Baked Turkey & Vegetable Meatballs {Healthy & Toddler Friendly!}

Baked Turkey & Vegetable Meatballs {Healthy & Toddler Friendly!} | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

I know what you’re thinking.
“Girl, it’s the week of Thanksgiving…where’s my stuffing recipe??”
First of all, I use the boxed stuffing from Trader Joe’s and it is incredible.  Second of all, I have a hungry toddler to feed for the next three days before turkey day.  And these are turkey meatballs, so technically, they’re totally appropriate.

Everyone used to tell me that toddlers were picky eaters, and I would look at my deliciously chunky baby and laugh.  “This child will never refuse a meal,” I would say.  They were right.  I was wrong.  Gone are the days when she would demolish a plate full of steamed vegetables and slow cooked chicken breast like it was a cheeseburger and fries.  My little darling has decided that she wants to eat whatever we’re eating.  Period.  End of story.  Which, really, has been a great thing because it’s forced us to be more healthy.  Instead of pizza and burgers, we bake up some vegetable packed meatballs.

Baked Turkey & Vegetable Meatballs {Healthy & Toddler Friendly!} | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

One of my friends mentioned that she had used meatballs to hide loads of veggies in a delicious little toddler-friendly package.  So I went to work with some leftover vegetables and these meatballs were born.  The recipe below lists what I used, but really you can throw in any vegetables that you have laying around.  Like the ones left over from your Thanksgiving dinner on Friday morning.

I cook up a big batch of these suckers, throw them in the fridge, and heat them up with some marinara sauce and a little bit of cheese right before meal time.  They’re a huge hit.  You can also cook up some pasta and throw them on top with the sauce and the cheese and the hubby will be eating his vegetables too.  Because the toddler isn’t the only one who’s picking about eating veggies.

Baked Turkey & Vegetable Meatballs {Healthy & Toddler Friendly!} | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

 

Turkey & Vegetable Meatballs {Healthy & Toddler Friendly!}
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 25-30 meatballs
 
Ingredients
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cups chopped vegetables {I used 2 zucchini, 2 bell peppers, 1 cup of mushrooms, and 2 cups of spinach}
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 t preminced garlic
  • 1 T basil
  • 1 t oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 - 1.5 lbs ground turkey {sub ground beef if desired}
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Marinara sauce, parmesan or mozzarella cheese, and/or cooked pasta to serve with, as desired
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat
  3. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent, about 3-5 minutes
  4. Add other veggies (except spinach) and cook for an additional 5 - 10 minutes, or until softened. Add spinach for an additional 2-3 or until wilted.
  5. Remove veggies from heat and let cool in the refrigerator
  6. While the veggies are cooling, mix ground turkey, egg and panko bread crumbs in a small bowl
  7. Once veggies are cool, add turkey mixture to veggie mixture and use your hands to fully combine
  8. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper
  9. Roll meatballs from approximately 2-3 T of the turkey veggie mixture and place on cookie sheet
  10. Bake for 30-35 minutes
  11. Serve as desired, with marinara, cheese, and/or pasta, or as is

Baked Turkey & Vegetable Meatballs {Healthy & Toddler Friendly!} | Little Kitchen, Big Bites Baked Turkey & Vegetable Meatballs {Healthy & Toddler Friendly!} | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

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