Turkey Basil Pesto Meatballs

Those watching their waistlines will enjoy this light and flavorful twist on traditional heavy, red-meat meatballs. I got this recipe off of the Weight Watchers site, and loved the idea of a punch of pesto for seasoning. They went together pretty easy, and baked up quick too. I sautéed some mushrooms and heated up a jar of Trader Joe’s marinara sauce, and put the baked meatballs on a plate of zoodles (zucchini noodles), then topped with sauce. A sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese sealed it. It was quite good!

(Disclaimer: my husband got a plate of pasta for his serving. Can’t make the guy eat as many veggies as I do… And sometimes I’m just not in the mood for the “what are these?” questions, like I’m forcing him to eat live eels.)

I’d used my own homemade basil pesto which didn’t have as much salt as store-bought probably would, so the whole recipe needed an extra dash of salt after serving. Since my package of ground turkey was larger than what was called for, I also upped the amount of pesto. And I didn’t have whole wheat bread crumbs on hand, so I used regular Panko crumbs. My adjustments to the recipe are reflected below.

Makes 24 meatballs

1.5 pounds lean ground turkey, uncooked
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs, or whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2 cup prepared basil pesto, low-fat, if possible
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, gently combine all ingredients—do not overmix or meatballs will be tough. Roll into 24 meatballs (1 1/4-in each); place on prepared pan. Bake until lightly browned and cooked through, 20 minutes.

Serving size: 4 meatballs
Weight Watchers points: 6

Serving Suggestion for 4

8-ounces baby bella mushrooms
1 jar Trader Joe’s marinara sauce
Prepared zoodles or pasta
Parmesan cheese for topping (1 tablespoon each)

Weight Watchers Note: With these serving suggestions, this was a 9 point meal. 1/2 cup of marinara sauce was 2 points, and the Parmesan cheese was 1 point. And it was super filling!

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