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Turkey polpette recipe

Turkey polpette recipe

68 ratings

In partnership with British Heart Foundation

These little polpette are a lighter twist on a classic meatball pasta dish. Guaranteed to be a new family favourite, these healthy meatballs are made with lean turkey mince and served with an easy tomato and basil sauce and wholewheat spaghetti. See method

  • Serves 4
  • 10 mins to prepare and 35 mins to cook
  • 595 calories / serving
  • Freezable
  • Healthy
  • Dairy-free


  • 500g turkey thigh mince
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
  • 4 tbsp natural breadcrumbs
  • 30g pack basil, most roughly chopped, a few leaves left whole
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g carton tomato passata
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 300g wholewheat spaghetti
If you don't have mince, cut open some sausages instead

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    15g 22%
  • Saturates

    3g 16%
  • Sugars

    16g 18%
  • Salt

    1.3g 21%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 74g Protein 43.6g Fibre 12.6g


  1. In a large bowl, mix the mince with the fennel seeds, breadcrumbs and 2 tbsp chopped basil; season. Shape into 24 small balls, then transfer to a plate. Cover and chill until needed.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large lidded saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and carrot and cook for 8-10 mins until softened. Add the garlic, cook for 1 min, then add the passata and 150ml water. Stir in the thyme and a pinch of sugar; season. Bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat, cover and cook for 15 mins.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the polpette in batches for 3-5 mins, turning occasionally, until browned all over. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti to pack instructions.
  4. Add the polpette to the sauce and simmer, uncovered, for 5 mins or until cooked through. Stir in the remaining chopped basil. Drain the pasta, divide between 4 plates and top with the polpette and sauce. Season with black pepper and scatter with the reserved basil leaves, torn if large, to serve.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines (polpette and sauce only)

In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.

See more Turkey mince recipes

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

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