30-Minute Veggie Spaghetti with Turkey Pesto Meatballs




Ingredients

    Meatballs
  • ¼ cup pesto sauce
  • ½ cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 lb. 99 percent lean ground turkey
    Pasta
  • 1 box whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 1 16 oz. bag of spinach
  • 1 12 oz. package of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 red bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ¼ cup pesto sauce
 

Nutrition

  • Amount: 1 cup
  • Calories: 310
  • Fat (g): 9
  • Sat. Fat (g): 2
  • Carb (g): 37
  • Fiber (g): 7
  • Protein (g): 24

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Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°, cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, and heat a pot of water to prepare the kitchen for quick cooking.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the ground turkey, pesto, and breadcrumbs. Use your hands to form small meatballs (about 1 inch in diameter). Place the meatballs on the cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • When the water comes to a boil, add the spaghetti. Cook for about 5 minutes, then turn the heat off and let it sit until needed.
  • Heat a skillet on medium heat. Add the peppers and cook for 5 minutes. Next, add the mushrooms, spinach, garlic, and pesto and cook for another 5 minutes on low heat.
  • Add the cooked meatballs into the vegetable mixture. Transfer the cooked spaghetti into the mixture, stir to combine, and serve.



Cooking Tip

Any type of dark leafy green can be used in place of spinach (like kale, collard greens, swiss chard, or arugula). This dish can be made vegan by using a dairy-free pesto sauce. For a lighter alternative, dice and sauté 3 ripe tomatoes with salt and pepper as a sauce for the veggies instead of pesto.



Performance Fact

Turkey is a lean protein that is a complete source of amino acids, which help repair and build muscle after training sessions. Turkey also contains selenium, which plays an essential role in the body’s antioxidant defense system, helping to combat oxidative stress. Spinach is a great source of dietary nitrates, which have blood pressure lowering properties and have been shown to improve athletic performance in high doses.