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Mini Mozzarella Stuffed Turkey Zucchini Meatball Orrechiette

Mini Mozzarella Stuffed Turkey Zucchini Meatball Orrechiette
  • Prep 40 min
  • Total 60 min
  • Servings 8
Ground turkey meatballs packed with veggies and mozzarella cheese are the perfect complement for orecchiette pasta.
Updated September 12, 2013
Make With
Make With
Progresso Breadcrumbs



  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (about 1 medium)
  • Salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup Progresso™ Italian style bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated red onion
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • About 1/2 cup pearl mozzarella


  • 1 box (1 lb) orecchiette (tiny disk) pasta


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) Muir Glen™ organic fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves


  • 1
    Heat oven to 400°F. Line sheet pan with cooking parchment paper or silicone nonstick baking mat. Sprinkle grated zucchini lightly with salt; toss to coat. Set aside while preparing other ingredients.
  • 2
    Squeeze out as much of the zucchini liquid as you can; there will be a few tablespoons. Discard liquid.
  • 3
    In large bowl, gently mix all Meatball ingredients except mozzarella cheese until combined. To make each Meatball, scoop 1 teaspoonful mixture into hand; flatten into a patty. Place 1 mozzarella pearl in center of patty; enclose cheese completely inside mixture. With hands, roll into ball; place in pan. Repeat to make remaining meatballs.
  • 4
    Bake in center of oven about 20 minutes or until thermometer inserted in center of meatballs reads 165°F and cheese is melted.
  • 5
    Meanwhile, cook pasta to al dente as directed on box.
  • 6
    To make Sauce, in 10-inch skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion; cook until translucent. Add chopped garlic; cook 60 seconds longer. Stir in tomatoes with liquid. Simmer until most of liquid has been reduced. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat; stir in basil.
  • 7
    Toss cooked pasta, meatballs and sauce. Garnish with additional fresh basil.

  • You can make the meatballs ahead of time and freeze on a sheet pan in a single layer until frozen solid. Move the frozen meatballs to a resealable freezer plastic bag and freeze for 1 month. Bake the meatballs in a 400°F oven for about 30 minutes.
  • If you don’t have fresh basil, dried oregano is a great substitution in this pasta dish.
  • There are many sizes of mozzarella balls available today at most supermarkets. I used the smallest I could find, but use whatever size you like and make meatballs to correspond with your preferred size.

No nutrition information available for this recipe
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