Coming back to work after the holiday hiatus has been a little harsh. Because I am starting completely new projects at work this month, it reminded me of those winter breaks back in college when your routine is turned upside down (read: sleeping til whenever) and you feel like you may never go back to classes and responsibilities until your parents try to enforce silly things like curfews! I'm really just now getting back into my full meal prep routine and wanted to incorporate a new dish into the mix.
Enter these pesto parmesan meatballs. I made them with lean 99% ground turkey from Jennie-O then paired them with zucchini noodles for a light but filling lunch on workdays. You can buy veggies like butternut squash, sweet potato, and zucchini pre cut from your local grocer or make them yourself using this tool, which comes highly recommended by my foodie friend, Trent.
If you're familiar with my recipes, you know I typically substitute ground turkey for beef as a way to eat better without sacrificing flavor. None of my friends can ever tell the difference. Jennie-O ground turkey gets the job done and these meatballs aren't lacking in taste or moisture! They're super juicy from being cooked in an easy mixture of pesto and broth in a crockpot. This is definitely one of those set-it-and-forget-it-meals. I chose to pair them with the zucchini noodles for that classic spaghetti and meatballs feel. Just like that, a week of complete lunches was prepped.
But wait! There's more! *in my game show announcer voice* These meatballs by themselves are a perfect game day food. You can serve them straight out of the crock pot with tongs or toothpicks for grabbing or sandwich them between mini buns with a bit of mozzarella cheese for tasty sliders. It's playoffs time right now but in a few short weeks, my hometown (Houston, TX, in case you're new around here) is hosting the the Big Game. Make these for your guests if you're hosting a watch party and they'll likely be gone by the end of the first quarter.
Don't worry, though. I have another easy recipe you can add to your spread coming up next week! In the meantime, here are the popular goodies I made for last year's game:
What are your plans for the Big Game--will you be here in Houston or watching from home elsewhere? Thanks for reading!
In collaboration with Jennie-O. As always, all opinions are my own.
Pesto Parmesan Meatballs
- 2 pounds lean ground turkey
- ½ cups bread crumbs
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried onion
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- ½ cup pesto
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 cup broth or water
- Add all ingredients except for pesto and broth to a large bowl and mix until uniform. I do this with my hands to make sure all the spices are incorporated throughout the turkey.
- Form mixture into balls slightly larger than golf balls. Place into crock pot.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together pesto and broth. Pour over meatballs and cover crockpot. Cook for about 4 hours on low, checking every so often. (Crock pots differ, so you may need to adjust the cooking time.)
These look amazing! I need to make this soon 🙂 seems to be a healthier alternative to typical meatballs
Yes! I use ground turkey as much as I can, not even because of how lean it is, but I honestly love the taste! I'm definitely going to try these!
These meatballs sound delish! I am a huge pesto lover so I'm totally going to have to try these ... even before the SuperBowl!
I've been eating them all week for lunch so you definitely don't have to wait till the Super Bowl lol.
Lauren Sheriff says
Yummy! Need to make this asap!
Lauren | http//:www.basicbabelauren.com
Yummy! I love substituting ground turkey for beef. I have never cooked meatballs completely in the crock pot, but I'm excited to try.
It makes everything 10x easier. 🙂 Thanks for reading!
I need these in my life! Three of my favorite ingredients, turkey, pesto and parm!!!!
Oh my gosh, these sound soooo good!
Bridget (Nutty Hiker) says
These sound so delicious & easy to make. I just printed it out to make tomorrow!
Thanks, Bridget! Let me know how they turn out for you.
Justine Y @ Little Dove says
These meatballs sound amazing! We pretty much always use turkey meat instead of ground beef so I love finding recipes that call for it!
I'm the same way. Thanks for reading!
Shelly in Sunny San Diego says
Girl I am making these tonight! Yummy in my tummy!
Saved all your luscious meatball recipes. mmmm. Thank you!