Lean Mean Meatballs with Homemade Mushroom Marinara Sauce

12 Oct

Lean Mean Meatballs with Mushroom Marinara Sauce

Makes 2 dozen

Spaghetti and meatballs.  There’s nothing like the Italian protein-meets-carbo-loaded dish to give you the energy you need to make it happen.  To keep things healthy, I make mine with leaner meats and a kick of red pepper, guaranteed to bring on the heat without stuffing you to the brim. Now, go run that marathon!



1 lb. ground turkey breast

1 lb. ground sirloin

½ C. Italian breadcrumbs

1 egg

½ C. ricotta cheese

1 C. fresh spinach, minced

½ C. fresh Italian parsley, minced

1 Tbsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. red pepper


12 Roma tomatoes

1 C. low-sodium vegetable stock

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 C. onion

2 C. sliced mushrooms

Meatball drippings

4 leaves fresh basil

3 Tbsp. heavy cream

Sea salt & cracked pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 450.

Add meatball ingredients into a large bowl, kneading until combined.  Use a tablespoon to measure meatballs and roll between both hands to create 1-inch round meatballs, about the size of a golf ball.  Place on cookie sheet in six rows of four. Cook for 10 minutes, flipping at six to cook thoroughly and maintain round shape.  Immediately remove meatballs from cookie sheet and place into serving dish, reserving drippings for sauce.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a stockpot of water to a boil.  Place tomatoes in boiling water for 30-45 seconds each, remove with tongs and immediately douse into ice water.  This process will remove the skin. Dice tomatoes, keeping the seeds and juice and place in a medium saucepan on low with veggie stock to reduce.

In a large saucepan on medium, heat oil.  Sauté garlic and onion until softened.  Add mushrooms, cook for two minutes, and then add reduced tomatoes. Bring to a simmer; turn heat to low stirring occasionally for at least 25 minutes.  Add meatball drippings, fresh basil and cream.  Simmer another ten minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Serve over whole-wheat or gluten-free spaghetti for a wholesome, healthy kick.

Just you and your honey for a romantic evening?  Quarter the recipe.

FOOD THAT LOVES YOU, TOO: Afraid of red meat?  Don’t be.  According to Women’s Health, the red stuff, especially organic or grass-fed in it’s leanest form, packs more B12, iron and zinc than a boneless, skinless chicken breast.

Printer-friendly file: Lean_Mean_Meatballs


2 Responses to “Lean Mean Meatballs with Homemade Mushroom Marinara Sauce”


  1. A Menu for Your Honey Bunny on Valentine’s Day « Food, I Love You! - February 13, 2012

    […] MAIN COURSE | Lean Mean Meatballs with Homemade Mushroom Marinara. […]

  2. A Menu for Your Honey Bunny on Valentine’s Day | | Food I Love YouFood I Love You - May 12, 2012

    […] MAIN COURSE | Lean Mean Meatballs with Homemade Mushroom Marinara. […]

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