Robust seasonings, cheese, and a buttery garlic sauce make these spicy turkey meatballs with lemon zoodles out of this world flavorful and delicious.
You won’t believe the huge flavor in this recipe for spicy turkey meatballs and lemon zoodles~a Paleo, low-carb, Whole30, Keto friendly skillet dish. I adapted this dish from this recipe shared with me by my friend Maddy. She is my go-to for yummy, healthy recipes.
As you can see in the above photo, there are myriad seasonings that make the meat flavorful. I opted to increase the red pepper flakes just a bit, and I chose to use parmesan cheese to add sharpness (but you can use another cheese if you prefer).
Skillet: This dish uses the same skillet for both the meatballs and the zoodles. A 12″ is the perfect size. I used my Lodge 12″ cast iron skillet for these; I just love cast iron. If you are a non-stick fan, you might want to consider the Cook’ Illustrated highly recommended Oxo 12″ Open Frypan. It was the winner amongst all the non-stick 12″ skillets and is a great price point.
Turkey or half turkey half pork? Using a half turkey half pork mixture will yield a more tender meatball. Pork has more fat than turkey but almost half the fat of ground beef. I used all turkey in this version and loved it. The meatballs were on the dry side, but they were still delicious.
Zoodles: I use the spiralizer on my Ninja Intelli-Sense Kitchen System (love this so much more than the Vitamix). There are several less expensive spiralizer options listed below~all recommended by Cook’s Illustrated equipment reviews.
Make ahead: The meatballs can be made ahead up to the point of shaping and refrigerated until cooking time. The zucchini can be spiralized and kept in the fridge a day or two ahead.
Marinara definitely takes this dish over the top (but the original recipes does not include it). Click here for my favorite homemade marinara. It is fresh and insanely flavorful. If you want a store bought option, Rao’s homemade marinara is the winner.
If you try this recipe, please let me hear from you in the comments of the post. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!
- 1/2 lb ground turkey meat
- 1/2 lb ground pork meat
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice (mozzarella, cheddar, provoloneâ€¦)
- 4 cloves garlic, grated + 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon red crushed chili pepper flakes,
- 1 crumbled bouillon cube, optional
- Salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup fresh chopped parsley), divided
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 medium zucchini, spiralized
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce of your choice (I used Sriracha)
- In a large bowl, combine ground turkey and ground pork, cheese, grated garlic, Italian seasoning, bouillon cube, red chili pepper flakes, chopped cilantro and black pepper. Mix well with your hands or fork and form small balls. Arrange on a plate and set aside.
- 2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the meatballs for 8 â€“ 10 minutes on all sides, until browned and cooked through. While cooking, baste the meatballs with the mix of butter and juices. Remove to a clean plate and set aside.
- 3. In the same skillet melt remaining tablespoon butter; then add lemon juice, hot sauce, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes. Add the zucchini noodles and cook for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring regularly, until zucchini is done but still crisp and juices have reduced a bit. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and garnish with more cilantro or parsley if you like.
- 4. Push zucchini on one side of the skillet and add the meatballs back to the pan and reheat for a minute or two. Serve immediately with a lemon slice on the side. Enjoy!