Oatmeal Meatballs with Spinach

I didn’t realize until posting this recipe that I accidentally doubled the turkey from the original recipe. I wondered why my meatballs seemed a little large! Oh well, they are still good for you – packed with spinach, oats, and yogurt. If you want the ratio of healthiness per bite to be higher then use 1/2 lb turkey (but of course it will serve less people).

They are not the most photogenic meatballs, but they are super moist and full of flavor. I also enjoyed the chunkier style of the sauce as a change from the pureed pasta sauce. Even though I’m typically not a fan of chunky sauce, it was perfect for this dish. And this is a one-pot meal! Hooray for less dishes to wash!


Makes 16 large meatballs (Serves 6-8)


1/2 cup instant oats

1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt

1/2 cup packed baby spinach, thinly sliced

1/4 cup packed basil, chopped, plus 1 sprig

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1 egg white

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped, divided

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 lb all-white-meat ground turkey

Olive oil cooking spray

1 can (26 oz) diced tomatoes, plus juice

1/2 cup dry white wine

1-13.25 oz box whole-wheat pasta, cooked according to the package instructions (I used penne)


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix oats and yogurt with 1/4 cup water in a bowl until oats begin to absorb liquid. Add spinach, basil, Parmesan, egg white, half the garlic, salt and pepper, and stir. Add turkey and mix until well combined. Form into 16 large meatballs.
  2. Coat a large, oven-safe stockpot with cooking spray. Add meatballs and bake until they begin to brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Turn and bake 10 minutes more. Add remaining garlic, basil sprig, tomatoes and wine. Cover and cook until meatballs are cooked through and sauce begins to thicken, 20 minutes. Serve immediately with pasta.

Source: Slightly adapted from SELF Magazine

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  1. You know what I am craving right now? These! Oh goodness these look absolutely delicious! I definitely have to make these!

  2. I do that a lot – not realizing I changed something until I actually sit down and type out the recipe!! These look great – I love the oatmeal twist!

  3. I love these!! I adore meatballs, but have struggled with recipes. This one has the oatmeal that my mom always used, but I love the addition of the yogurt and spinach. LOVE it! I’m going to try!

  4. I am a big fan of meatballs. In soups, in sauce, in gravy, in pasta or all by themselves. I have never had them with oatmeal. That sounds delicious and healthy. This is my first time visiting your blog. Great post!

  5. I have never used the chunky tomato sauce for my meatballs, but what a clever idea Erin! I’d have to steal that :) My 15-mo old daughter loves picking stuff with her hands, and she loves tomatoes. I bet she’d love this idea. Thanks for sharing. And the meatballs look Great!!

  6. These are so intriguing!! I don’t know anything that oatmeal doesn’t make better. My husband wouldn’t touch them though so I just need to wait for a night when he’s not around…