This pasta dinner comes together fast!
Meatballs and vegetables roast together in the oven while pasta boils on the stove, then everything gets tossed with some olive oil, lemon juice, and a handful of parsley.
The recipe is very adaptable. You can really use any kind of ground meat, and any of your favorite vegetables that have been cut into bite-sized pieces.
Today, I went with ground turkey for the meatballs, and zucchini, bell peppers, and onions for the vegetables. It’s a sort-of-Mediterranean mix that works well. I’ve also made this dish with just a head of cauliflower on nights when I can only be bothered to chop up one thing!
The most time-consuming part of the recipe is rolling out the little meatballs -- each one is about an inch in diameter, and the recipe makes about four dozen of them.
This is time well spent, though! These bite-sized meatballs fit right in with the pasta and vegetables, so no knife is required at the table. Kids love them, too.
You can also prep the meatballs in advance and freeze them for later, if you like. Just put them on a sheet pan lined with plastic wrap, then freeze them until they’re firm, about two hours. After that, you can transfer them to a freezer-safe plastic bag and store them for about two months. Let them thaw overnight in the fridge before cooking.
Serve this pasta dinner with a big green salad or on its own. The leftovers make a great packed lunch!
Pasta with Turkey Meatballs and Roasted Vegetables
- For the vegetables:
- 3 medium (about 3/4 pound) zucchini, cut into half moons
- 2 large (about 3/4 pound) red bell peppers, sliced into 1-inch strips
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced into half moons
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- For the meatballs:
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning (or 1/4 teaspoon each dried oregano, basil, marjoram, and rosemary)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- For the pasta:
- 1 pound any small shaped pasta, like orecchiette, bowties, or rotini
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 425ºF
Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil or silicone baking mats.
Begin roasting the vegetables:
Toss the vegetables with the olive oil and salt. Spread them out on one of the baking sheets in a single, even layer. Roast the vegetables for 30 minutes.
Prepare and begin roasting the meatballs.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey, egg, mayonnaise, bread crumbs, and seasonings. Roll into 1-inch meatballs and place on the second baking sheet, about 1/2-inch apart.
Roast the meatballs for 20 minutes in the oven alongside the vegetables.
Boil the pasta
Once both the vegetables and meatballs are in the oven, put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Salt the pasta water to taste (I use about three tablespoons for a big pot) and boil the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package and drain.
Toss everything together and serve.
In the pasta pot, stir together the roasted vegetables, meatballs, and pasta with the olive oil, lemon juice, and parsley. Serve hot.