Turkey Meatballs with Kale and Oats

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  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 6 ounces kale, stems removed, leaves roughly chopped (about 4 packed cups)
  • 6 ounces kale, stems removed, leaves roughly chopped (about 4 packed cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-pound 99 percent fat-free ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • One 28-ounce can no-salt-add crushed tomatoes
  • 2 sprigs oregano
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 12 ounces whole-wheat angel hair pasta


  1. Pulse the oats in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add the kale, 1 teaspoon of the minced garlic and 1/4 cup of the chopped onion, and pulse until finely chopped and the texture is crumbly. Add the egg, 2 tablespoons of the Par- mesan, milk, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and pulse until just combined. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl, add the turkey and mix with your hands until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  3. Heat the oil in a large, straight-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the remaining onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned in spots, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the remaining garlic, and cook until softened, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups water, 2 tablespoons of the remaining Parmesan, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt and the red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Cover reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, remove the turkey and kale mixture from the refrigerator. Shape level tablespoonfuls into round meatballs (about 36), and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Remove the lid from the sauce. Use a metal spatula or 2 spoons to add the meatballs, one at a time, to the simmering sauce in a single layer. Cook, covered, until the meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, and let the mixture sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Discard the oregano.
  6. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling water according to package directions. Drain well.
  7. To serve, divide the pasta among 6 plates or bowls. Top each serving with 7 meatballs and 1/2 cup tomato sauce. Sprin- kle with the remaining Parmesan.