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basil kale pesto

Basil Kale Pesto & Parmesan Turkey Meatballs

A lightened-up version of cozy pasta and meatballs, this Basil Kale Pesto and Parmesan Turkey Meatballs is full of flavor, packs in vegetables and is a quick, easy weeknight dinner that the whole family will love!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 4 servings


For the Basil Kale Pesto:

  • 2 cups loosely packed curly kale
  • 2 cups loosely pack fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • salt, to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • pasta of choice

For the Parmesan Turkey Meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2/3 cup rice crumbs or bread crumb
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


  • In a food processor, combine all ingredients for the Basil Kale Pesto. Process on high while streaming in oil (about ½ cup-1 cup) until desired consistency.
  • Cook pasta according to directions. Add pesto sauce to the pasta when done cooking.
  • In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for the parmesan turkey meatballs, being sure to not over mix.
  • Coat hands in oil and roll into meatballs, setting aside on a plate.
  • Heat a large, non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat for 5 mins. Add a thin layer of oil to the skillet and allow to heat for another 30 seconds.
  • Add the meatballs to the skillet, being sure to not overcrowd, and sear on each side for 2 mins for a total of 8-10 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.
  • Serve pasta and meatballs with shaved parmesan!