Turkey Meatball Caprese Pasta

May 14th, 2014

caprese pasta with turkey meatballs

I’m always on the lookout for a simple and delicious pasta recipe. Mostly because I feel like it’s one of those meals that you can easily throw a bunch of ingredients together—without taking too much time—and it’ll still taste great. I’m taking mini-turkey meatballs and tossing them with pasta, bocconcini (fresh mozzarella), tomatoes and basil, and calling it a meal. A Turkey Meatball Caprese Pasta meal that is. 

Here’s what we’ll need:

ingredients for a simple pasta dish

The first thing we’re going to do is make the turkey meatballs. Don’t let homemade meatballs scare you, though, they’re actually really easy to make. 

how to make turkey meatballs

 The next step is to cook the meatballs and begin working on a light sauce for the pasta.

caprese pasta with turkey meatballs

After the sauce has cooked and thickened, slightly, it’s time to assemble the pasta. Throw in the rest of the ingredients and toss to fully combine. It’s that easy!

pasta caprese with turkey meatballs

Of course, if you want to finish off the dish at the end with a bit of freshly grated parmesan cheese right before serving, that’s okay. I’m all for extra cheese whenever possible.

grating parmesan cheese

This recipe is perfect for those weeknights when you’re too tired to cook a complicated meal after work. I also like that it doesn’t have a rich and heavy sauce because you don’t have to feel guilty for eating a bit of pasta and cheese. You can easily make this recipe vegetarian by omitting the meatballs altogether. 

caprese pasta with turkey meatballs

Turkey Meatball Caprese Pasta
Serves 6
A quick and delicious pasta recipe with turkey meatballs, bocconcini, tomatoes, and basil.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound dried orecchiette or shells
  2. 1 pound ground turkey
  3. ¼ cup dried bread crumbs (plain)
  4. ¼ cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  5. 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  6. 2 garlic cloves, grated
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  9. 1 egg, lightly beaten
  10. 4 tablespoons butter
  11. 1 pound grape tomatoes, halved
  12. 1 container bocconcini
  13. ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil. Add salt and pasta and cook as directed on the box, until tender. Reserve about 1½ cups pasta cooking liquid. Drain the rest of the water and pasta and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine the ground turkey, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and egg. Mix until evenly combined. Shape the meatballs into small rounds and place on a plate or baking sheet.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drop in the butter and allow to melt. Cook the meatballs until brown on all sides, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the reserved pasta cooking water and cook until it has reduced to half and the meatballs are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for another minute until the tomatoes slightly burst. Toss in the cooked pasta, bocconcini and fresh basil until evenly combined. Serve warm or at room temperature with a grating of fresh parmesan. Enjoy!
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