Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles and Chimichurri Sauce

With the cleanse winding down last week I’ve happily been back in the kitchen playing with new recipes.

My family eats a ton of meatballs but frankly they’re all too often of the organic store-bought, pre-cooked variety. Not the best, but easy for a busy working mama in a pinch. For that reason, I’ve wanted to come up with my own homemade version and so this recipe was born.

Filled with robust flavors of fresh herbs, lemon and garlic, these meatballs are the perfect anecdote to the mild flavors of turkey and zucchini. If you’re new to the idea of making noodles from zucchini welcome to a whole new world! Be sure to check out my post on how to make them here.

Chimichurri is traditionally a green sauce from Argentina primarily used as a marinade for grilling steak. It’s another name for pesto, made with herbs, garlic, oil and vinegar that also pairs well with veggies, chicken and fish. It’s quite tangy so drizzle slowly at first to make sure you get the right amount to your liking.

Read on for the recipe and be sure to leave me a comment below.

With love and tangy turkey meatballs,

PS – If you’re the vegetarian among a bunch of meat eaters, serve yourself zucchini noodles with steamed veggies and kalamata olives drizzled with chimichurri. Yum!

Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles and Chimichurri Sauce

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients for chimichurri:

  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 1 TB.)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • Handful fresh basil
  • 2 TB chives, chopped
  • 1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Ingredients for meatballs and noodles:

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 3 small cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • Zest of 1 small lemon (about 1 TB.)
  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 TB. fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 TB. fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 1 ½ TB.)
  • 3 large zucchini, spiralized to make noodles
  • 2 TB. olive oil, divided
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions for chimichurri:
In high-speed blender, combine vinegar, olive oil, honey, shallot, garlic, herbs, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature for about an hour or refrigerate overnight to let the flavors develop. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Instructions for meatballs:
In a medium bowl, combine the turkey, garlic, lemon zest, herbs and shallot. Use your hands to combine then add a big pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Mix just until everything is combined, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high heat. Remove the meat from the fridge. Pinching off about 2 tablespoonfuls at a time, roll into meatballs.

Cook the meatballs until browned, flipping once (about 2 minutes per side.)

Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, then bake in the oven for 5 minutes to cook through.

Remove from the oven, and serve with the zucchini noodles and chimichurri sauce.

Instructions for zucchini noodles:
In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. Add zucchini noodles and stir for 3 to 5 minutes until warm and tender. Drizzle with chimichurri sauce.

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Showing 16 comments
  • Diana

    Enjoying most of your recipes, thank you. I have not come across zucchini noodles before. Are they available in the store or did you make them?

    • Jules Peláez

      Hey Diana! No you can make them yourselves with a spiralizer!

  • sharon w

    I had already planned to make turkey meatball tonight! Perfect Timing – I will try it! (I like to make a double or tripe batch – cook them all at once then freeze the rest, then I have a super easy quick dinner for 2 other nights and can save money on the pre-made ones at the store. Thanks for sharing your awesome recipes!

    • Jules Peláez

      Meatballs are great to have in the freezer. Good idea.

  • Kylie

    I doubled the ingredients where I should have tripled it. Great recipe, great taste. They were a huge hit with the family.

    • Jules Peláez

      Awesome Kylie! So great to hear!

  • Stacey

    Sounds really delicious! Do you have a print button for your recipes? Thank you for your time!

    Stacey :)

    • Jules Peláez

      Hey Stacey! We currently do NOT but we are working on it as we speak. Stay tuned for more great upgrades and please keep your suggestions coming. Thx! xoxo Jules

  • Kim Lee

    Just made this for dinner and it was delish!

    • Jules Peláez

      Yay Kim. So glad you enjoyed!

  • Jeri Sanchez

    I was able to copy and paste the recipe onto an email page then print it .

    • Jules Peláez

      Brilliant! Great work around. We’re working on getting the print function! Thanks Jeri! xo

  • Skip Lackey

    This is a fantastic recipe. My kids loved it and my wife and I love it too. It was tasty and healthy. My kids didn’t realize that the the pasta was made from zucchini at first. And we especially LOVED the Chimichurri sauce. A real winner. Highly recommend trying this one! Big fan! xoxox

    • Jules Peláez

      Thanks Skip! Glad the entire family enjoyed it.

  • Vanessa

    Are these cleanse friendly?

    • Jo and Jules

      Hi Vanessa, Great question! YES! You can enjoy this recipe during your cleanse and during your 80:20. Reach out and let us know what you think. XO, J&J

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