Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Meatballs

Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Meatballs

I posted a photo on Instagram last week of this spaghetti squash dish I made and received a ton of requests for the recipe. Since I haven't posted a recipe in quite a while (sorry!), I figured this one would be a great one to share with you!  

I absolutely love making this recipe because it reminds me of traditional spaghetti and meatballs but is by far nutritionally superior without sacrificing any flavor. As you may know, pasta is typically void of any nutritional content and is high in refined carbohydrates. When you substitute the pasta for squash it makes this dish much more nutrient dense. Spaghetti squash is a great source of Vitamins A and C, which act as antioxidants in the body and prevent free radical damage to cells. For those trying to conceive or are pregnant spaghetti squash is a good source of folate, which supports the formation of new cells and may help prevent birth defects.  

I typically make a big batch of sauce and meatballs because it stores really well for about a week in the refrigerator.  I recommend storing the squash and sauce in separate containers so the squash doesn't get soggy and lose it's texture. 

 

Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash 

Meatballs:

 

  • 1 pound ground organic meat (chicken, turkey)
  • 1 large organic egg
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano or thyme)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Squash:

  • 1 medium size spaghetti squash
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • sea  salt and pepper

Sauce:

  • 2 28oz cans San Marzano crushed tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced 
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Cut the squash in half and remove seeds. Drizzle inside each side with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Place spaghetti squash in a baking dish and cook face up until tender, about 40 minutes to an hour. 

While squash cooks, prepare meatballs. Combine the ground meat, bread crumbs, 1 egg, cheese, fresh herbs, onion, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix thoroughly, then form the mixture into ¾-inch to 1 ½-inch balls. You should have 20 to 30 meatballs, depending on how large you form them. 

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Add the meatballs in batches and cook, turning, until browned all over, 3 to 5 minutes. Don't worry if the meatballs are not fully cooked, they will cook more  in the sauce. 

In a medium saucepan, sauté onion and garlic with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add 2 cans of tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Add fresh basil and turkey meatballs to the sauce. Cook for another 10 minutes. 

When squash is tender, remove it from oven and allow to cool enough so you can handle with your bare hands. Scoop out the noodle-like flesh and place it in a large bowl. Top with homemade sauce and meatballs.