Whole-Wheat Spaghetti and Meatballs

spaghetti-with-meatballs Photo: Levi Brown


  • 8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or to taste)


1. Cook the pasta according to the label until al dente. Reserve 3 TBSP cooking liquid; drain.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the turkey, flaxseed, Parmesan, egg, pepper, and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix well, then shape into 8 equal meatballs.

3. Heat 1 TBSP oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Arrange the meatballs in a single layer in the skillet, working in batches if necessary. Cook, gently turning the meatballs occasionally, until golden brown on all sides (about 10 minutes). Transfer the meatballs to a dish.

4. Heat the remaining TBSP oil in the same skillet. Reduce the heat to low. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until golden and aromatic (1-2 minutes).

5. Add the tomatoes and crushed red pepper. Stir until well mixed. Raise the heat to medium-high.

6. Add the browned meatballs and remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce thickens slightly (about 10 minutes).

7. Add the pasta and the reserved cooking liquid to the meatball mixture. Gently toss until well combined. Serve hot.

  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:

  • Start with a healthy, basic ingredient like whole-wheat spaghetti to whip up a new and improved classic--Whole-Wheat Spaghetti and Meatballs. We mixed together ground flaxseed and Parmesan cheese with ground turkey for health—and tasty—meatballs.
  • Yield: Makes: 4 servings (serving size: 2 cups)

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 513
Fat per serving: 20.6g
Saturated fat per serving: 4.5g
Monounsaturated fat per serving: 9.3g
Polyunsaturated fat per serving: 5.3g
Protein per serving: 35g
Carbohydrate per serving: 53g
Fiber per serving: 11g
Cholesterol per serving: 133mg
Iron per serving: 4mg
Sodium per serving: 431mg
Calcium per serving: 118mg

Good to Know

Be mindful not to overcook whole-wheat pasta. Bite a few minutes before recommended cooking time to see that it’s chewy but not hard. Taste each minute after until it’s just done.