Italian Meatballs with Spicy Marinara Sauce

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After one too many spaghetti dinner nights, your family, dinner guests, and taste buds will shake their heads with boredom. Crank up the heat with our Italian Meatballs with Spicy Marinara Sauce! Made with enticing spices, this clean, wholesome recipe restores life to the classic dish.

Our SkinnyMs. version uses ground turkey as a leaner, low-calorie alternative to ground beef. Nutritious garnishes like parsley, minced onions, and red pepper flakes give these meatballs a peppery kick with a host of health benefits. After biting into one of these warm, chewy balls, your taste buds will sing with flavor. These meatballs are the ultimate companion to whole-wheat spaghetti noodles or pasta, and will forever put an end to lackluster spaghetti dinners!

Italian Meatballs with Spicy Marinara Sauce Recipe

Italian Meatballs with Spicy Marinara Sauce Recipe

Yields: 6 servings | Serving Size: 2 meatballs | Calories: 263 | Total Fat: 11 g | Saturated Fat: 4 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Sodium: 1139 mg | Cholesterol: 42 mg | Carbohydrates: 18 g | Fiber: 3 g | Sugars: 7 g | Protein: 23 g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 8


    For the meatballs
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat panko or breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped curly or flat leaf parsley
    For the marinara sauce:
  • 1 (24 ounce) jar marinara sauce (sugar free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 cup minced onions (optional)
  • 1/8 cup chopped curly or flat leaf parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix all of the meatball ingredients (except ground turkey). Add the meat and incorporate into the ingredients with your hands. Roll into 12 (1-1/2-inch) meatballs and place on a nonstick or parchment- lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the meatballs over and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, pour marinara sauce and crushed red pepper flakes into a saucepan. Cook on the stovetop over low heat until simmering. Add cooked meatballs. Garnish with parsley and minced onion, if using. Enjoy!
  4. NOTE: Here's a Basic Marinaria Sauce recipe that can be made and frozen for later use.

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2 Comments on "Italian Meatballs with Spicy Marinara Sauce"

  1. Darcy  December 7, 2015

    Hi there! I just found this recipe and I was wondering if you'd be able to give me the method in Australian measurements? I don't know what a "pound" or an "ounce" of such and such is and 400 degrees is extremely hot for an oven haha. So I was just wondering if I could get the measurements in Australian or if there was a way to convert them myself 🙂

    • SkinnyMs  December 7, 2015

      1 pound = 453.592 grams
      1 ounce = 28.34952 grams
      400 degrees F = 204.444°C

      You can find tons of conversion charts online…just google it. 🙂


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