Recipe Redux:Pesto Turkey Meatballs in Light and Luscious Alfredo Sauce

18 Sep Recipe Redux:Pesto Turkey Meatballs in Light and Luscious Alfredo Sauce


Pesto Turkey Meatballs

Fresh, flavorful pesto turkey meatballs  in light and luscious alfredo sauce will satisfy your hunger for a hot and hearty meal without weighing you down for a moment. You’ll feel good knowing that fat and calories as well as sodium have all  been cut by substituting smarter choices in ingredients in this month’s Recipe Redux: Still Delicious, Now More Nutritious, Pesto Turkey Meatballs in Light and Luscious Alfredo Sauce.

                Classic alfredo sauce relies on heavy cream and butter to achieve its creamy goodness, but it’s just as easy to use lighter ingredients like butter with canola oil and half and half  that will deliver delicious results nevertheless.

Walnuts are a great source of healthy omega 3 fats and add a pleasing nutty texture to the meatballs.  And using low sodium chicken stock is a great way to cut fat, calories and sodium when creating your creamy alfredo sauce.

Lighten up your alfredo sauce and add a few pesto turkey meatballs to the pot with this month’s Recipe Redux: Still delicious, now more nutritious, Pesto Turkey Meatballs in Light and Luscious Alfredo Sauce. You and your body will be glad you did!

Healthy highlights of this month’s Recipe Redux: Still Delicious, Now More Nutritious Pesto Turkey Meatballs in Alfredo Sauce include:

  • Lean ground turkey- high in protein and a low-carb food, lean ground turkey is a healthier choice in meatballs than ground beef.
  • Walnuts-  excellent source of fiber and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which help prevent heart disease, arthritis and cancer.
  • Whole grain bread – more fiber and minerals than white bread.
  • Chicken stock- low in calories and fat, rich in vitamins and minerals, especially riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B6.  That said, chicken stock can be high in sodium, so check labels and select low-sodium chicken stock when you can.
  • Pesto- full of healthy vitamins, nutrients and minerals, but also high in fat and calories, so use sparingly to boost flavor.

Recipe and food photography by Sydne George.

Recipe Redux: Pesto Turkey Meatballs in Light and Luscious Alfredo Sauce

(serves 6)

Make the meatballs:

2 cups whole grain bread, cut into ½ inch cubes

½ cup skim milk

1/3 cup walnuts, finely chopped

3 Tbsp. prepared pesto

1 pound ground turkey

Put bread cubes in large mixing bowl. Pour milk over bread cubes and let sit until bread cubes soak the milk up. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Use wet hands and a small scoop to form 2-inch  meatballs.

Make the alfredo sauce

¼ cup butter with canola

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 Tbsp. flour

1 ½ cups chicken stock

1  cup half and half

½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Fresh basil leaves for garnish

Melt butter in large Dutch oven or heavy sauce pot over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until softened. Stir in flour. Whisk in chicken stock and simmer gently, stirring until incorporated. Simmer until slightly thickened. Add half and half and stir until slightly thickened. Add cheese and stir to combine.

Gently drop meatballs into sauce and cook for about 20 minutes in sauce until turkey is no longer pink inside. Serve three meatballs per person garnished with fresh basil leaves. Enjoy!

Pesto Turkey Meatballs with Light and Luscious Alfredo Sauce

260 calories

20 total grams of fat

5 grams of saturated fat

Pesto Turkey Meatballs in Classic Alfredo with Cream

360 calories

28 total grams of fat

9 grams of saturated fat

Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at . Sydne’s recipes from “Recipe Redux: Still Delicious, Now More Nutritious” are archived at



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