Turkey Meatballs with Spaghetti and Garlic Bread


This Discover Cooking with California Olive Oil Recipe Contest submission comes from Megan Bauer, a We Olive SLO customer. Megan says:

“This is one of my favorite recipes as it is simple to make and uses ground turkey for the meatballs rather than red meat. I have been making spaghetti and garlic bread with my dad since I first learned how to saute mushrooms. I first made this recipe after I watched Giada do her version on the Food Network. I soon learned that pulsing the parsley with olive oil and pistachios added amazing flavor, and I haven’t looked back since. I utilize olive oil throughout the entire cooking process and the dish would not be the same if I did not have We Olive’s amazing selection at hand.”

Serves 4


  • We Olive Collection Fresh Garlic Olive Oil
  • Robbins Family Farm 375ml Ascolano Medium Olive Oil
  • 3 medium-sized clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium-sized clove of garlic, grated
  • Half of a large yellow onion or one small yellow onion, grated
  • 1 lb of ground dark/white meat turkey
  • 1 jar of favorite tomato basil spaghetti sauce
  • 5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 portobello mushroom cap
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/8 cup raw pistachios
  • 1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbs seat salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • good loaf sourdough or french bread
  • 1 – 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • favorite spaghetti or similar pasta

1. First place the ground turkey in a large bowl and add the onion, garlic, egg, salt and pepper. Mix in the turkey by hand to ensure that everything is well incorporated. Next take the parsley (be sure to clean with water prior) and place in a blender/food processor. Add 1/8 cup pistachios along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse gently to chop the leaves, then add We Olive’s Fresh Garlic Olive Oil as you pulse until them mixture resembles pesto and the pistachios are well chopped. Then pour this mixture into the bowl with the turkey and add the breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Mix until well blended. Your meatballs should look green but smell amazing.
** If the mixture is too wet add more breadcrumbs or Parmesan.

2. Next heat a cast iron skillet or pan over medium heat with the Robbin’s Family Ascolano Medium Olive Oil, only a few tablespoons should be enough so the pan is just covered. Roll your turkey into medium-sized balls (size is based on how many people your are feeding and how much of an appetite they have). You should have at least ten, maybe more. Then place four meatballs at a time in your skillet so you do not overcrowd (overcrowding leads to the meatballs not forming enough of a crust and then not cooking properly). While they are cooking preheat your oven to 325 degrees and spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. When you have browned all of your meatballs, place them on a baking sheet for ten minutes, then lower the oven to 275 degrees. Your meatballs will be done when they are brown on all sides and have a firm texture when you pull them apart with a fork.

3. Take another skillet and begin sauteing your portobello mushroom over medium-low to medium heat with 2 tablespoons of Robbin’s Family Olive Oil and 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter (substitute with more olive oil if you do not want to add butter). Do not add more oil to the mushrooms as they cook even as the oil is soaked into them. You should begin smelling the delightful mushrooms almost instantly. Check for browning but do not worry about burning them because they can handle a little heat.

4. Begin boiling water over high heat and be sure to add your sea salt and another tablespoon of the Robbin’s Family Olive Oil to the water (this ensures the pasta will not stick and will have plenty of flavor). When the water is boiling add your pasta and lower the heat to medium-high. Pasta normally takes about 8-10 minutes so be sure to check periodically with a spoon. When done set aside in a colander and add sauce to the pasta pot. Lower heat to medium and begin stirring in your mushroom mixture. Once you have brought your sauce up to temperature add the pasta and stir. Add fresh basil when the dinner is just about done.

5. Slice your bread according to your serving size and set on a separate baking sheet. Mix together your tablespoon(s) of melted butter, 4-6 tablespoons of Robbin’s Family olive oil, 1-2 tbs of We Olive Garlic Olive Oil, 1 grated garlic clove, pepper to taste, and enough Parmesan to provide texture so that the balance is not too much liquid but also not too thick (use more or less of butter and olive oil based on how many slices you have). Lightly brush on the mixture to each slice, careful not to over coat the bread. Take out your meatballs and check to see if they are cooking through. Bring oven to a low-broil and set the bread inside. Your bread will be done relatively quickly and check periodically for browning.

6. Plate with spaghetti on the bottom and showcase your meatballs on top. Revel in your latest perfection and be sure to use the bread for extra sauce dipping!

Note: This dish takes some times but once you get going it all comes together very nicely. Make note of temperature in your kitchen as all ovens and stove tops are different.

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