Tonal coach Gabby Sansosti’s healthy spin on an Italian family meatball recipe makes snacking more satisfying.
If granola bars and trail mixes don’t hit the spot for you and you’re looking for a snack that’s more savory, add this healthy turkey meatball recipe to your arsenal. These melt-in-your-mouth bites give you a chance to ditch the snack bars and try a new approach: riffing off an old family recipe.
“This recipe is a fun way to highlight that you don’t have to completely give something up and shows you can make subtle changes to a family recipe or something that you really enjoy to make it a little bit healthier,” says Tonal coach Gabby Sansosti says. She preps these turkey bites on the weekend and divides them up into containers to have on deck for a few days throughout the week. “On my way out the door, I’ll bring a [portion] with me on set to warm up.”
This recipe is also a great example of a convenient protein and nutrient-rich snack with the added benefit of being more substantial and satisfying than typical snack foods. “A handful of crackers or trail mix isn’t always the most memorable snack,” says John Christie, a registered dietitian and director of Curriculum Intelligence at Tonal. “Anytime you can bring a little more intention, emotional investment, or find ways to be mindful in your approach toward nutrition, it’s a bigger win.”
Christie adds that Coach Gabby’s recipe shows how it’s possible to transform a big family meal into a simple snack. “It’s a way to enjoy what we love more often,” he says.
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 white onion, finely chopped in a food processor
- 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped in a food processor
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 Tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ Tsp. sugar (or sweetener of your choice)
- 16 oz. of lean ground turkey breast
- Italian parsley, finely chopped
- ¾ cup of breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- To make the sauce, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. After one to two minutes, add three-quarters of the chopped onion and three-quarters of the chopped green pepper to the saucepan and cook until translucent. Add the mixed garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Pour both cans of crushed tomatoes into the saucepan and season with salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and sugar. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and allow the mixture to simmer while you make the meatballs. (Coach Gabby says the longer it cooks, the better.)
- For the meatballs, combine the remaining onion and green pepper with the lean ground turkey, parsley, breadcrumbs, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and bring the mixture together with your hands. Roll into small snack-sized balls.
- Place a skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sear the turkey meatballs until brown on all sides and then drop them into the sauce. Reduce the heat to low, and slow cook for two hours.
- Store in an airtight container in your fridge for up to five days. This recipe also freezes well.
Note: These values below represent an estimate of one serving.
- Calories: 279 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 15g
- Protein: 18g
- Fat: 16g