Spaghetti and Meatballs

I come from an Italian cooking heritage.  My family hand-makes ravioli at Christmas time on the order of 20+ dozen.  We make all our own sauces, and, when possible, our own pasta.  The tricks to a perfect meatball have been known to me since I was 10.  But I can’t say that my meatball recipe is exactly low-cholesterol.  So, off I went to find some substitutions and see if I could still make my Italian heritage proud.  You will need:

  • Lean ground turkey
  • Oatmeal
  • Egg or egg substitute
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Spaghetti sauce

The recipe I used can be found here, or check out my pin on my Yum board.

spaghetti and meatballs


I won’t pretend that using 99% lean turkey is a true substitute for the meatballs I am used to, but they actually turned out well.  The trick to making sure that you have a meatball that is still flavorful is to add spices to your mix.  I am a fan of liberal amounts of oregano, basil, black pepper, and even some minced garlic.  Adding the spices will punch up the flavor.  You won’t mistake it for a full fat meatball, but you won’t be wishing you had a full fat meatball either.

I really liked that this recipe made changes that fit into my new low-cholesterol lifestyle.  The lean turkey helps cut the fat out, while the oats are a great grain substitute for the bread crumbs I would normally use.  This recipe really made me feel like I could still enjoy my Italian heritage without having to sacrifice too much.

This recipe was a hit at my house, and, in fact, has been upgraded to part of my regular dinner rotation.  If I don’t know what to fill in for a specific night, this spaghetti and meatball dish is a simple go-to.  The meatballs don’t take long to make or cook, so as long as the meat is thawed, I can make this on a whim.  Consider punching up your spaghetti a little bit by adding some spinach to the sauce while you heat it up.  The spinach is also a great low-cholesterol food, and it adds flavor and substance to the meal.  Not only will I be making this again, I’m actually making it again tonight.


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