Spaghetti and meatballs is a classic, but regular Italian meatballs tend to have both bread and cheese in them. My husband, David, can’t have gluten or dairy, so I had to come up with a different spin on this classic dish.
I found this recipe on Pinterest, but I had to doctor it up for David by using Gluten-Free breadcrumbs instead of regular. These turkey meatballs make the Mom in me very happy because Turkey is always a healthy option, and there’s spinach in them which is always good when you have kids who don’t always love eating their greens.
They’re so good, they don’t even need pastsa or sauce. They’re like little meatloaf balls.
To make these meatballs, I first preheated my oven to 400ºF and sprayed a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
Then in a frying pan, I sauted 1 large onion and 2 cloves of garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, along with the herbs and spices.
Seperately, I thawed a bag of frozen spinach in the microwave, and then I squeezed and drained it of any excess moisture. Then I added it to my onion and garlic mixture, and added my chicken broth and Worcestershire sauce. I let this cook for a couple minutes, until most of the moisture had evaporated. Lastly, I let this mixture cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, I combined my ground turkey with my gluten-free breadcrumbs, eggs, and the cooled onion/spinach mixture.
I used a cookie/ice cream scoop to make my meatballs, ensuring they were all the same size, and I placed them on my prepared baking sheet.
I baked my meatballs for about 20 minutes, until they were 160º internally.
While the meatballs were baking, I prepared some gluten-free spaghetti noodles and heated up a jar of my favorite dairy-free pasta sauce (many pasta sauces contain cheese, so beware!). When my meatballs were done, I added them to my pasta sauce and coated them in the sauce.
And lastly, I piled my some meatballs and sauce on a mound of gluten-free pasta.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 16 oz frozen chopped spinach (defrosted, drained, and squeezed to remove excess water)
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- 2 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
- 3/4 cup Gluten-Free bread crumbs
- 2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare a large baking sheet by spraying with cooking spray.
In a frying pan on medium heat, heat olive oil until hot. Then add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and oregano. Sauté until onion is tender (about 5-6 minutes total time).
Add spinach to pan and combine with onion mixture. Add Worcestershire sauce and chicken broth and mix well to combine. Cook until most of the liquid has cooked out (evaporated). Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, combine the turkey, Gluten-Free bread crumbs, and egg. Add cooled onion/spinach mixture to the meat.
With your hands, create meatballs that are about 2 inches in diameter and place them on the baking sheet. Leave a little bit of space between each meatball.
Bake until your meatballs are cooked through with an internal temperature of 160 º F – which was about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve as desired. I used Gluten-Free spaghetti pasta and my favorite jarred pasta sauce.