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September 25, 2011

by Alyssa

Gluten-free Asian Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini Linguine

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Ever since I read Karina Allrich's recipe for raw zucchini pasta, it has been on my “To Make” list. Sunday is a day for traditions and Mr. Henderson and I have come up with some goodies. We begin our day either blogging or reading the New York Times, eating a late breakfast and if weather prevails we take a stroll. Today was no exception, we wandered down to Church Street. With Zucchini Pasta on my mind, I made it my goal to find a spiral slicer. We went to all the cooking stores and couldn't find what I was looking for until we stopped at William Sonoma.

I scavenged the store until I found it. A cool, lime green, dual-edged julienne peeler. Rather than spend the money on one that would only end up taking up space on our counter, I bought a delightful little handheld gadget. It worked better than I could have ever hoped for!

Pasta. I love pasta. Anything Italian and gluten-free is heaven for me. Rice pasta, corn pasta, quinoa pasta, buckwheat pasta, you name it. Pasta is always good.

But now thanks to the Gluten Free Goddess, I have a new favorite. Raw zucchini pasta. With my new trusty peeler, I now can have pasta whenever I'd like! I no longer have to wait for water to boil, the spaghetti is ready almost instantly. Truly a revelation for my Italian palette.

As any good Italian cook knows, you aren't a true chef until you have mastered the art meatballs. Each cuoco has their own flare and flavor for this staple. Our family recipe combines parmigiano or pecorino romano cheese, basil, oregano, parsley and red pepper flakes. And of course, breadcrumbs.

Breadcrumbs. The bane of a gluten-free girl's pantry (unless of course you want to spend $6 for a pint – not for me!). I tried toasting bread in the oven and breaking it down in my food processor. It works for the most part, but usually doesn't get as crumbly as I would like. But I've suffered through it so I can enjoy my Spaghetti and Gravy.

Today I was struck with another dilemma. I wanted to make meatballs, turkey meatballs actually, but since I'm still on Clean I can't eat gluten-free bread or breadcrumbs. So what's a girl to do? Improvise of course! And what ingredient should I improvise with? Quinoa. Yes, you read that correctly, quinoa.

Now here goes it. My spin on traditional Spaghetti and Meatballs. Gluten-free Asian Turkey Meatballs served over raw Zucchini Pasta. So very tasty.

Asian Turkey Meatballs

These Asian Turkey Meatballs are a quick and healthy dinner option, that is perfect served over a bed of zucchini noodles. Naturally gluten-free & delicious!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 25kcal
Author Alyssa
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how to make Asian turkey meatballs
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  • 1 lb organic ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 green onions scallions minced
  • 1/2 medium carrot grated and chopped finely
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried cilantro
  • Dash of Chinese 5 spice
  • Juice of 1 medium lime
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Combine the turkey and quinoa in a large bowl. Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty. Food always tastes better with some added love.
  • Now add your green onion, carrots, herbs, ginger, lime juice and salt and pepper. Stir everything together with you hands until you can easily roll them into little balls. Roll out your turkey mixture into whatever size meatballs you like (I made mine on the small side, almost bite size).
    how to make Asian turkey meatballs
  • Now, for the fun part. Make your pasta! With your new fabulous peeler, peel down a raw zucchini lengthwise, creating linguine-like strips. Peel until you start to hit the seeds and flip the zucchini 90°. When you're done, you should have an almost square core of zucchini.Place your meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake them for 10 - 20 minutes, depending on the size, until they are no longer pink in the middle.
  • Arrange your zucchini pasta in a bowl like you would any other gluten-free spaghetti. Add your meatballs on top and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.


Calories: 25kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Sodium: 81mg | Potassium: 77mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 1335IU | Vitamin C: 7.3mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 0.5mg

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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  1. […] burger was actually quite a hit as well! Z was in charge of the burgers and roughly followed this Gluten-free Asian Turkey Meatball recipe. Mmmmm, […]

  2. It’s really looking yummy. I love this because it’s gluten free, so I can cook this for my son who needs gluten free foods.
    It has vegetables also which makes it more healthier with fiber and Vitamin.
    It’s balanced with protein, vitamin and fiber.
    Very good invention.
    Thanks for sharing, keep it up.

  3. Can you tell us what’s the name or the brand of the product you bought at Williams Sonoma? Or post a picture of it? Thank u.
    and thank you for sharing all your recipes I’m doing the Clean Program and I use a lot of your recipes

  4. Thank you Alysa. The meatballs are really nice when they're baked, not dry and super flavorful. Your comment sparked a craving for turkey meatballs! Guess I know what I'll be making for dinner tonight 🙂


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