Fresh Cherry Tomato Pasta with Turkey Meatballs

This simple pasta dish is one of my favorite meals to cook when it’s hot outside, since it’s so light!

Bonus fact? There’s a preeeeeeetty good chance your kids are gonna love this fresh cherry tomato pasta with turkey meatballs, too.

Believe me: I have a very stubborn toddler at home whose meal aversions change with the blowing wind, and she usually eats this pasta dish. So, you know. Take that as a golden recommendation for this great weeknight recipe!

This easy fresh cherry tomato pasta with turkey meatballs is a lightened up version of spaghetti and meatballs.

Instead of heavy marinara, there’s freshly blistered cherry tomatoes. Instead of thick, rich beef or pork meatballs, there’s meatballs made with ground turkey (lower in fat and lighter in flavor!)

One of my favorite ‘kitchen hacks’ is to double the meatball recipe and freeze half. They’re a great pack-able lunch item, so I’ll add them frozen to my kids’ packed lunches before they head to the babysitter in the morning, and they’re thawed and ready to be reheatd by lunchtime!

If you’ve got a food processor, use it to make the turkey meatballs!

A food processor will blend the meatballs much faster than using bare hands or a wooden spoon, and so cuts the production time by at least half, if not more. From there, I use a #10 cookie scoop to make the individual balls, line the meatballs on a sheet pan, and bake. Voila- 10 minutes of work for a big batch of freeze-able, dinner-ready meatballs.

Perfect for a busy weeknight dinner on a hot summer evening, this fresh cherry tomato pasta with turkey meatballs is a total winner.

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Fresh Cherry Tomato Pasta with Turkey Meatballs
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Fresh Cherry Tomato Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs
This is an excellent spaghetti to make when it’s hot outside, since it uses fresh cherry tomatoes instead of a heavy marinara sauce. I like to make meatballs in big batches and freeze what I don’t use, so this recipe calls on those batches of leftover meatballs thawed from the freezer. You can make them fresh that evening if you prefer, or even a few days beforehand and store in a tightly covered container in the fridge until use.
Servings: 4
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Ingredients
ingredients
  • 8-10 ounces dried spaghetti pasta
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes , halved
  • 15-18 prepared turkey meatballs (see recipe link) , thawed if previously frozen
  • 8-10 fresh basil leaves , roughly chopped
  • Grated parmesan cheese , to taste
equipment:
  • Large stainless steel pan (at least 10” wide), with a lid
Instructions
method
  1. Boil the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Drain, but do not rinse. Set aside.
  2. While the pasta is boiling, heat the olive oil in a large stainless steel pan or skillet (at least 10” wide) over medium heat. While the oil is heating, toss the cherry tomato halves with the salt.
  3. Once the oil is shimmering, add the cherry tomatoes to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the skin starts to blister and the tomatoes soften, about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Add the turkey meatballs to the pan, add 1/2 cup of water, and cover with the lid.
  5. Cook the cherry tomatoes and meatballs together for 8-10 minutes, until the water has cooked down and the meatballs are hot all the way through (I’ll break one open to test)
  6. Add the cooked pasta and basil leaves to the pan and toss everything together to mix.
  7. Garnish with grated parmesan and serve.
Recipe Notes
This recipe calls for premade turkey meatballs, which I make big batches of and then freeze. Here's the link to that recipe.

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Fresh Cherry Tomato Pasta with Turkey Meatballs is a lightened up version of spaghetti with meatballs and a great weeknight recipe for hot weather! Fresh Cherry Tomato Pasta with Turkey Meatballs is a lightened up version of spaghetti with meatballs and a great weeknight recipe for hot weather! Fresh Cherry Tomato Pasta with Turkey Meatballs is a lightened up version of spaghetti with meatballs and a great weeknight recipe for hot weather!

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