Grandma’s Spaghetti and Meatballs – Not!



Few meals are more comforting than a good plate of spaghetti and meatballs rolling around in Grandma’s thick tomato sauce. Just one problem – high-fat meatballs and white flour‒based spaghetti make this meal challenging for people battling high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and weight control.

Not to worry. This redesigned recipe by the National Institutes of Health comes to the rescue.

High-fiber, whole-grain spaghetti; lean meats; and the powerful disease-fighting antioxidants, such as lycopene, found in tomato sauce. This turkey and beef meatballs with whole wheat spaghetti recipe has it all.

Whole grains tend to be more filling than refined, or white flour‒based, carbohydrates. So you feel full and satisfied faster while getting more fiber, vitamins, and minerals. All the ingredients in this redesigned spaghetti and meatballs meal make this a healthy eating choice.

Ingredients

8 oz dry whole-wheat spaghetti

2 C Super Quick Chunky Tomato Sauce (click to see this recipe)

1 Tbsp fresh basil, rinsed, dried, and chopped (or 1 tsp dried)

4 tsp grated parmesan cheese

For turkey meatballs:

6 oz 99% lean ground turkey

¼ C whole-wheat breadcrumbs

2 Tbsp fat-free evaporated milk

1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese

½ Tbsp fresh chives, rinsed, dried, and chopped (or 1 tsp dried)

½ Tbsp fresh parsley, rinsed, dried, and chopped (or 1 tsp dried)

For beef meatballs:

6 oz 93% lean ground beef

¼ C whole-wheat breadcrumbs

2 Tbsp fat-free evaporated milk

1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese

½ Tbsp fresh chives, rinsed, dried, and chopped (or 1 tsp dried)

½ Tbsp fresh parsley, rinsed, dried, and chopped (or 1 tsp dried)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. In a 4-quart saucepan, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil over high heat.

3. Add pasta, and cook according to package directions. Drain.

4. Meanwhile, combine ingredients for the turkey and beef meatballs in separate bowls, and mix well. Measure 1½ Tbsp of turkey mixture and roll in hand to form a ball; then place the meatball on a nonstick baking sheet. Repeat, and follow same instruction for beef mixture, until eight turkey and eight beef meatballs are made.

5. Bake meatballs on a nonstick baking sheet for 10 minutes (to a minimal internal temperature of 165°F).

6. Warm sauce, if necessary.

7. Serve four meatballs, ¾ cup hot pasta, ½ cup sauce, 1 tsp cheese, and a pinch of basil per portion.

Preparation:

Prep time: 20 minutes (25 minutes with homemade sauce)

Cook time: 20 minutes (35 minutes with homemade sauce)

Servings

Yield: 4 servings

Serving size: 4 meatballs, ¾ C pasta, ½ C sauce, 1 tsp cheese, pinch of basil

Each serving provides:

Calories 299
Total Fat 5 g
Saturated fat 1 g
Cholesterol 41 mg
Sodium 277 mg
Total fiber 5 g
Protein 28 g
Carbohydrates 37 g
Potassium 194 mg
Vitamin A 10%
Vitamin C 15%
Calcium 10%
Iron 25%

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

To get more healthy recipes, download Keep the Beat Recipes: Deliciously Healthy Family Meals .

Reprinted with permission from Keep the Beat Recipes: Deliciously Healthy Family Meals. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. NIH Publication No. 10-7531. Page 25. December 2010.