Spaghetti Squash + Meatballs

spaghetti squash and meatballs

If you’ve been following along with Her Tasty Life from the beginning you’ve probably noticed an obvious pattern developing around here:

  • When I eat out, I EAT OUT. Sampling every delicious morsel without abandon (all in the name of research, of course).
  • When I cook at home, I almost always cook something healthy or with a more waistline-friendly variation.
  • Lather, rinse, repeat.

Rarely do I deviate from that pattern. Not only does it play into my mentality of “everything in moderation” but it also helps shift my thinking about food and how small, simple modifications to my favorite comfort foods can turn them into nutrient dense, healthful dishes that still taste 100% delicious.

My most recent favorite has been Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs. I’ve prepared it 3x in the last few weeks so naturally I had to share the recipe with you.

It scratches every itch for hearty, filling pasta without an ounce of the guilt. I’ve actually declared (and quite honestly) that I don’t miss the spaghetti one bit when this is on the table. With the spaghetti squash in tow, not only do you get the sensory experience of stringy, pasta-like goodness, but also tons of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and loads of fiber. None of that going on in spaghetti, ya hear?

If you’ve never cooked spaghetti squash and meatballs before, not to worry. It’s quite easy to go from huge squash to pasta squash with a few tips and tricks. I’ll get you through it with this easy how-to list. Happy cooking!

spaghetti squash and meatballs

Step 1: Spaghetti squash are inherently tough and hearty and, at times, are virtually impossible to cut through end-to-end. Pro tip: start at one end of the squash and cut rings like this above. Once you’ve got your rings cut, remove the seeds at the center and lay flat on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper.

spaghetti squash and meatballs

Step 2: Brush the rings with good olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place them in a pre-heated oven at 350° for 40 minutes. I like to flip mine halfway through, but really it’s optional.

spaghetti squash and meatballs

spaghetti squash and meatballs

Steps 3 + 4: I’m combining these steps because if you have a kitchen helper, now is a good time to divide and conquer. Get the Marzano marinara sauce and meatball mixture started simultaneously.

spaghetti squash and meatballs

spaghetti squash and meatballs

Step 5: While your sauce is simmering away, hand-form your meatballs into nice, palm-sized balls and start pan frying them in vegetable or olive oil, your choice. Pan fry until the balls have developed a nice crust and are deep brown on all sides.

spaghetti squash and meatballs

Step 6: Transfer meatballs into marinara sauce. You’ll be sure they’re cooked all the way through this way, and, you’ll keep them warm while your spaghetti squash finishes cooking.

spaghetti squash and meatballs

spaghetti squash and meatballs

Step 7: Now that the spaghetti squash is done cooking, use a fork to pull the flesh from the skin and the spaghetti squash will naturally form its “noodles” this way. Transfer to a serving bowl.

spaghetti squash and meatballs

Step 8: Top noodles with sauce, meatballs, grated parmesan cheese and torn leaves of fresh Basil.

 


 

That’s it! And how good does that look? 8 steps to a meal that is all things beautiful, satisfying and tasty.

Serve with a green side salad and a glass of Tuscan – or whatever you like – wine to complete the meal. Buon appetito!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds spaghetti squash
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 16-ounce can San Marzano diced tomatoes
  • 1 16-ounce can San Marzano tomato sauce
  • 1 lb ground turkey meat
  • 1 lb ground beef or sirloin
  • 1 Cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 Cup grated parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, large stems removed, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • Vegetable or olive oil, for frying

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Cut the squash into rings from end to end, remove the seeds. Place rings on a baking sheet, brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Roast the squash until softened, approximately 40 minutes depending on size.

Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Sauté the garlic and onions until translucent. Add the tomatoes and simmer on low heat, about 45 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the sirloin, turkey, bread crumbs, parmesan, egg, basil and parsley and mix well. Form into 2-inch meatballs.

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Pan-fry the meatballs until browned on all sides. Transfer the meatballs to the tomato sauce and simmer until cooked through.

Using a fork, remove the squash flesh from the skin and stir the squash into the tomato sauce. Serve the squash topped with meatballs, grated parmesan and torn basil.

 

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6 thoughts on “Spaghetti Squash + Meatballs

  1. Adrienne

    This looks delicious, Brett! I have a trip to Chicago coming up in May and I will definitely be perusing your site for suggestions on places to eat!

    Reply
  2. unknown75

    I’m totally going to make this. I am skeptical about spaghetti squash instead of pasta but this post has prompted me to give it a whirl. Question: the ingredients listed include ground sirloin AND ground turkey but you only mention using the ground turkey. I wanted to verify that the meatball mix is just straight up turkey and not a mix of both.

    Reply
    1. hertastylife

      That was a great catch, actually!! I do include sirloin AND turkey. I think the combination helps to maintain the flavor and moisture of beef while cutting cals using 50% turkey. Hopefully that helped clarify and you still want to try it — you could certainly do just turkey, too!

      Reply
      1. unknown75

        I already made it last night and I did use both. Love your blog, B. Thanks for the follow-up and the recipe was delish! -Joanne W (I don’t know why my name is set at unknown75 & I can’t figure out how to change it but it makes me sound like a creeper!)

        Reply
        1. hertastylife

          OMG! HAHAHA. Joanne, it’s you!! Yeah, I had no idea who it was but wanted to respond to be polite. Total creeper status. Heheheheh. Glad I know now and even more happy you tried the recipe and loved it. AMEN!!!!!! Thanks for the amazing feedback.

          Reply
  3. Pingback: Healthy(ier) Meals even your Sig. Other Will Like | One Full Plate

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