• kelly@noshandnourish.com
  • Denver, CO
Kid-Friendly Carrot Turkey Meatball Penne Pasta

Kid-Friendly Carrot Turkey Meatball Penne Pasta

Hey y’all, it’s Leigh Ann from My Diary of Us here, and I have such a delicious family dinner idea to share with you today!  I don’t know about your family, but my guys love meatballs of any kind and if I can pack some veggies into those meatballs, then I am definitely going to do it.  I am excited to share these kid-friendly carrot turkey meatballs for #CarrotWeek here on Eat the Rainbow Kids. They are packed with carrots, AND they are 100% kid-approved!  This recipe for kid-friendly carrot turkey meatball penne pasta is definitely going to become a weeknight family  favorite.

I used ground turkey for the base of these meatballs, but feel free to swap out for ground beef, pork, or chicken as well because all options will be delicious.  In addition to the ground turkey, there is a full cup of carrots in the meatball mixture and another half cup in the pasta sauce too.  Carrots are loaded with vitamins like vitamin A, K, beta carotene, and fiber making them ideal for little bodies to eat for strong bones and more!  Not only are they packed with nutrients, but they also work so well in this meatball recipe keeping the meatballs tender and they add a slight sweetness to the meatballs and the sauce.

Speaking of the sauce, I make a very simple marinara that kids will not have an issue gobbling up.  And if you have a kiddo who can detect any veggie that you mix in, just puree the sauce after it’s done cooking before adding the meatballs back in and they will never know!  These meatballs can be baked or cooked right into the same skillet as the sauce, which I am personally a fan of because it adds that much more flavor to the sauce.

This is such a great meal to make at the beginning of the week to have leftovers for lunches and easy dinners all week.  I am excited for you to give this one a try, I have a feeling your family is going to love it!

Check out some of Kelly’s other carrot recipes:

Coconut Carrot Soup

Shredded Carrot Quesadillas

Rainbow Veggie Sushi

-Leigh Ann

Kid-Friendly Carrot Turkey Meatball Penne Pasta

Servings 6


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 cup finely grated carrots I do this in my food processor
  • 1 clove finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • `1 egg
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound penne pasta or shape of choice

For the marinara

  • 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup grated onion
  • 1 clove finely minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning


  • Make meatballs by combining ground turkey, carrot, garlic, cheese, egg, bread crumbs, parsley, salt, pepper, and milk.  Use a fork to gently combine ingredients until mixed well. (Using a fork keeps the meatballs light.)
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil.
  • Form meatballs into 1 inch balls and add to the skillet and brown on both sides for 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Remove the meatballs and to the same skillet add carrots, onion, and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes until onions begin to soften.
  • Add in crushed tomatoes, coconut sugar, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper and stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes.*
  • Add the meatballs back into the pan and make sure to coat them on all sides, nestled into the sauce.  Place lid on top and cook for 10-5 minutes until cooked through.
  • Cook noodles until al dente and then toss with the meatballs and sauce.
  • Top off with more parmesan cheese and serve immediately.


*Note:  If you want to puree your sauce for a smoother consistency do so before adding meatballs back into the sauce.

Leave a Reply