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You know the name of my blog, On Top of Spaghetti, right? It’s from the children’s song where a poor meatball falls off a plate of spaghetti and rolls away to a terrifying, squishy death. My first post was a recipe for meatballs in tomato sauce, and I’ve just realised that it’s now 6 months since I started this blog. So for our first half-birthday it seems appropriate to post another tomato meatball recipe!

This time it’s a Dukan Diet friendly version, made with turkey minced meat. Now, the “almost” included in the title is because this is fine for the Consolidation phase (last phase) but it’s a tiny bit naughty if you’re still on the Cruise phase. For those who aren’t familiar with this jargon, on the Cruise phase dieters can enjoy days of lean meat and non-fat dairy (pure protein) and vegetables, alternating with days of just pure protein. After moving on to the Consolidation phase they can have some additional treats like two slices of brown bread, a piece of cheese and a piece of fruit each day. There’s a lot more to the diet than this description, but I won’t bore you with it. If anyone is interested in details please feel free to email me. So, the ingredient that makes these Consolidation friendly only, is a teensy bit of parmesan. However, it’s such a small amount… let’s just say I won’t judge if you’re feeling rebellious!

The great thing about this recipe (apart from its tastiness) is that it’s made in the slow cooker, so it won’t send your home’s temperature through the roof. And you don’t have to brown the meatballs first! You can just plop them in and forget them till dinner time. Giving you enough time to go out in search of a beach.

My inspiration for these meatballs came from Gina over at Skinnytaste; I tried her Crock Pot Italian Turkey Meatballs a while ago and really loved them. This time I switched the breadcrumbs with oat bran, which is a daily Dukan requirement, and changed the sauce and seasonings a bit according to what I had in my cupboard. They turned out really great, and The Mister ate them up happily too (always a good sign).

Turkey Meatballs in the Slow Cooker
Serves 3-4

What you need:
For the meatballs
450g minced turkey meat
2 ½ Tbs chopped parsley
2 Tbs oat bran
4 Tbs grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 pinch of sweet paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
For the tomato sauce
500g tomato passata
3 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 ½ tsp dried onion flakes (or ½ small onion chopped)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp sugar or equivalent sweetener (note: I was planning on using stevia but I forgot. We didn’t eat these the day I cooked them, so I added some when I warmed them up the next day and it was fine.)

What you do:

  1. Add all the meatball ingredients to a large bowl. Mix with your hands until incorporated, but don’t over mix.
  2. Form small meatballs with your hands, being careful not to pack them very densely so they don’t toughen up (great advice from Gina). Put aside while you prep the slow cooker.
  3. Pour the passata into the slow cooker, add the tomatoes and the rest of the sauce ingredients. Mix with a spoon.
  4. Gently place the meatballs into the sauce. It doesn’t matter if you have to stack them a bit, or if the top ones are not submerged. When they start cooking and firm up slightly you can mix them around so the ones on top can spend some time in the sauce!
  5. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. Check for doneness with a food thermometer or by cutting into a meatball and checking there’s no pinkness.

Note: Gina has a stovetop version as well, in case for some unfathomable reason you don’t own a slow cooker!