Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Turkey Meatballs

I eat yogurt for breakfast.

..and at my morning snack..

..I include it in my lunch, usually..

..and in that afternoon I always have a hankering for some Greek goodness.



I’d say I love (adore!) yogurt.. the Fireman loves yogurt, too.

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What’s not to love?  It is so versatile!  It really isn’t only for breakfast and snack time.  Just take a look at Cooking Light’s Ulitmate Yogurt Guide   and their 15  ideas to use the stuff.   



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In the CB house we often times will replace yogurt in our salad recipes (how about a creamy potato salad?!), making pasta sauces and soups extra creamy, or a dollop on tacos in place of sour cream.  The tang of plain Greek yogurt is a great mimic of sour cream- cutting the fat and calories and adding protein and healthy tummy bacteria. 




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Take this recipe for example- perfectly savory and deliciously moist meatballs thanks to a couple heaping dollops of greek yogurt in the mix.  Not to mention the layers of flavor from homemade roasted red pepper pesto. 

Holy. Yum.

Can I mention that ‘homemade’ doesn’t have to be completely intimidating.  Really, it doesn’t!  Trust this momma of 15 week old babies (whoa.. 15 weeks already?!) I take the easy route more often than not- especially during the work week.  

I prepped and baked these meatballs on Sunday afternoon while the girls napped and then reheated them in my favorite tomato sauce on the stove last night for dinner.  Still preparing and cooking wholesome meals for my family, but being mindful that for now I’m on a three-hour schedule and I can’t take my sweet time and spend an hour on dinner.  That will change eventually, but for now this works. 




If you are looking for a yummy dinner, this is it.  I served the meatballs with creamy polenta (dry polenta, fat-free low, sodium chicken broth, parmesan cheese, and FAGE 0% Greek yogurt),  but these would be awesome over a bed of brown rice or whole grain pasta. 


Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Turkey Meatballs

Yield: 10 servings

Serving Size: 3 meatballs with sauce


    Red Pepper Pesto
  • 1 (12oz) jar roasted red peppers
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves (about 10-15 leaves)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Meatballs
  • 1 pound 93/7 lean ground turkey or chicken
  • 3 links Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons 0% Greek yogurt (such as FAGE)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Prepared red pepper pesto
  • 2 cups store-bought marinara


Red Pepper Pesto

In a food processor, combine red peppers, basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan, and salt. As the processor is running, drizzle olive oil until thick and combined.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a foil lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine turkey, sausage, egg, yogurt, salt, and pepper. Stir in the red pepper pesto, combining well with your hands. Mixture will be very wet. Add in breadcrumbs, more as needed to form 30 1.5-inch meatballs. Arrange formed balls on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 30-38 minutes (I baked mine for about 35 minutes). The meatballs can be prepared to this point up to 2 days in advance.

In a large skillet warm your favorite marinara sauce. Arrange meatballs, nestling into the sauce. Cover and allow to cook on medium until meatballs are warmed through and the sauce is bubbly.

Serve over pasta, prepared polenta, or a simple side of crusty sourdough for dipping.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 274; Fat: 16 g; Carbohydrate: 14 g; Fiber: 2 g; Protein: 18 g; Sodium: 645 mg

I brought these leftovers for lunch today.. I forced myself into restraint from eating them before noon.  

Go. Now.  Make it.. you’ll thank me after.


  1. I am obsessed with using greek yogurt as a sub for mayo, sour cream, whipping cream…It’s the best! These meatballs look great!

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