Spiral Pasta With Turkey Meatballs or Turkey Tacos both use ground turkey. The crockpot or slow cooker is a great way to cook ground turkey as it stays moist when slow cooked.  Both of these recipes make great meals for busy families.  Everyone from Grandpa to the little ones will enjoy these dishes.

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SPIRAL PASTA WITH TURKEY MEATBALLS 
2 cans (14.5-oz each) no-salt-added tomatoes with juice
1 can (8-oz) tomato sauce
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup grated carrot
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 1/2 tsp dried basil)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp sugar
black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp milk
1/4 cup dry Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
8-oz uncooked spiral (fusilli) pasta

Combine the tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, onion, carrot, basil, garlic, thyme, sugar, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, and the bay leaf in a crockpot or slow cooker.  Using a large spoon, gently break up the tomatoes.  Place lid on cooker and cook for 4 to 5 hours.

About 45 minutes before the end of the cooking time, prepare the meatballs.  To prepare, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the ground turkey, egg, and milk together well.  Add the milk; blend in the bread crumbs and parsley and 1/8 tsp black pepper.  Wet hands and shape the mixture into small meatballs.  Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and arrange the meatballs on the baking sheet.  Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through and no longer pink in the center.  Add to the slow cooker or crockpot.  Replace lid and cook for another 45 minutes to 1 hour. 


Prepare the pasta according to the package directions; drain.

To serve, divide pasta into 4 serving shallow bowls.  Remove bay leaf from meatball mixture.  Divide the meatballs and sauce evenly over the pasta in the bowls.  Garnish as desired.

TURKEY TACOS 
1 lb ground turkey (read label and watch fat content)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (6-oz) tomato paste
1/2 cup chunky salsa
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
8 taco shells
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream 
Ground red pepper, optional

Over medium heat brown turkey and onion in a large skillet that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Transfer brown mixture to a slow cooker or crockpot.

To the turkey in the cooker add the following: tomato paste, salsa, cilantro, and salt.  Place lid on cooker and cook on low 4 to 5 hours.

Spoon 1/4 cup of the hot turkey mixture into each of taco shells; keep warm.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat; stir in the flour and the 1/4 teaspoon of salt.  Slowly stir in the milk.  Cook the mixture over low heat until thickened.  Remove from the heat.

Combine the sour cream and red pepper, if using, in a small bowl then stir into the milk mixture.  Return to the heat and cook for about a minute, stirring constantly.  Spoon the mixture over the taco filling.

Yield: 8 tacos