Pasta, cabagge and chorizo meatballs

I was reading the news this morning before writing this post and, oh man, it’s scary what’s going on in the world, isn’t it? Even though Main St hasn’t been hit as hard yet, I believe it is time to start buckling up for the rough ride ahead. However, I don’t think that means we need to eat boring and tasteless food. This is the time to put on our creative hats and start making delicious foods on a budget. That’s why I encourage you to check out and participate in Frugal Fridays.

The premise of this Jerry‘s great idea is to cook dinner for a family of four for US $10.00. That might not look like a big budget, but once you start getting a hold of frugal living, you will be surprised how far your money can go without sacrificing taste, nutrition or creativity.

For this week’s entry I made chorizo ($2.49 lb) and ground turkey ($1.99 lb) meatballs that I fried and cooked with diced tomatoes ($0.99 can) and served over pasta ($0.99 package) cooked with cabbage ($0.47 lb) and broccoli ($1.94 lb). Not bad for a frugal dinner.

Chorizo meatballs and pasta
Makes enough for six servings

For this recipe you will need:

  • 1/2 lb chorizo
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 small onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup cooked rice (optional)
  • Cooking oil
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 8-oz package of spaghetti
  • 1/2 small cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped
  • basil, salt, fresh ground pepper and any other spice you like to add to your pasta.


  1. Cook pasta following the package instructions. Add cabbage about 7 minutes before you remove from heat and broccoli about 2 minutes before removing from heat. Drain, but save 1 cup of the water.
  2. Brown chorizo in a large heavy skillet and combine with ground turkey, eggs, cornmeal, fresh parsley, onion, rice (my mom used to add rice to the meatballs and they always tasted so good) and seasoning to taste in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add some cooking oil to the same skillet where you browned the chorizo. Roll out meatballs as big as you want them and brown them.
  4. In a cooking pot add tomatoes and the water you saved from the pasta. Season if necessary. Add browned meatballs and cook for 8-10 minutes.
  5. Serve over pasta and top with queso fresco crumbs and enjoy.

Chorizo gave these meatballs a very disctintive flavor that wasn’t overwhelming. Cabbage and pasta are two ingredients that every frugal kitchen should always have, they are nutritious and always give a rich filling to any dish. What are your frugal dinners?

¡Buen provecho!

I am sending this post to the following food events. Please click on the badges to read more about guidelines to participate:

Frugal Fridays

Presto Pasta NIghts


  • Not bad at all! Very tasty & frugal

  • Looks absolutely delicious Ben! Yes, the world is getting scarier!

  • Scary times out there. Great combo of ingrediants you have going on.

  • Hi Ben,
    Nice frugal meal there! By coincidence, I made turkey meatballs this week with tomato sauce and pasta, but I was a bit disappointed – they were really dry so I didn’t blog about them!

    Were yours dry, or do you think the chorizo made them quite juicy?

    I try and be pretty frugal at home, we spend about £2.50 on an evening meal for two througout the week – thats about $5 give or take.

  • Great meal. Chorizo is so good – a little goes a long way with superb flavour & I would have thought added great moisture to the meat too.

  • Even better, this meal contains a variety of vegetables – so healthy, too!

    I’m cooking something similar tonight – chicken sausage, cabbage and potatoes.

  • What a beautiful and filling dish and the chorizo gives all the flavour to the meatballs. Your pictures are great.

  • Looks great Ben…Love the picture!

  • Good job, Ben. Yet another interesting combination of ingredients providing a balanced dinner (veggie, carb, protein, etc.) for minimal cost. And anything that has chorizo in it, tiene que ser bueno!

  • I don’t really listen to the news. This is depressing. I love your pasta. Well done!

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