Meat

Juicy Turkey Meatballs on Zoodle Nests

6 zoodle nests with turkey meatballs topped with basil oil dressing

 

Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned, giant meatball on top of their pasta?!  Something about a softball sized meatball just makes my heart happy and feel like a kid again.  But since I don’t have my adolescent metabolism anymore, and still want that big ol’ meatball feel good meal, I had to make some adjustments.

Lo and behold this wonderfully satisfying juicy turkey meatball recipe, atop a nest of ZOODLES.  That’s right people, a perfectly crafted pedestal of zucchini noodles to prop up the most beautiful turkey meatball!

 

4 turkey meatballs on zucchini noodle nest topped with basil oil dressing

 

This meal is the real MVP because it tricks your brain into thinking you’re eating spaghetti and meatballs, when you’re actually just eating a bunch of lean protein and vitamins.  This meal is very low carb, high in fiber, and packed with vitamins.  Gluten free, keto, paleo, and whole30 approved… that’s called a win-win-win in my book!

This meal is simple to make and looks so beautiful when serving!  Let’s break it down…

Start by prepping your zoodle nests.  This can be done the night before or at the start of cooking.  Using a spiralizer, slice two large zucchinis and set aside.  If making ahead of time, store in an airtight container in the fridge.

What type of spiralizer should I use?

At the start of making your meal, begin by forming your zoodle nests.

 

3 zucchini noodle nests on parchment paper

 

How to make zucchini noodle nests:

Take a handful of zucchini noodles and pull up off the counter.  Cut the long strands with kitchen scissors, and lay off to the side in a pile.  Using a fork, begin to twirl the pile of noodles at the center.  Using the palm of your opposite hand, twirl the noodles against your palm to form a tight nest.

 

3 zoodle nests topped with oil and salt and pepper

 

Once your zoodle nest is formed, gently transfer to a parchment lined, or greased, baking sheet.  I transfer mine by scooping up the bottom with a fork and cupping the outside with my hand.  Form 6 zoodle nests with the noodles from 2 large zucchinis.  

Once transferred to baking sheet, spray the tops with olive oil or avocado oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Set aside to bake at the same time as the turkey meatballs.

 

individual turkey meatball ingredients in a mixing bowl

 

Now onto our juicy turkey meatballs!  Take all turkey meatball ingredients and add to a large mixing bowl.  Using both your hands, mix together all ingredients by squeezing and massaging the ground turkey mixture (if you have kids, this is always a fun step for them to participate in!).

 

pre cooked turkey meatballs on a skillet

 

Once all ingredients are incorporated, separate into 6 chunks, and using both hands, roll into a large ball.  Place in a greased skillet or frying pan and brown tops and bottoms over medium heat. This shouldn’t take longer than 1-2 min each side.

 

browned juicy turkey meatballs
browned turkey meatballs before baking

 

Take both your zoodle nests and meatballs, and transfer to a 350 degree oven and bake for 25 min (zoodles) and 20 min (turkey meatballs).  Once finished baking, transfer zoodle nests to a plate, top with one meatball and drizzle with Basil Oil Dressing .  

 

turkey meatballs on a black skillet with zoodle nests on a baking pan

 

Serve warm and enjoy!

 

6 zoodle nests topped with turkey meatballs on parchment paper
Turkey meatballs on zoodle nests

 

turkey meatball in a zoodle nest on a decorative plate

Juicy Turkey Meatballs on Zoodle Nests

Juicy turkey meatballs in a zucchini noodle (zoodle) nest, drizzled with basil oil dressing. Healthy ingredients, keto, paleo, whole30, and gluten free!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dressing, healthy, meatball, noodle, turkey, zucchini
Servings: 6 people
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

Turkey Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground turkey room temp
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup purple onion finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tbsp almond flour
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil melted
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt and pepper each
  • 3 tbsp avocado oil

Zoodle Nests

  • 2 large zucchinis
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  While oven is preheating, prep zucchini noodles and meatballs.

Zoodle Nests

  • Using a spiralizer, spiralize zucchini into long noodle like strands.  Once you have both zucchinis cut into noodles, begin to form into "zoodle" nests.  
  • To form a nest, grab a handful of zoodles off the counter and cut the extra long strands with kitchen scissors.  Stick a fork in the middle of your zoodle pile and twirl against the inside of your other hand.  Keep twirling until a nest is formed.
  • Use the fork to scoop the bottom of your zoodle nest and rest it on a greased baking pan or a baking pan lined with parchment paper.  Continue until all zoodles are gone.
  • Spray tops of zoodles with cooking spray, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, then set aside.

Turkey Meatballs

  • Heat a skillet or frying pan with oil over medium heat.  You will know its ready when the oil runs thin.
  • Take all ingredients for the turkey meatballs and dump into a large mixing bowl.  Make sure turkey has warmed up close to room temperature so not to freeze the coconut oil.
  • Using both hands, mix ingredients together in bowl to form a large ball.  Divide into 6 pieces and roll into balls for larger meatballs,  or pull out smaller golf ball size pieces to roll into smaller meatballs. 
  • Once balls are formed, gently place on stovetop pan and begin browning.  Cook on 2 sides for about 1-2 minutes each.  When both sides are slightly browned, remove from stove stop.
  • Transfer to baking safe dish, or use skillet and bake in oven for 20 min.
  • Put your zoodle nests in oven for 25 min.  To save time, bake both zoodles and meatballs in the oven at the same time.
  • When both are finished baking, transfer zoodles to a plate, top with a meatball, and drizzle basil oil dressing on top.
Dressing

Basil Oil Dressing

basil oil dressing in mason jar with spoon and bundle of basil on the side

 

Is it just me, or is it dang near impossible to find a salad dressing that doesn’t have any added sugar or preservatives in it?!  I find this totally frustrating, because if I’m eating a salad it usually means I’m trying to eat healthy, and somehow those sneaky processed sugars find their way into my dressing!  It’s like I can’t win!

Eventually I had enough of it, and decided to make my own dressing with simple ingredients and no processed sugars.  That way I know what I’m putting in my body and my salad can stay HEALTHY.  The way it was intended to be!

 

basil oil dressing in mason jar next to a bundle of basil

 

I love this basil oil recipe for three reasons…

  1. simple ingredients
  2. easy to make
  3. FRESHENS.EVERYTHING.

I’ll typically make a double batch of this and use it throughout the week on a number of different meals.  Not only can this oil serve as a salad dressing, but flavors all different kinds of food as well!

Meat dishes, pasta salads, veggies, and even omelets!  Pretty much anything that can benefit from some extra flavor or a healthy dressing…pour it on there!

 

basil oil dressing in mason jar with bundle of basil and oil on the side

 

This oil is made entirely in the blender and consists of 4 main ingredients!

  • fresh basil
  • oil
  • whole garlic cloves
  • lemon juice

 

bundle of basil and small cup of oil on white table top

 

Add all 4 ingredients, with a little salt and pepper (if you’d like), and blend until liquid is formed.  Store at room temp for the week (do not refrigerate, as it will cause the oil to harden).  Whole 30, paleo, keto, and gluten free approved! 

 

basil oil dressing ingredients in a blender

 

Can I use dry basil if I don’t have fresh basil leaves?

You could, but I wouldn’t recommend  it.  The taste wont be as fresh since you won’t be getting oils from the living leaves.  Luckily, most grocery stores carry basil year round and you can get yourself some in the produce section.

 

basil oil dressing in mason jar with a small cup of oil and bundle of basil

 

Basil Oil Dressing

Simple, fresh, and healthy basil dressing!  Can be used on salads, any meat, baked veggies and more! Gluten free, paleo, whole 30, and keto approved.  Plus no added sugars or preservatives!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 min
Total Time6 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: basil, dressing, easy, gluten free, healthy, keto, oil, paleo, simple, whole30
Servings: 6
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup EVOO or avocado oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt and pepper each (optional)

Instructions

  • Take all ingredients and add to blender.
  • Blend until ingredients become liquified together.
  • Store in a container (mason jar, glass bottle, etc.) and store in the fridge or at room temp for up to 1 week.
Meat

Buffalo Chicken Boats

sweet potatoes stuffed with buffalo chicken and topped with scallions, celery, feta, and avocado

 

I don’t think there is anything more satisfying to a mid-westerner than a big ‘ole plate with some form of BUFFALO CHICKEN on it.  I may be east coast born and raised, but butter my buns and call me a biscuit, because the mid west is doin something right with this buffalo chicken lifestyle and I am down with the get down.

Make it a dip, eat it with chips, fry it up between two buns, slap it on a pizza, cook it up healthy…wait whaaaaaaat?  Buffalo chicken can be HEALTHY?!

Pay attention people, because this means you can eat buffalo chicken without the subsequent guilt trip…so who’s with me?!

 

shredded buffalo chicken in baked sweet potato with Frank's red hot bottle

 

Not only do you get buffalo chicken for dinner, but you get it in a sweet potato boat to boot!  This is probably the closest one gets to heaven on earth…with a side of lean protein, healthy carbs, and good fats!  

Cooking the chicken and sweet potato take some time, but assembly is very very quick and simple, which means you have time to catch up on other things while dinner is cooking!  

Like catching up of your Modern Family episodes, or re-watching season 5 of Friends when Monica and Chandler are in the throws of a seriously heated, yet secretive relationship, and nobody knows but Joey who hates keeping secrets, and then Phoebe finds out because Ross buys naked guy’s apartment, and…well, you’ll just have to re-watch it because this dinner is SO DARN EASY to make that you’ll have extra time!

 

baked sweet potato with middle scooped out, stuffed with shredded buffalo chicken and topped with scallions, celery, and avocado

 

Start by taking chicken breasts and placing them in a slow cooker.  Add Frank’s Red Hot, ghee (or grass-fed butter), garlic, broth, and let it cook on high for 3 hours or low for 7-8 while at work.  Once you’re chicken is done cooking, you’ll shred it directly in the slow cooker and then fork it out into your sweet potato boats before chowing down!

Sweet potato prep just requires the spud to be cut in half, drizzled with oil, and baked in tin foil for 60 min.  Once finished cooking, scoop out the middle of your potato, leaving some of the edges for maximum yum-factor.  I took my extra sweet potato that was scooped out and made BBQ Sweet Potato Hummus with it!

 

shredded buffalo chicken inside baked sweet potato, topped with scallions, celery, avocado, and feta cheese

 

Transfer your desired amount of shredded buffalo chicken into your sweet potato boat, and top with all the fixings!  I’m a huge fan of capsizing my boat with extra sauce from the slow cooker, because more red hot = better life.

 

shredded buffalo chicken inside baked sweet potato, topped with scallions, celery, avocado, and feta cheese 

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Buffalo Chicken Boats

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Keyword: buffalo chicken, gluten free, healthy, red hot, slow cooker, sweet potato
Servings: 4 people
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

  • 1-1.5 lbs organic chicken breast
  • 2 cloves garlic whole
  • 1/2 cup chicken bone broth
  • 1 cup Frank's Red Hot
  • 2 tbsp ghee or grass-fed butter

Sweet Potato Boats

  • 2 whole sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp avocado oi
  • 1/2 cup scallions chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery chopped
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup feta cheese

Instructions

  • In your slow cooker, add chicken, garlic, bone broth, red hot and ghee.  Cook on high for 3 hours, or low for 7-8 hours.  When finished cooking, take two forks and shred chicken directly in slow cooker.  Stir and cover with lid to keep warm before serving.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Take sweet potatoes and cut in half, long ways.  Drizzle oil over all sides of sweet potato and wrap in foil.  Place foil wrapped potatoes on a baking pan in case there is any dripping.
  • Bake for 60 min.
  • Remove potatoes from oven and let sit in foil for 10 min in order to steam.
  • While potatoes steam, prep toppings.  Chop scallions, scoop out flesh of avocado and cut into thin pieces, and chop celery.
  • After sweet potato is finished steaming, scoop out the inside flesh (leaving skin and a thin layer of flesh on the outside).  You can either use a spoon to remove flesh, or take a sharp knife and cut around the inside edge of the potato. Proceed cutting down the length, then across the width of the potato to create cubes. Pull out cubes with a fork.
  • Fill sweet potato boats with shredded buffalo chicken, top with scallions, celery, avocado, and feta cheese.