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Slow-Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs

Slow-Cooker Spaghetti and MeatballsEvery kid loves spaghetti and meatballs. This slow-cooker version is veggie-rich with beans and spinach.

Created by Connie Guttersen, R.D., Ph.D., nutrition instructor at The Culinary Institute of America, mom and author of The Sonoma Diet for BUSH'S Beans®.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely diced onion
1 cup finely diced celery
1/2 cup finely diced carrots
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 slice whole wheat bread, torn into pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup nonfat milk
1 pound lean ground turkey
3/4 pound reduced fat Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
Salt and black pepper to taste

4 cups baby spinach, washed
2 (14.5 ounce) cans unsalted diced tomatoes with liquid
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 (16-ounce) can BUSH'S® Garbanzo Beans, with liquid
1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
Grated Parmesan cheese, as needed

Cooking Directions:

  1. For Meatballs: Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium sauté pan. Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic. Cook until vegetables are soft and garlic is aromatic, approximately 15 minutes, let cool.
  2. Combine bread, egg, and milk in a large bowl. Add onion mixture, ground turkey, and turkey sausage. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat the oven at 375°F (190°C). Form mixture into 2 -inch balls. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet, do not let touch. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
  4. For Sauce: Put the spinach in the bottom of a 4-quart slow cooker.
  5. Pour both cans of tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, garbanzo beans and cooked meatballs into the slow cooker.
  6. Cover and cook all ingredients on low for 8 to 10 hours.
  7. When ready to serve, boil a large pot of water. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package directions. Drain. Place a portion of spaghetti on each plate, top with sauce, meatballs, and grated Parmesan cheese.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/8 of recipe): Calories: 481 Total Fat: 8.9g Cholesterol: 91mg Sodium: 822mg Total Carbs: 66.1g Dietary Fiber: 14.4g Protein: 36.7g.

Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of, through ECES, Inc., Electronic Color Editorial Services.