Low-Fat, Quick Feta and Spinach Meatballs (Idiot-Proof Recipe)
You know I like to keep these intros short so I won't go too far down the rabbit hole of why I made this recipe or where it came from. I will tell you this, however. I was at Costco, the Sample lady was eyeing me down with her face shield on covering her already masked face. I took a look down at her glove-covered hands to discover that she was holding feta in her hand. I impulsively decided YES who doesn't love feta, I'm taking it home. My cart already had some trays of turkey mince (ground turkey), and on the drive home I kept thinking, "what am I going to make with 4lbs (2kg ish) of ground turkey and 1kg of feta cheese?" Somehow a craving for pasta came over me and the rest was history. Meatballs. We made meatballs. When I realized there weren't any veggies in it, immediately I decided to add spinach to this meal as it's already an EXTREMELY budget-friendly meal prep meal, might as well add some health to it. FULL DISCLOSURE I am actually shocked that I was able to come up with something that was worth sharing on my website. In hindsight, I am well aware that this isn't some PROFOUND recipe, and that feta and spinach have been combined in the past with great success, but this is my idiot-proof method of creating tasty, textured meatballs with little to no effort, and it's kinda fun actually! Unless you're cooking for an entire family, this recipe will likely be too much for you to take down in one sitting, but as I am always recommending, its great to prepare your lean protein sources ahead of time so that you're set for future meals. It's like meal prep, but you're not pigeon-holing yourself on the carbs, you can quickly make a carb dish to match, and then simply reheat the lean protein for healthy eating in an on-the-go world! Whether you're like me and want to eat these on pasta, or if you want to make your own rice and your own sauces, do with it as you will, but these meatballs might just go and change your life!😱🙌🏼
No time to waste, here it is!!
(Recipe makes about 12-14 1-1.5 inch meatballs)
3-4 oz. fresh/frozen spinach
1/4 cooking onion, diced
(1 tbsp olive oil if AirFrying) 2 Tbsp Olive Oil if Frying Stovetop
1 lb. extra lean/ lean ground turkey
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Freshly cracked pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
2-3 oz. feta, crumbled/finely chopped (strictly dependent on how much you love feta)
1/2 tsp dried parsley (fresh parsley can be substituted/ is recommended)
1/4 tsp dried basil (fresh basil can be substituted/is recommended)
a pinch or two of thyme (dried or fresh)
Instructions (Pasta- If you so choose)
Half-Fill a medium-sized pot with water and boil on high (adding salt is recommended)
Once boiled, turn the heat to low and simmer 1 small box of any pasta of your choosing and follow the directions for cooking. One thing that's very important is that you remove the pot from the heat 1 minute earlier than the box says-- I find that the instructions always overcooks the pasta.
Disclaimer- this is a recipe meant to be cheap and easy to meal prep if you have access to nonna's homemade sauce recipe, then, by ALL MEANS, do that-- I'm just showing you a quick meal-prep alternative with store-bought items.
Take your favorite storebought bottle of tomato sauce, and pour it into a saucepan/skillet on medium-high heat.
Add some tomato paste if desired to add some depth to the sauce (not necessary)
Once the sauce begins to boil, stir in a splash (1tbsp) of Balsamic Vinegar and let it reduce/evaporate-- Trust me, you won't regret it.
After it boils, set to low stirring occasionally until meatballs are ready.
Add the meatballs in (see below for instructions) and mix into sauce, enjoy.
Instructions (Meatballs/ Stovetop cooking)
Roughly Chop the spinach.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, onion, garlic powder, freshly cracked pepper (5 or 6 cranks of a pepper shaker/mill), and salt. Lightly whisk the egg, then add the egg, ground turkey, roughly chopped spinach, and crumbled feta to the bowl with the breadcrumbs.
Wash your hands, and before drying them (in order to prevent sticking on your hands) utilize your hands to combine the ingredients until evenly mixed.
Form the meat mixture into balls, about two heaping tablespoons each or 1.5 inch balls. You should get approximately 12 meatballs. (you could make them smaller if you prefer- up to you).
Add a tablespoon of oil, or spray a skillet with cooking spray, and heat the skillet over medium heat. Once hot, swirl the oil in the skillet to make sure the surface is coated, then add half of the meatballs. Cook the meatballs for about a minute and a half on each side, or until the meatballs are golden brown, cooked through (about 7-9 minutes total), and until you can't resist but to try them. Remove the cooked meatballs into your pan with sauce and mix around/ if you're not preparing a sauce, add them to a clean paper towel-lined bowl.
Serve warm on a bed of pasta with tomato sauce, rice, or mashed potatoes, whatever you fancy.
Instructions (Air Fryer)
Repeat Steps 1-4 from above in order to form Meatballs.
Preheat Airfryer to 375F and cook for 12 minutes, flipping them about halfway through.
Serve warm with pasta & Tomato sauce, rice or mashed potatoes, whatever you enjoy.
As per usual, I hope you enjoy this recipe. Is it delicious? yes. Is it a meal prep-worthy meal? YES! Is it perfect? No, it's waiting for you to put your own twist on it! Get cracking and tag me on Socials with your attempt @EvidenceNutrition