Turkey Meatball Cabbage Cups


I love Italian food. While I could eat pasta every day I probably shouldn’t. The other day I wondered if I could make a tasty Italian style dish with less fat, carbohydrate, and sugar. I decided to use very lean ground turkey, and instead of pasta I would load up on vegetables. The result of my experiment was an easy, tasty meal which reduced all the unwanted components while maintaining the essence of a great Italian style dish.

turkey meatball

Recipe serves 4


1 lb, extra lean ground turkey with Italian seasoning.

1 egg.

1/4 cup breadcrumbs.

2 Tbsp minced onion.

2 cloves garlic – minced.

1 tsp parsley – minced.

dash of salt and pepper.

15 oz can of tomato sauce.

14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes.

1 ½ tsp minced garlic (for sauce).

2 tablespoon fresh chopped basil.

1 tsp fresh chopped oregano.

¼ teaspoon dried fennel seed.

1/3 cup red wine.

1 head cabbage.

1/2 red bell pepper – sliced into quarter inch or so circles and then halved.

1/2 onion – sliced into quarter inch or so circles and halved.

2 Tbsp canola oil.


To a large sauce pot add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, 1 and 1/2 tsp minced garlic, basil, oregano, fennel seed and wine. Stir as you bring mixture to low boil. Reduce heat to get the sauce at a simmer and cover. Stir sauce every now and then.

To mixing bowl add the first seven listed ingredients. Use your hands to mix the ingredients. Form mixture into 1 and 1/2 inch meatballs.

Add 1 Tbsp of canola oil to fry pan. On medium-high heat brown the meatballs for 10 minutes turning occasionally so as to brown all sides. Remove meatballs and set aside.

To same frypan add 1 Tbsp canola oil and then sauté red bell pepper and onion slices.

Carefully remove four cabbage leaves. Rinse leaves and allow to drip- dry upside down on paper towel.

Gently add meatballs to sauce and raise sauce temperature to boil and then reduce heat to simmer for five to ten minutes so the meatballs and sauce have time to work their magic on each other.

Plate the cabbage bowls.  Add equal number of meatballs to each cabbage bowl, top with sauce and then the bell peppers and onion.

And that’s all there is to making an awesome no pasta low fat dinner.

Good Eating and Table Talk,


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