One cannot survive on sugary sweets alone so today I have a creepy yet delicious meal for you that is simple, healthy and the kids will love it as much as you do, I promise. I have made these turkey pesto meatballs a few times now, but it wasn't until recently that I thought of making them into eyeballs by pressing a sliced olive into it. Pretty clever huh? Not only are they spooky, but they come together within minutes and are baked rather than fried. They're done in 20 minutes, plus a little prep time. Does it get any better than that?
I found the recipe for these turkey pesto meatballs on Cassie Craves. I just love her recipes. It seems that what Cassie Craves, I also crave! I want to be invited over for dinner-- I'll bring the dessert! Anyway, back to these meatballs...they really are very good even if you don't make them into eyeballs. I couldn't even taste the olives so don't let that be a reason you don't make them. I used 99% fat free turkey and they don't have any additional fat added to them besides the oil from the pesto, but they are not dry in the least since they're baked in the sauce.
This recipe was enough to feed four people. I did find that it needed more than 2 cups of sauce though so I increased that to 3 cups, but feel free to add as much or as little as you like. Speaking of sauce, I used the Arrabbiata Sauce that was provided to me by Bertolli through the Tastemaker program at Foodbuzz. I liked it just fine but I think it could have been spicier so I added some red pepper flakes to it. Again, that's just a personal preference. Please don't wait for Halloween to make these. Make them now and make them all though out the year. They are eyeball-popping good!
Turkey Pesto Meatballs adapted from Cassie Craves
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1/4 cup pesto
- 1/4 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cups marinara sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place all the ingredients except marinara sauce in a bowl and using your hands, combine until everything is incorporated.
Using about 1 tablespoon of the mixture per meatball, roll into balls and place on a plate.
Pour the marinara sauce into a 9 x 9 inch baking pan and top with the meatballs.
Cover the baking pan with foil and bake until meatballs are no longer pink and are firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Serve.
To make Turkey Pesto Eyeballs: Press one black or green olive slice into the top of an uncooked meatball. Roll around in between your hands to make sure the olive is secure. Place olive side up in sauce.
Eye see you!