Oatmeal Meatballs with Spinach

by Erin

Looking for a healthier option for pasta night? Try these oatmeal meatballs with spinach for a lighter option that is still packed with flavor.

Healthier Oatmeal Meatballs with Spinach

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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 Greek yogurt. I liked it better this way anyway because it made more servings. More servings means I get to enjoy it for lunch again tomorrow!

Easy Oatmeal Meatballs with Spinach

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 – although you are more than welcome to puree the sauce before adding it if you prefer. Even though I’m typically not a fan of chunky sauce, it was perfect for this dish.

Even better still, is that this is a one-pot meal! Granted you still need a bowl to mix up the meatball, but hooray for less dishes to wash!

Baked Oatmeal Meatballs with Spinach

Did you know that October is #NationalWholeGrainsMonth ? I am celebrating with some other bloggers this week, but today there’s just one other to check out:

Interested in the other recipes I shared this week? Check out my hearty Beef with Barley Stew, mix up this easy Farro, Cranberry, and Goat Cheese Salad, or start your day off right with Hot Oat & Quinoa Cereal.

Oatmeal Meatballs with Spinach over Penne

Healthier Oatmeal Meatballs with Spinach


Yield: 6-8 servings Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


  • 1/2 cup instant oats
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup packed baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 cup packed basil, chopped, plus 1 sprig
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground 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


  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 or rimmed baking dish with cooking spray. Add meatballs and bake until they begin to brown, 10-15 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.


*Any shape will work. I've used penne and spaghetti.

Did You Make This Recipe?
I want to see! Tag me on Instagram at @TheSpiffyCookie and hashtag it #TheSpiffyCookie.

Source: Slightly adapted from SELF Magazine.

Did you make this recipe? I want to see! Tag @THESPIFFYCOOKIE on Instagram and hashtag it #THESPIFFYCOOKIE

Post updated 9/22/21, photos above and below are the originals.

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Rachel April 15, 2024 - 11:05 am

I used this meatball recipe for my 9 month old twins, as other recipes are so dry. They love these meatballs!! Glad to have found a good recipe that is healthy and moist for babies to eat. I used ground beef instead of turkey, and made a couple other substitutions based on preference.

Erin April 16, 2024 - 1:28 pm

So happy to hear it! Definitely can sub whichever ground meat preferred.

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Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers October 10, 2011 - 8:00 am

I’ve started making my regular meatloaf with oats now. Much better than I would have expected.

Tracey October 8, 2011 - 7:12 pm

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…

Shannon @ Healthiful Balance October 7, 2011 - 5:26 am

YUM! This looks so good! I love anything with pasta and meatballs :)

Lauren October 6, 2011 - 11:35 pm

My mom puts oats and spinach in her beef burgers! The oats keep the burgers super moist…and healthy! It’s a great trick!

Yudith @ Blissfully Delicious October 6, 2011 - 9:04 pm

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!!

Mario October 6, 2011 - 7:30 pm

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!

Kim - Liv Life October 6, 2011 - 2:57 pm

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!

Steph@stephsbitebybite October 6, 2011 - 12:23 pm

WHOA! I love oatmeal but never knew it ould go in to meatballs! I’m trying this ASAP!!

Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts October 6, 2011 - 9:24 am

I love meatballs! The oatmeal is a great addition, moist and delicious! Meatballs are not my husbands favorite, I am going to have to maek them soon since he is gone!

Deborah October 6, 2011 - 8:56 am

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!

Jennifer @ Mother Thyme October 6, 2011 - 8:46 am

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


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