Spinach Turkey Meatballs in Curry Butternut Sauce

IMG_1912SO excited to share this beyond simple recipe with all of you. This appetizer made it’s debut last week at a dinner party I hosted and everyone loved them. Even my younger brother who has a tendency to turn his nose up to healthy food.

If you’re doing any hosting this week for the holidays, this dish should definitely sneak its way into your menu. Bite-sized spinach and turkey meatballs in a savory masala curry butternut squash sauce. The epitome of nutritious comfort food.

meatballs2If you’ve been reading my recipe posts, It is quite evident I am a firm believer in the all-mighty meatball. I’m Italian, what can I say? ;) Mini meatballs that you can pop in your mouth in one shot just sing to me. They are the perfect dish for entertaining and the possibilities of flavor combos are endless.

I have also really been diggin’ the boxed Progresso and Campbells soups lately. Though not to actually eat as soup. They tend to be a tad too salty and rich for my liking. However, I have found them to be the perfect base for sauces. I have particularly drawn a liking to this Progresso Artisan Masala Butternut Squash Soup. It combines the sweetness of butternut squash with the bold, spicy flavors of traditional Indian spices.

IMG_1888Using these boxed soups as a base for sauce brings the flavor to a whole new level. Though, perhaps most appealing is the fact that they take the place of ~90% of the prep work that goes into making a homemade sauce. As I’m sure most of you would agree, the less labor-intensive, the better around the holidays.

I use a 1:1 ratio of soup to reduced sodium chicken broth for these sauces. Since this particular soup includes heavy cream, the saturated fat content is a little on the high-end. Diluting the soup with chicken broth reduces the fat content per serving, while reserving all the flavor.

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I served these meatballs in a swimming pool of sauce in my crock pot. I simply set the crock pot to high heat for ~30 minutes in order to bring the sauce to a boil, and then turned the heat down to low to allow them to simmer for 2-3 hours. This allowed the sauce to slightly thicken and allowed all those tasty flavors to marry. In the mean time, you can walk away, mingle, enjoy your company and let your company enjoy these!

Spinach Turkey Meatballs in Curry Butternut Sauce

Ingredients

Makes ~34 meatballs, prepared. Suggested serving size: 5 meatballs

  • 1 lb 94% lean ground turkey
  • 1 package of frozen, chopped spinach – thawed and drained of excess water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Progresso Artisan Masala Butternut Squash Soup
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with non-stick cooking oil
  2. Place thawed spinach in a strainer and drain excess water. Transfer to a bowl and blot with a paper towel until all excess water is removed
  3. Combine ground turkey, egg, bread crumbs, spinach and shallot in a large mixing bowl
  4. Thoroughly mix with your hands until all ingredients are well combined
  5. Spoon out ~1.5 tbsp of meat mixture and roll into balls. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet ~1 inch apart
  6. Bake at 350 for ~22-25 minutes. In the meantime, in a separate bowl, whisk 1 cup of chicken broth with 1 cup of soup until well combined.
  7. Transfer cooked meatballs and sauce to a crock pot.
  8. Heat on HIGH for ~30 minutes, until sauce is heated to a low boil. Turn the heat down to low to keep warm for 2-3 hours while serving.

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crockpotNutrition facts per serving (5 meatballs with ~2 tbsp of sauce)

Calories: 165; Total Fat: 6 gms; Saturated Fat: 1.5 gm; Cholesterol: 62 mg; Sodium: 295 mg; Carbohydrates: 8.5 gms; Fiber: 2 gms; Sugar: 1.7 gms; Protein: 18 gms

 

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