Zoodles Marinara with Turkey Meatballs

I’m always on a quest to develop family-friendly recipes that kids enjoy and parents can feel good about eating. This is obviously a healthier take on spaghetti and meatballs, but it’s also a way to get at least 6 different veggies into a meal without anyone objecting. I often add finely chopped kale to the meatballs, which also goes undetected. Feel free to be creative and use the meatballs as a delivery system for a variety of different shredded veggies. You can also blend veggies into the marinara if you have the kind of picky eaters who can detect a speck of green in their food from a mile away.

Zoodles Marinara with Turkey Meatballs
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
55 mins
Servings: 4
Author: Michelle Babb MS, RD, CD
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 6 cremini mushrooms finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 carrot shredded
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 3 zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or sunflower oil
  • 1 18 ounce jar marinara (no sugar added)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Drizzle oil into a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat and add the onion. Saute for about 5 minutes, until onion starts to soften. Add mushrooms and salt and sauté for another 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and remove from heat.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, egg, carrot, and oats. Add the sautéed veggies along with the parsley, tarragon and sage. Use your hands to knead the ingredients together until well combined. Roll the turkey into small (1-inch) meatballs.
  4. Cut the ends off the zucchini and use a peeler to shave into noodle-like strips (or use a spiral veggie slicer).
  5. In the skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add grapeseed or sunflower oil and heat for 1 minute. Carefully transfer the meatballs into the pan and allow to cook for 2 minutes, turn and cook for 2 more minutes and continue turning until the meatballs appear cooked on the outside. Add the zucchini noodles (zoodles) and pour the marinara over the top of the zoodles and meatballs.

  6. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.