My boyfriend and I LOVE Italian and really is there any meal more comforting than spaghetti and meatballs?? I wanted to find a way to “healthify” the traditional meatball, which is usually made with cheese, breadcrumbs etc. This recipe is totally Paleo, gluten free, dairy free and DELICIOUS (aka boyfriend approved).
I wish I could say that I thought of my healthy meatball concoction on purpose, after putting a lot of though and consideration into this, but truthfully it was totally an accident! I was leaving for the weekend and had to use a ton of leftover veggies in my fridge. I decided to roast them and add them into the chicken meatballs I was making for dinner, and voila! A moist, and flavorful meatball was born.
The challenge with meatballs, healthy or not, is getting them super moist. Far too often, you come across a dry and crumbly meatball. By adding the roasted veggie puree, not only is there an added depth of flavor, but also unbeatable moisture.
Since I quickly grew obsessed with my new recipe, I experimented with all different kinds of roasted vegetables, basically whatever was in my fridge at the time. Great news- from carrots to cauliflower, you can’t go wrong! I even turned them into a patty, instead of a meatball, and made awesome roasted veggie turkey burgers! The options are endless!
As for the spaghetti, I like to replace it with zucchini noodles. My boyfriend prefers quinoa or brown rice pasta and both are great alternatives to traditional spaghetti. A few quick and easy swaps turned this comfort food into clean eats!
Roasted Veggie Meatballs
½ Small- Medium Sized Eggplant
½ Large Spanish Onion
1 package organic and cage free ground chicken or turkey
1 tbsn garlic powder
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
2. Roughly chop the vegetables and toss in olive oil, salt and pepper
3. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes
4. Reduce the oven temp to 375 degrees
5. Place the roasted vegetables in a food processor and blend until vegetables are pureed
6. Once slightly cooled, place the pureed vegetable mixture into a mixing bowl
7. Add ground chicken or turkey and tbsn of garlic powder
8. Mix until just combined
9. Roll meatballs and place on a baking sheet. You can also use an ice cream scooper to get even ball shapes
10. Bake for 30 mix (time may vary depending on size) or until golden brown
11. Add to zoodles or pasta and mix with sauce of choice (tomato sauce, pesto, olive and garlic oil…I’ve tried them all and they’re all great!)