Greek Style Meatballs With Roasted Red Pepper Marinara Recipe

Turn the classic meatball into something unique with lean ground turkey and a Greek twist.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Turn the classic meatball into something unique with lean ground turkey and a Greek twist. 


Roasted Red Pepper Marinara
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely mined (one heaping teaspoon)
32 ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes
1- 16 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
6 basil leaves, finely chopped
½ teaspoon salt and pepper

20 ounces 93% lean ground turkey
½ yellow onion grated
2 garlic cloves, finely mined (one heaping teaspoon)
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes, finely chopped (oil drained and rinsed)
1/3 cup feta cheese (preferably with Mediterranean herbs)
¼ cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
3 tablespoons ketchup (preferably low-sugar)
¼ cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional for spice)
½ teaspoon salt and pepper

RELATED – Eat And Run: Eating Healthy Meats


Roasted Red Pepper Marinara
1. In a sauce-pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another minute.
2. Add the tomatoes, roasted peppers and basil. Stir to combine. Put the heat on low and let the sauce simmer covered for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Let the sauce cool slightly. Using an immersion blender, if available, blend the sauce in the pot until mostly smooth. A regular blender or food processor may also be used but use caution as the sauce shouldn’t be blended when hot.

1. While the sauce is simmering prepare the meatballs. Combine all of the ingredients, except the turkey, in a large bowl.
2. Gently fold in the turkey, to incorporate all of the ingredients. Try not to overwork the turkey, so the meatballs stay tender and “fluffy.”
3. Heat the oven to Hi-Broil. Prepare a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil and non-stick cooking spray. Roll out the meatballs and place on the baking sheet. The meatballs can be rolled small or large depending on your preference.
4. Broil the meatballs for approximately 2-4 minutes per side, depending on how hot your broiler is. The top of the meatballs should be golden brown.
5. Turn the oven 375 degrees. Transfer the meatballs to a baking dish prepared with non-stick cooking spray.
6. Cover the meatballs with about 2/3 of the sauce and reserve the rest (keep warm on stove-top).
7. Bake for 30 minutes. Top with the reserved sauce before serving.

RELATED: A Guide To Meats

More recipes from Jessica Cerra.

Jessica Cerra is the owner of Fit Food by Jess, a private chef and catering company in Encinitas, Calif. She is also a professional Xterra triathlete and mountain biker. Follow Jess’ recipes on her “Fit Food by Jess” Facebook page.

Get the latest in triathlon training, gear, nutrition and news sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for Triathlete’s newsletter.  

Jan Frodeno Reflects on His Final Ironman World Championship

Immediately after finishing 24th place at his final Ironman World Championships, the Olympic medalist (and three-time IMWC winner) explains what his race in Nice meant to him.