Skinny Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Skinny Spaghetti and Meatballs

15 reviews / 4.5 average

This is my love language.

Everything good (in this case: lean turkey veggie meatballs and smooth, tangy tomato sauce with fresh green herbs) tangled up in hot pasta and just exploding with color and texture. *closes eyes and purrs* I seriously love it.

I don't often make spaghetti and meatballs but I've had it on my overcrowded food idea board for a looong time now and I may or may not have just gotten tired of looking at it. Know what I mean? One of the advantages of listing your ideas: getting tired of looking at all the things you haven't done yet which forces you to follow through. And I'm so so glad this recipe actually happened because both Bjork and I could eat it for every meal all week forever. Well, we ARE eating it all week. I made the recipe twice which resulted in at least 900 little containers of skinny spaghetti and meatballs in the fridge waiting to be packed into a lunchbox.

Not. Complaining.

Spaghetti and Meatballs on a plate.

Here's the deal on the skinny.

The reason this recipe is skinnier than your average spaghetti and meatballs is because:

  1. Half of the meatball mixture is chopped veggies.
  2. The other half of the meatball mixture is lean ground turkey.
  3. I spy a few whole wheat breadcrumbs, too.
  4. Unrelated to the meatballs, this is a good time to try low glycemic or gluten free noodles. I'm usually all over the whole wheat pasta but I just can't do it with spaghetti. But I've tried like three different “healthier” spaghetti varieties lately and I've been impressed by all of them. SCORE.
  5. Somebody is going to be ultraskinny and use spaghetti squash in place of the pasta. I am not that person but more power to you, health nut.
Peppers in a blue bowl.

So to make this happen, you'll have to chop up your veggies really small. Like, food processor or bust small. I used those teensy tiny red peppers that everybody loves right now and I just chopped the heck out of them with my food processor. In addition to cutting some calories and packing some nutrition into the meatballs, you are going to get some rockin' sweet red pepper flavor in your meatballs and you are not going to complain. Because YUM.

Veggies + turkey + whole wheat breadcrumbs + cheese = these.

Meatballs on a pan.

You guys, the meatballs. Excuse me for yelling but BJORK LOVED THEM.

I loved them too, but I guess I don't fall for meatballs quite as extremely as he does? I don't know. It was just ridiculous; he kept walking by the meatball bowl and just popping those little things like candy. And again. And again. And after we completely inhaled our hot plates of spaghetti and meatballs for a nice little Saturday night dinner date at home, he went back for... more meatballs. Just meatballs on the plate.

Okay then.

Meatballs in a white bowl.

Between the turkey and veggie meatballs, the sauce (storebought all the way! there's a generic brand that I love with a short ingredient list, no added sugar, and a super smooth texture so why the heck not?!), the hot sticky spaghetti noodles, and the fresh herbs and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, there's a lot to luv about this meal. If we were normal people who made recipes more than once, this would forsurely make its way into the permanent weeknight dinners category.

Spaghetti and Meatballs on a white plate.

Just so many good vibes right now.

Spaghetti and Meatballs on a white plate with a fork.
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Skinny Spaghetti and Meatballs |

Skinny Spaghetti and Meatballs

  • Author: Skillful Cook
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


This recipe for skinny Spaghetti and Meatballs uses lean ground turkey and chopped veggies to make perfect little meatballs.


  • 1 1/3 lbs. lean ground turkey
  • 2 cups minced bell peppers (about 15 mini peppers)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup Italian seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra salt and pepper
  • 35 ounces super smooth spaghetti sauce (my preference)
  • 16 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • fresh minced parsley and additional cheese for topping


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prep the peppers. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs and stir until thick and sticky. Add the bell peppers, turkey and salt. Mix with your hands to really get the mixture incorporated.
  2. Roll the mixture into meatballs (I did smaller sized meatballs and I was able to make about 50) and place on a greased baking sheet. They WILL stick and brown on the bottom as they bake. Sprinkle the meatballs generously with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the baking sheet and set aside.
  3. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Heat the spaghetti sauce in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the meatballs and some fresh parsley; stir gently and cover. Let the mixture simmer until the noodles are done cooking and the sauce is warmed through. Combine the sauce and noodles directly in the pan, or just scoop the sauce on top. Sprinkle with a little cheese for good luck. 😉


I've been buying low glycemic noodles (usually found in the small organic section of my regular grocery store and so so delicious!) and I've been buying spaghetti sauce with a short ingredient list and no added sugar. If you can make 50 total meatballs out of the recipe, one serving includes roughly 6 meatballs.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: healthy spaghetti recipe, spaghetti and meatballs, meatballs

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    This recipe just reminded me I have some grass-fed ground beef I wanted to use up. Which is even healthier than turkey. (sorry, the nutritionist in me had to say it)

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love how you substituted all those peppers in with the beef- such a smart idea! Are you gonna give a shout-out to this awesome store-bought brand of tomato sauce? Inquiring minds want to know 🙂

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I’d love to know too! I have the hardest time finding spaghetti sauce that tastes juuuust right. Perhaps the no-sugar-added is the key.

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        I’m not super picky but I am always surprised how much I love just the generic store brand. All natural ingredients and no added sugar and suuuper smooth. I’d love to make homemade but I hardly ever have the time! Hope you can find a brand that you like (or a good homemade recipe)!

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      I think it was the Cub generic brand, or just some random off brand, and it’s like the most basic variety! Not the three cheese or anything like that. Just check the labels on whatever sauce you want to buy.. I was really impressed with the ingredients/flavor!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thanks for this recipe! I’m looking forward to cutting some calories on a basic, comfort food recipe. I’ve done the turkey meat spaghetti before, but never thought to add finely chopped peppers. I’ll be sneaking some veggies in my fiance’s dinner now! 😉

    The Flair Society

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    I am going to have to buy your photography book because your pictures are stunning. I don’t eat meat but if something were to sway me it would be your vibrant, perfect photography. 🙂

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’ve tried turkey meatballs before but found them dry and not as rich as my beloved beef meatballs. But I think you’re onto something with all of those peppers, they must add a great flavor and keep them moist too!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      They were seriously so surprisingly moist, probably because of the juice of the peppers being in there. I was not expecting that at all but was super happy about it 🙂 🙂

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Do you grind your own turkey? Been trying to buy it but i couldn’t find it anywhere, because of salmonella, but don’t own a grinder and don’t know if chopping it with a knife will be enough.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      No, I buy it already ground from the grocery store just like you would buy ground beef. Can you buy it from a local meat market? It does need to be pretty well ground to form the meatballs.

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    I think I have pretty much all the ingredients which makes this an easy decision of hopping to it to prep for dinner this week. I’ve never made meatballs before so this is my perfect opportunity!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Skinny spaghetti? I love it! I’ve been known to sneak veggies into turkey meatballs as well – it’s an easy way to up your veggie consumption and makes the meat go further!

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    I totally made skinny turkey meatballs this weekend too…I love them! Yours look so perfect! love using all the veggies in the meatballs
    P.s This “If we were normal people who made recipes more than once, this would for surely make its way into the permanent weeknight dinners category.” made me laugh.

    I think I have maybe made me and the hubs the same dinner twice since we have been married…9 months. I relate!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love these. You made me laugh when you said if we were normal people that made the same thing more than once. My family said I should make something and I forget when the heck they are talking about.

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh wow. Love the addition of peppers and baking the meatballs. I recently made Thai turkey meatballs and added shredded zucchini. So juicy. Love healthy recipes and these leftovers I would eat every day for a week too.:)

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    funny…. when I read that line about someone using spaghetti squash, the health nut…yup that’s me! I love spaghetti squash with my meatballs and sauce! Yours look delish..I’m drooling 🙂

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    Yummy! I don’t eat meat but this gives me some ideas for some mashed beans and veggies and cheese as “meatballs”? Hmm. 🙂 But regardless, sounds yummy! I just recently uploaded a homemade spaghetti sauce to my blog! 🙂

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      that would be perfect with this! and actually, the bean and veggie meatballs don’t sound half bad to me! I love beans.

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    This week I have been specifically looking for healthy recipes that sneak in some extra veggies for the 2 year old, this is perfect! The kiddo loooves spaghetti. 🙂

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    My husband and sons are really gonna love these meatballs (actually I will too :). ) Spaghetti is already a hit with them – so they’ll love it if I make meatballs too!