Light, bright, and full of vibrant flavors, Easy Southwest Zoodle Bowls with Turkey Meatballs is a simple weeknight recipe everyone will love.
Most of my recipe development process happens in real time, on busy weeknights after long workdays.
I like to develop and test recipes in real life because I know you’re right there with me, with hungry mouths to feed and little time to spend in the kitchen.
This recipe came about recently on such an occasion–home late from work without much of a plan for dinner. I grabbed some fresh produce from the fridge and frozen ground turkey from the freezer and my thoughts immediately went to meatballs.
I love meatballs for weeknight dinners because they cook away in the oven, allowing time to prepare the rest of the meal.
Plus they are filling and everyone in the family seems to like them.
These zoodle bowls are a twist on Easy Southwest Quinoa Bowls, and they use the same tangy, vibrant sauce because it is just so darn good.
The sauce comes together quickly, and is used to season both the turkey for the meatballs, and as a topping for the bowls.
I just love a good sauce that can pull double duty.
While the meatballs cook, simply chop the veggies and spiralize the zucchini. Then give the zoodles a quick toss in a hot pan, top with the remaining raw veggies, warm meatballs, and then add a generous drizzle of sauce.
I hope you’ll give this one a try soon. Make a double batch of the meatballs while you’re at it, so you can streamline dinner for a future weeknight.
Now, let’s make some Easy Southwest Zoodle Bowls with Turkey Meatballs!
RECIPE & KID-FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS
1 | Not feeling the meatballs? Top these zoodle bowls with any protein you like. Think grilled chicken or fish, or swap in some seasoned black beans for a vegetarian option.
2 | Make a double batch of the meatballs to freeze for dinner another night.
3 | Swap out the zoodles for brown rice or quinoa.
THIS RECIPE IS . . .
Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo and Whole30 Friendly
Easy Southwest Zoodle Bowls with Turkey Meatballs
For the Sauce
- ¼ cup lime juice from about 2-3 limes
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey omit for Whole30
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon mild chili powder
For the Meatballs and Bowls
- 1 pound ground dark-meat turkey
- 1 pound ground light-meat turkey
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 green onions finely chopped (white and green parts)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 medium zucchinis spiralized
- 1 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
- 1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Make the sauce by whisking together the lime juice, olive oil, honey, 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, and chili powder until well combined.
- Add the scallion and turkey (white- and dark-meat) to a large bowl. Pour over ⅓ cup of the sauce, mixing gently until just combined.
- Gently roll 1 heaping teaspoon of the turkey mixture into a ball. Place it on a baking sheet, then repeat with the remaining turkey mixture.
- Bake the meatballs for 12-18 minutes, or until slightly golden and cooked through.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the zooldes and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and warmed through (but not mushy), about 2-3 minutes.
- Divide the zoodles between 4 bowls, adding cabbage and red peppers to each. Top each bowl with 3-5 meatballs, drizzle 2 tablespoons sauce, and serve.