+ Well Nourished ⎮ Turkey and Sage Spaghetti Meatballs

Turkey and Sage Spaghetti Meatballs

So here we have my twist on Jamie Olivers’s second recipe ‘to save your life’ – a Classic Tomato Spaghetti. It’s tough to mess with a classic but the Naturopath in me is screaming ‘add protein and vegetables’ to make this simple staple, nutritionally complete!

So that’s exactly what I did and not only is this one nourishing meal, it’s also absolutely delicious and really very quick and simple to make. It can also be made ahead and reheated to serve.

Health benefits
Turkey is a vitamin and mineral rich source of protein. It is a rich source of tryptophan which is a precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin, our feel-good hormone. It’s also a great source of vitamin B12, which makes it a great option for those who suffer from anxiety and mood disorders. I like to cook with it occasionally to add a little nutritional variety to my families diet. The assortment of vegetables included in the meatballs and sauce contributes lots of plant-based fibre and nutrition.

You can serve this dish the traditional way, with whole wheat or gluten-free spaghetti. Or for even more nutritional bang for your buck, serve it with zoodles (courgettes/zucchini spiralized) or quinoa. Whatever your preference, these are SO delicious!

Serves approx. 6 (in our house it serves 2 adults, 2 kids with leftovers for 2 the next day)


Tomato Sauce
1 bunch of fresh basil
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 kg ripe tomatoes, or 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon red wine or balsamic vinegar
Olive oil to cook in

Turkey and Sage Meatballs
1 small rasher short cut bacon, finely diced
1 red onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup baby spinach, finely chopped
1 large carrot, grated
500g turkey mince
½ cup almond meal (substitute with breadcrumbs for nut-free)
1 free-range or organic egg
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh sage or 1 tablespoon dried sage
Good pinch sea salt and ground black pepper

Start with the tomato sauce:

  1. Pick the basil leaves from the stalks, finely chop the stalks and set aside the basil leaves which you can also roughly chop or tear.
  2. Peel and finely slice the onion and garlic. If using fresh, cut the tomatoes in half, then roughly chop them or carefully open the tins of tomatoes.
  3. Put a saucepan on a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the onion, then cook for around 7 minutes, or until soft and lightly golden.
  4. Stir in the garlic and basil stalks for a few minutes, then add the fresh or tinned tomatoes and the vinegar.
  5. Season with a tiny pinch of salt and pepper, then continue to simmer for around 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Once cooked, remove from the heat and stir in the basil leaves (reserving a few to garnish).


Prepare the meatballs:

  1. Prepare (chop or grate) your bacon, onion, garlic, spinach and carrot (by hand or in a food processor)
  2. Place in a large mixing bowl with the turkey mince, almond meal, egg, sage and seasoning.
  3. Wash your hands well and squeeze the mixture to combine all of the meatball ingredients.
  4. Roll it into approx. golf ball sized meatballs and set aside until ready to cook.
  5. To cook, place a little olive oil in a large non-stick or cast iron pan and heat over a medium-high heat. Cook the meatballs for about 5 minutes or until brown, turning to cook on both sides.
  6. Once the meatballs are almost cooked, pour over the tomato sauce and let simmer for 5 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked firm.


  • with the reserved basil leaves and finely grated Parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast for dairy-free).
  • with al dente whole wheat or gluten-free pasta, zoodles or quinoa.
  • I also serve with a simple green salad.

Enjoy and I’d love to hear how you liked it. Post a comment below!

Check out all 10 twists on Jamie’s Classic Tomato Spaghetti HERE.

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Turkey Bacon and sage spaghetti and meatballs

  • Katie

    Yum Georgia! Is there any preference to choosing turkey mince over chicken?

    • Hi Katie, yes you can easily substitute chicken mince if you’d prefer. G x

  • Sarah

    Hi Georgia! I’m making a big batch of these today and can’t wait. Just wondering how you would go about freezing them? Would you do it in the sauce or the meatballs on their own (raw or cooked)? Thanks!

  • Hi Sarah, I would freeze the sauce and raw meatballs separately (but that could be the control freak in me)!! You can also cook and freeze it as you would a casserole , I just think the meatballs will hold up better if kept raw. Enjoy G x

    • Sarah

      Thank you so much. And thank you for the recipe – we had them tonight and they were amazing!

  • Jane

    High fives all round with this one. The fussy eater loved eating it, so mums happy. And the 7-year old loved helping mum roll the meatballs… so everyones winner. Thanks!

    • That’s great Jane, thrilled you all enjoyed it, it’s actually on the menu at our place tonight! G x

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