Linguine and meatballs with zucchini

Total Time
1 hr 15 min
15 min
1 hr
Pasta and meatballs are a classic and well-loved pairing. For this version, we’ve used ground turkey breast to keep the meatballs lean, but to keep them moist we’ve included some of the sautéed onion and garlic mixture and breadcrumbs. This recipe does make a double batch meatballs. We feel that once you have your hands in a meatball mixture, it’s just as easy to make extra and freeze them for another meal. The small amount of red wine adds a nice depth to the sauce. Some of the alcohol will cook away as it simmers and the flavors concentrate, but you can substitute chicken broth, if you’d prefer.


Olive oil

1 tsp

Red onion

1 large, chopped


3 clove(s), minced

Uncooked extra lean ground turkey breast

¾ pound(s), skinless

Dried plain breadcrumbs

3 Tbsp


1 large egg(s), lightly beaten

Black pepper

¼ tsp, freshly ground

Canned stewed tomatoes

14½ oz, 1 can, or canned Italian stewed tomatoes

Red wine

1 fl oz

Uncooked zucchini

1 medium, diced

Dried basil

1 tsp, or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

Uncooked linguini

3 oz


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a shallow baking pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Heat the oil in a nonstick Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 6 minutes. Transfer half of the onion mixture to a large bowl. Set aside the remaining onion mixture in the Dutch oven.
  3. To the onion mixture in the bowl, add the turkey, bread crumbs, egg, and pepper; mix well. Shape into 20 meatballs. Place the meatballs on the baking pan and bake until lightly browned and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer 10 of the meatballs to a plate to cool, then cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days, or wrap and freeze for up to 2 months, for later use.
  4. Meanwhile, add the tomatoes, wine, and zucchini to the onion mixture in the Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the mixture thickens slightly and the zucchini softens, about 20 minutes. Add the remaining 10 meatballs to the sauce and heat through. Stir in the basil.
  5. Cook the linguine according to package directions; drain. Serve the meatballs and the sauce over the linguine. Yields 5 meatballs, 1 cup sauce, and 3/4 cup linguine per serving.