
  • Get the sauce ready. In a medium dutch oven, on medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion and saute until soft.
  • Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.
  • Add tomato paste and mix into garlic and onion until blended together.
  • Add both cans of tomato sauce, cook until boiling, then reduce to low heat and cover.
  • Add parsley and spices. Cook for at least 30 minutes, the longer it cooks, the better Stir occasionally.
  • While the sauce cooks, in a food processor, add onions, garlic, spices, and parsley until finely chopped.
  • In a medium bowl, add the onion mixture, egg, and bread crumbs. Fold all together with your hands.
  • On a plate, roll together 18 meatballs with turkey mixture.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat, add olive oil. Add a few meatballs at a time, while shaking the pan to prevent sticking and to keep their shape (learn from my mistake as you can see in my pictures). Cook until browned.
  • Place meatballs in cast iron skillet into the oven to bake for 15 minutes.
  • Place cooked meatballs into marinara sauce to absorb the flavor.
  • Enjoy with zoodles, chick pea pasta, broccoli, or whole grain pasta

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Welcome to BITT nutrition. I am a farmer’s daughter, registered dietitian, IIN health coach, and personal trainer looking at the body as a whole so we can have the best quality of life possible, while feeling the best!


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