One Pot Zoodles and Meatballs
When made into noodles, zucchini can carry any flavor - even a classic red sauce with meatballs like this recipe. Any other pasta-lovers out there excited for a nourishing alternative to white flour noodles?!?
I thought so ;)
The beauty of using zucchini instead of pasta is that it doesn't need to be cooked separately. Just throw the zoodles right into the pot and in just a minute or two, they're soft and ready to twirl on your fork. With my new baby in tow, quick, easy dinner recipes with only one pot to clean is clutch. I know you mamas out there are with me.
So this recipe is dedicated to all you pasta-loving, baby-toting ladies out there.
Hope you love it!
Where to get Zoodles?
You can buy pre-made zoodles at Trader Joe's or most health food type stores like Whole Foods. If you have a spiralizer, it takes seconds to make your own zoodles.
(We highly recommend getting a spiralizer as zucchini is just the beginning... you can spiralize sweet potatoes, beets, carrots... the fun never ends ;)
Zoodles and Turkey Meatballs
- 1 lb spicy Italian chicken sausage, no casing
- 1 egg
There's also no shame in getting pre-made frozen meatballs! You do you!
Marinara sauce and Zucchini
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 (~26-ounce) jar marinara sauce (~3 cups)
- 4 medium zucchini if spiralizing your own, or 4 cups of pre-made zoodles
- Grated Parmesan cheese & fresh basil for serving
- In a large bowl, mix up the sausage with an egg, then roll the sausage into about 12 meatballs. (If using premade meatballs, skip this step.)
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the meatballs to lightly brown (~3-5 min).
- Add the onion and garlic, season with salt & red pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, ~3-5 minutes.
- Add the marinara sauce and oregano.
- Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce is slightly thicker ~15 minutes.
- Add the zoodles to the pot, tossing often until the zucchini just starts to soften, ~1 minute.
- Serve topped with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese & fresh basil.
- If saving extras to reheat, don’t cook more than 2 min. to prevent zucchini from getting mushy. I like my noodles crunchy, so I toss the noodles in the marinara then immediately turn off the heat. (The zoodles release a lot of water that thins out the sauce.)
- Zucchini releases water, so to make sure you don't end up with a thin sauce, simmer the marinara until it seems like the sauce is too thick before adding the zucchini. Once you add the zoodles, the liquid released will dilute the sauce into the perfect consistency.
- Another strategy to keep the sauce from getting too diluted is to add extra flavor- add more salt & seasonings than you typically would for "real" pasta.