Adding pesto to the turkey adds a quick and easy punch of flavour. You can use regular pesto or I use store bought no-cheese, no-nut pesto from my favourite local pasta shop. Try to get the “fresh” pesto from the refrigerated section rather than the pesto in the jar on the shelf, it is much better! This dinner comes together in well under 1-hour.

Serves: 4



  • 1 lb ground turkey*
  • 2/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup store bought pesto or homemade
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Plenty of freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can of San Marzano tomatoes, crushed with your hands
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Plenty of freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 12 oz spaghetti noodles**
  • 6 basil leaves, shredded, optional
  • Grated parmesan reggiano, optional
  • Red chili flakes, optional

* Don’t use white meat turkey. Use the regular ground turkey.
**12oz or 340gm is 3/4 of a bag of pasta. I don’t use the whole bag because the ratio of meatballs to pasta is perfect and 12oz serves 4 perfectly!


1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, pesto, salt and pepper. Add the turkey and mix well. Prepare a parchment-lined tray. Roll the mixture into 1″ balls. You should have about 25-30 balls.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil. Brown the meatballs all over for about 8-10 minutes, transfer to a clean surface (I use a plate).

3. Add the garlic to the same pan, cook for 30 seconds, add the tomatoes, crush the larger pieces, add the salt, pepper and sugar and let bubble over medium high heat for 5-8 minutes. Add the turkey balls back into the pan, cover, turn heat to low and cook for another 5-10 minutes.

4. In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to boil, add 1tbsp salt, and boil the noodles according to package direction, keeping them al-dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and then drain the noodles, put the pasta back into the pasta pot and add the sauce to the pasta. Add the pasta water a small amount at a time if needed to finish cooking the pasta or to thin the sauce (you may not need it).


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