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Sun-Dried Tomato and Ricotta Turkey Meatballs…with all the spaghetti you can eat.

Sun-Dried Tomato and Ricotta Turkey Meatballs | halfbakedharvest.com #pasta #Italian #easy #healthy

Because really, is there any other way to eat meatballs?

Well, yes, there is, but pasta is the best way to serve up saucy meatballs like these. And pasta with a good dusting of parmesan cheese, because if you’re eating meatballs and pasta, you might as well add on the parmesan too.

It’s kind of the only way.

Seeing as though it is finally Thursday, and the weekend is right around the corner (yes, yes, yes), I thought I’d share this plate full of cheesy meatballs and pasta with you guys. I don’t know what it is about Friday and Saturday nights, but they always leave me craving some kind of Italian like pasta or pizza. This is probably because when I was a kid my dad would make pasta and pizza on Friday and Saturday nights. In fact, there’s a recipe in the HBH cookbook titled Dad’s Friday Night Pasta. Have any of you tried it? It’s one of my all time favorite recipes. If you have not made it yet, I’d make it soon.

Sun-Dried Tomato and Ricotta Turkey Meatballs | halfbakedharvest.com #pasta #Italian #easy #healthy

Sun-Dried Tomato and Ricotta Turkey Meatballs | halfbakedharvest.com #pasta #Italian #easy #healthy

Sun-Dried Tomato and Ricotta Turkey Meatballs | halfbakedharvest.com #pasta #Italian #easy #healthy

Moving along…

Today I’m sharing a lightened up version of everyone’s favorite Italian comfort food, spaghetti and meatballs!

To be honest, meatballs are not my most favorite food on the planet. I have never really loved them, but I think that’s mostly because I’m not a huge ground beef person. Which is probably why whenever I do make meatballs, they are never very traditional. Enter these ricotta meatballs made with ground turkey (or chicken), lots of ricotta cheese, and flavor packed sun-dried tomatoes. Nothing traditional about these, but oh my gosh, they are so good.

Especially when tossed with a quick homemade basil and white wine tomato sauce…along with pasta and parmesan, of course.

Again, again, SO GOOD.

Sun-Dried Tomato and Ricotta Turkey Meatballs | halfbakedharvest.com #pasta #Italian #easy #healthy

Sun-Dried Tomato and Ricotta Turkey Meatballs | halfbakedharvest.com #pasta #Italian #easy #healthy

The meatballs balls are a pretty simple mix of ricotta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil, and parsley. There are no eggs and no breadcrumbs. The ricotta cheese acts as a binder, helping to hold the meatballs together, while flavoring them at the same time. While the ricotta is delicious in these meatballs, the key ingredient in this recipe is really the sun-dried tomatoes.

It’s probably no secret that I love sun-dried tomatoes. They hold so much delicious flavor and I often add them to my recipes to add in an extra layer of color and flavor. The tomatoes not only add flavor, but the oils in them help to keep the lean ground turkey from drying out, which is awesome seeing as most of the time meatballs can tend to be on the dry side.

To keep things easy and simple, I prefer to bake my meatballs rather than pan-fry. This just creates less of a mess, it’s also much healthier. Plus I don’t have to stand over the stove and tend to tiny meatballs for thirty minutes. Trust me, baking is the way to go.

While the meatballs bake up in the oven, I like to make a quick tomato sauce using ingredients straight outta my pantry. It’s amazing what a couple of cans of good San Marzano tomatoes, some white wine, and a few handfuls of fresh basil can do.

Put it all together, add some pasta, and a few gratings of fresh parmesan, and dinner is done. Simple, yummy, and a pretty healthy…ish.

Sun-Dried Tomato and Ricotta Turkey Meatballs | halfbakedharvest.com #pasta #Italian #easy #healthy

Sun-Dried Tomato and Ricotta Turkey Meatballs | halfbakedharvest.com #pasta #Italian #easy #healthy

Sun-Dried Tomato and Ricotta Turkey Meatballs

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories Per Serving: 228 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
    2. Add the turkey, ricotta, parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes, 1 clove garlic, 1/2 cup basil, the parsley, crushed red pepper flakes, and a pinch each of salt and pepper to a bowl. Coat your hands with a bit of olive oil, and roll the meat into 2 tablespoon size balls (will make 10-12 meatballs), placing them on the prepared baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the meatballs are crisp on the outside, but not yet cooked through on the inside.
    3. To a large pot set over medium heat, add the tomatoes - crushing them by hand as you add them, the wine, remaining 2 cloves garlic, oregano, and a large pinch each of salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stir in the meatballs and cook stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly and the meatballs are cooked through, about 25-30 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup basil. 
    4. Divide the pasta among plates and spoon the meatballs and sauce over the pasta. Top with fresh basil. 
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Sun-Dried Tomato and Ricotta Turkey Meatballs | halfbakedharvest.com #pasta #Italian #easy #healthy

Now, is it Friday yet?  I can’t wait to eat all the turkey meatballs and pasta?!?! Soon. Soon.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We love this recipe as well as the ‘meatball bake’ using red lentil pasta; and have made it several times. Is it possible to cook the meatballs and freeze them before putting them in the sauce?
    Thanks for your thoughts.

    1. Hey Lydia,
      Awesome! I am delighted that this recipe was enjoyed and truly appreciate you giving it a try! Sure, I think that would work well for you! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    While I have yet to find a HBH recipe I don’t love, this one tops the cake!
    The meatballs are light, but filling. The sauce is amazing – I made the recipe from Super Simple with the pasta in it. Cannot wait to make again!

    1. Hey Johanna,
      Fantastic! I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe, thanks so much for making it! Happy Friday:) xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    Incredibly delicious! I used feta instead of ricotta as it was all I had on hand – still turned out amazing! Thank you 🙂

    1. Hey Spencer,
      Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try, I am thrilled that it worked out for you! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    Another HBH victory! I made this last night and it was delicious. The whole pan was gone by lunch today, and there are only three of us here! I did lighten it up slightly by using parts kim ricotta and part skim mozzarella with no problem. Very easy, and very little to clean up!! This will be part of our regular dinner rotation. Will try chicken tortilla soup recipe tonight! Thanks!

    1. Hey Renae,
      It is 28 oz per can. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  5. Thanks for the delicious sounding/looking recipe! I love your food photography!
    I am fine with white wine, but in a pinch, can I use Marsala or red wine instead?
    Thanks!

    1. Hey Camille,
      Yes either of those would work or chicken broth! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  6. 4 stars
    I made these meatballs the other night for my brother and sister in law. I used fresh basil from our garden. I’m in love with basil 🌿 so any recipe I get to use it in is muy bueno.

    I think I’d like to try this recipe with beef. It was a great recipe for a turkey meatball but I found myself wishing it was the real deal.

    I also eyed some of your Thai looking recipes the other day so I’ll be trying those soon as well. Keep up the good work!

  7. I dont have any ricotta cheese – can you recommend something else? Mozzarella or should I use breadcrumbs? Thank you!

    1. Hi Therese,
      I would recommend using an egg. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  8. 1 star
    I just made these from the new Super Simple cookbook recipe which is slightly different than the one posted here. This one may be better as the meatballs cook at 450. In the Super Simple recipe it calls for 375 temperature and the meatballs release a ton of liquid and do not crisp. The overall texture was mealy and lacked flavor. I would not make these again. Im really surprised by how these turned out because I’ve loved all other HBH recipes!

    1. Hi Janelle! I am really sorry to hear that! Are there any questions I could help you with or anything that could have gone wrong? Please let me know! xTieghan

    1. Hi Melissa, yes the pasta should be included. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  9. I see sundried tomatoes and I click. This is such a comforting meal and can be a quick weeknight meal if you freeze the meatballs in batches and then just heat up in sauce when you want.

  10. I made this today, and it is AMAZING! I’m not a big pasta fan, but this a keeper! It is full of flavor and surprisingly light. You won’t feel stuffed on a hot summer night, even though this is “spaghetti and meatballs.” The sauce is fresh and not the typical heavy spaghetti sauce. The meatballs are also light, tender and so brightly flavorful. They were also the easiest, quickist meatballs I’ve ever rolled, likely due to the ricotta. They browned nicely on parchment paper, but I did decide to drain some of the liquid off the pan to allow them to crisp up a bit more before adding to the sauce. I followed the recipe exactly (be sure to use FRESH basil!), and doubled it. Perfect! As always, though, it took me a bit longer to prepare because of the chopping of ingredients. I highly recommend giving this one a try; you won’t be disappointed.

    1. It is the best not feeling like a pasta dish is heavy! I am so glad you enjoyed this Beth! Thank you for trying it! xTieghan

  11. 5 stars
    I made these but my husband doesn’t eat ground turkey so I used half Italian sausage half ground beef and doubled the the quantity.
    These were the best ever!!!! Thanks for the recipe.

  12. 5 stars
    I LOVED these meatballs SO MUCH that i made them twice in one week! I love the ricotta in them! They’re definitely getting added to the rotation 😉