Grandma’s Marinara Sauce with Turkey Meatballs

Published March 4, 2016

SmartPoints: 6  |  Prep Time: 20 min  |  Cook Time: 60 min  |  Serves: 6  |  Difficulty: Easy


This so-simple tomato sauce packs tons of flavour. Turkey meatballs simmer right in the sauce for easy cleanup.


  • 1⁄4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup(s) canned chopped onions, or 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 35 oz canned crushed tomatoes, in juice
  • 1⁄2 cup(s) basil, minced fresh
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning, no-salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar, Turkey Meatballs
  • 1 pound(s) uncooked ground turkey
  • 1⁄2 cup(s) dried plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 oz parmesan cheese, fine-grated
  • 1 large egg(s)
  • 1⁄2 tsp Italian seasoning, no salt
  • 1 tsp kosher salt


  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onions and sprinkle with 10 ml (2 tsp) salt. Cook, stirring often, until golden and softened, about 10-15 minutes. Add chili flakes and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, basil, Italian seasoning, remaining 5 ml (1 tsp) salt, and sugar to pot. Bring to a simmer, stirring often.
  2. While sauce simmers, combine all meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Shape into 30 2.5-cm (one-inch) meatballs and add to simmering sauce. Cook for 35-40 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through. Yields 325 ml (1¿ cup) sauce and 5 meatballs per portion.


If you like your sauce completely smooth use a blender or immersion blender to puree it before adding the meatballs to simmer.