This lightened up twist on an Italian classic has all the flavors of the original, without any gluten and with far fewer calories. Fresh and crunch cucumbers tossed with tomatoes and coated with bright and herbaceous pesto stand in for pasta. Cucumbers are comprised of 98% water, are naturally hydrating. They also supply magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A, B, and C. Lean ground poultry boasts ample amounts of protein, and also supplies your body with iron. Next time you’re craving traditional spaghetti and meatballs, try this lighter and healthier version instead, you won’t be disappointed!
Total Time 30 minutes
- 1-pound lean ground chicken or turkey
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1 egg
- 4 tablespoons ground parmesan cheese
- 4 tablespoons gluten free breadcrumbs or panko
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 seedless cucumber
- ½ cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
- ¼ cup pesto
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meat, garlic, oregano, egg, parmesan, panko, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix everything just until combined, but be careful not to overmix (the meatballs will get heavy).
- Roll the meat mixture into roughly golf ball size meatballs.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the meatballs, making sure not to crowd the pan (you may have to cook them in two batches). Cook undisturbed for 2-3 minutes, then flip them over (using a spatula or just rolling them around in the pan). Cook for a total of 8-10 minutes, turning them in the pan occasionally, until all the meatballs are cooked through.
- While the meatballs cook, use a spiralizer to turn the cucumber into large noodles. In a large bowl, toss the noodles with the tomatoes, and enough pesto to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve the meatballs alongside the cucumber pesto noodles, with extra pesto on the side if desired. Enjoy!
Note: if you don’t have spiralizer, you can just slice the cucumber into thin strips or rounds instead.