Who said comfort food couldn’t be healthy? And low carb. And under 500 calories. And filled with zucchini noodles and ricotta meatballs. Eat all the baby carrots you want, but sometimes you need a filling, hearty meal, and you don’t have to break your diet or your waistline to get it.
Now that we’re back vacation it’s time to buckle down for the rest of these long winter months. It’s down to under 20 degrees here in Iowa, it’s not going to start to warm up until around March (maybe April), and my next vacation isn’t until April. All of this means that it is the perfect time to get a solid couple of months of healthy recipes together for you all; to get you ready for spring looking and feeling your best.
One of those healthy recipes that I think is also a good spin on a classic dish is Zucchini Noodles and Ricotta Meatballs. Who doesn’t love spaghetti and meatballs?! And you can make a healthy version without all of the carbs, fat and calories. Annnnnd if you’re obsessed with cheese like I am, than you’ll really love the fact that these are ricotta meatballs. A whole portion of these will cost you LESS than 500 calories. Which leaves room for either 1) seconds or 2) dessert. Pick your poison.
The ricotta meatballs do require a little prep work, but they’re worth it. Just a few minutes on your prep day to put them together, than the dish comes together rather quickly. And if you don’t have a prep day? Well get one. It is honestly a big time saver during a busy work week that will allow you to quickly throw together healthy meals instead of running through fast food or throwing in a frozen pizza because you’re pressed for time.
Also, if you haven’t got on the vegetable noodle craze I highly suggest you do. Fact: zucchini noodles do not taste like grilled or sauteed zucchini. I can’t explain why, but they taste more like actual spaghetti noodles than you’ll even want to admit. And you don’t have to go through all the annoying steps of boiling water, then cooking your noodles. Saute them for a few minutes and BOOM – they’re done. Healthy and warm zucchini noodles that you can use in so many dishes.
If you’re looking for more fun spiralizing recipes, check out this recipe for Zucchini Noodle Teriyaki Chicken Stir-Fry with Spiralized Onions!
COMMENT BELOW: What is your favorite way to make meatballs?
Products used in this recipe:
24 hrPrep Time
25 minCook Time
24 hr, 25 Total Time
- Three medium zucchini's, spiralized blade C (1 large zucchini)
- 1 lb. ground turkey (1/2 lb. ground turkey)
- 1/2 c. low-fat ricotta cheese (1/4 c. low-fat ricotta)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (1/2 onion)
- 1/4 c. grated parmesan (1/8 c. grated parmesan)
- 1/3 c. breadcrumbs (1/4 c. breadcrumbs)
- 2 tbsp. almond milk (1 tbsp. almond milk)
- 1 large organic egg (1 egg)
- 1 tbsp. red pepper flakes (1/2 tbsp. red pepper flakes)
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder (1/2 tbsp. garlic powder)
- 1 tbsp. garlic salt (1/2 tbsp. garlic salt)
- 1 tbsp. pepper (1/2 tbsp. pepper)
- 1 tbsp. dried basil (1/2 tbsp. dried basil)
- 14.5oz can of no salt added diced tomatoes (1/2 can diced tomatoes)
- 4 tbsp. olive oil, divided (2 tbsp. olive oil)
- In a small bowl, mix together red pepper flakes, garlic powder, garlic salt, pepper, and dried basil.
- In a large bowl mix together ground turkey, ricotta, breadcrumbs, onion, parmesan, almond milk, egg and spice mixture.
- Form 15-16 meatballs, approximately 2 tbsp in size. Put the meatballs in an airtight container and refrigerate for 24 hours (uncooked meatballs can be stored up to 3 days).
- In a large skillet heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Cook the meatballs until browned all the way through, approximately 5 minutes on each side.
- In a separate large sauté pan, heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Put the diced tomatoes in the sauté pan, and lightly season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Toss in the zucchini noodles and cook until warm, approximately 5 minutes.
- Serve the meatballs over the zucchini noodle spaghetti. Enjoy!
Look for the ingredient measurements in parenthesis to turn this from a meal for 4, into a meal for 1-2 people!
- Low calorie