Whole30 Squashgetti and Meatballs Recipe

If you're looking for a healthy and satisfying meal, look no further. This Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs recipe is a delightful twist on a classic Italian dish. It's Whole30 compliant, making it perfect for those who are conscious about their diet. Plus, it's packed with flavors from savory beef meatballs and rich, tomato-based spaghetti sauce, all served over tender spaghetti squash.

Whole30 Squashgetti and Meatballs Recipe
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Spaghetti squash is a versatile winter vegetable that might not be a regular in your pantry. It's called 'spaghetti' squash for a reason: when cooked, the inside pulls apart in ribbons, much like spaghetti. So, next time you visit a supermarket, look for a yellow, oval squash. As for Whole30 compliant spaghetti sauce, you can find it in the organic or health section of most supermarkets. It is free from added sugar and dairy, making it a perfect fit for Whole30 diet.

Ingredients for Whole30 Squash Spaghetti and Meatballs

spaghetti squash: This is the star of the show. When cooked, it separates into strands, similar to spaghetti, but with fewer calories and carbs.

avocado oil: A healthier alternative to regular cooking oil; it's rich in monounsaturated fats.

beef: High in protein and adds a hearty, satisfying element to the dish.

onion: Adds a sweet and savory flavor to the meatballs.

Italian seasoning: A blend of herbs that adds authentic Italian flavor.

salt and black pepper: These basic seasonings enhance the natural flavors of the ingredients.

garlic powder: Provides an extra kick of flavor to the meatballs.

red pepper: Adds a bit of heat to the dish. Adjust to taste.

Whole30 spaghetti sauce: This sauce is free from sugar and dairy, making it compliant with the Whole30 diet.

One reader, Jule Zimmer says:

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This whole30 squash spaghetti and meatballs recipe is a game-changer! The spaghetti squash is a brilliant low-carb alternative, and the meatballs are so flavorful. The whole30 spaghetti sauce ties everything together perfectly. It's a wholesome, satisfying meal that's become a regular in my dinner rotation. Highly recommend!

Jule Zimmer

Cooking Techniques for Whole30 Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

How to bake the spaghetti squash: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Brush the spaghetti squash halves with a thin layer of avocado oil and place them cut-side down on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until soft, about 45 minutes.

How to make the meatballs: Combine ground beef, onion, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper in a bowl. Mix with your hands until everything is well incorporated. Shape the mixture into 1 ½-inch sized balls and place in a single layer in a glass baking dish. Add to the squash in the hot oven and cook for about 30 minutes or until the meatballs are no longer pink in the center.

How to warm the spaghetti sauce and meatballs: Pour the spaghetti sauce into a saucepan over medium heat. Carefully transfer the cooked meatballs into the sauce, shaking off any excess grease from baking. Cover the saucepan and simmer on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until warmed through.

How to serve the spaghetti squash and meatballs: Remove the spaghetti squash from the oven and scrape out the flesh using tongs and a fork. Place half of the squash in a bowl and cover it with half of the meatballs and half of the sauce. Repeat with the remaining squash, meatballs, and sauce.

How To Make Whole30 Squashgetti and Meatballs

Here’s a way to enjoy a bowl of pasta with fewer carbs. This Whole30 squashgetti is a filling dish that even comes with some beef meatballs.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 1spaghetti squash,halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 2tbspavocado oil
  • 1lbBeef,ground
  • ½onion,minced
  • 2tspItalian Seasoning
  • tspsalt
  • 1tspblack pepper,ground
  • 1tspgarlic powder
  • ½tspred pepper,crushed
  • 13ozWhole30® spaghetti sauce,(1 jar), such as Trader Joe’s® Puttanesca or Costco’s® Blue Parrot

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Brush spaghetti squash halves with a thin layer of avocado oil and place cut-side down on a baking sheet.

  2. Bake in the preheated oven until soft, about 45 minutes.

  3. While squash bakes, combine ground beef, onion, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper in a bowl. Mix with your hands until everything is well incorporated.

  4. Shape mixture into 1 ½-inch sized balls and place in a single layer in a glass baking dish. Add to squash in the hot oven and cook for about 30 minutes or until meatballs are no longer pink in the center.

  5. Pour spaghetti sauce into a saucepan over medium heat. Carefully transfer cooked meatballs into sauce, shaking off any excess grease from baking. Cover saucepan and simmer on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until warmed through.

  6. Remove spaghetti squash from oven and scrape out flesh using tongs and a fork. Place ½ of the squash in a bowl and cover with ½ the meatballs and ½ of the sauce. Repeat with remaining squash, meatballs, and sauce.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 595.78kcal
  • Fat: 28.95g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.74g
  • Trans Fat: 0.58g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 16.37g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.04g
  • Carbohydrates: 33.77g
  • Fiber: 7.77g
  • Sugar: 17.13g
  • Protein: 53.82g
  • Cholesterol: 146.57mg
  • Sodium: 1542.01mg
  • Calcium: 159.83mg
  • Potassium: 1745.22mg
  • Iron: 8.34mg
  • Vitamin A: 80.98µg
  • Vitamin C: 11.75mg

Expert Tip for Perfecting Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

When shaping the meatballs, try to keep them all the same size. This ensures they cook evenly and at the same rate. If some are larger than others, they may need additional cooking time, which could result in smaller meatballs becoming overcooked. Using a scoop or a tablespoon can help to keep the sizes consistent.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing This Dish

Prep ahead: Chop and prepare all your ingredients in advance to streamline the cooking process.

Use pre-made sauce: Save time by using store-bought whole30® spaghetti sauce instead of making it from scratch.

Multi-task: While the squash is baking, prepare the meatball mixture to make the most of your time in the kitchen.

Invest in a good knife: A sharp, quality knife can make chopping and prepping ingredients much quicker and easier.

Batch cooking: Make a larger quantity of meatballs and sauce, then freeze the extras for a quick and easy meal in the future.

One-pot cooking: Consider cooking the meatballs and sauce in the same pot to minimize clean-up time.

Organize your workspace: Keep your kitchen organized and clean as you cook to avoid wasting time searching for utensils and ingredients.

Substitute Ingredients For Whole30 Squashgetti and Meatballs Recipe

  • spaghetti squash - Substitute with zucchini noodles: Zucchini noodles are a great low-carb alternative to spaghetti squash and provide a similar texture and flavor to the dish.

  • avocado oil - Substitute with olive oil: Olive oil is a suitable substitute for avocado oil and will provide a similar flavor profile to the dish.

  • beef - Substitute with ground turkey: Ground turkey is a leaner alternative to beef and can be used as a healthier option in the meatballs.

  • onion - Substitute with shallots: Shallots have a milder flavor compared to onions and can be a great substitute in this recipe.

  • italian seasoning - Substitute with dried oregano and basil: Dried oregano and basil can be used as a substitute for Italian seasoning to provide the same herby flavor.

  • salt - Substitute with sea salt: Sea salt can be used as a substitute for regular salt and will enhance the overall flavor of the dish.

  • black pepper - Substitute with white pepper: White pepper can be used as a substitute for black pepper and will provide a milder, slightly different flavor to the dish.

  • garlic powder - Substitute with fresh minced garlic: Fresh minced garlic can be used as a substitute for garlic powder to provide a more intense garlic flavor.

  • red pepper - Substitute with paprika: Paprika can be used as a substitute for red pepper to add a mild, smoky flavor to the dish.

  • whole30® spaghetti sauce - Substitute with homemade marinara sauce: Homemade marinara sauce can be used as a substitute for Whole30 spaghetti sauce to control the ingredients and flavor of the dish.

Presentation Tips for Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

  1. Elevate the spaghetti squash: Carefully arrange the strands of spaghetti squash on the plate, creating a nest-like appearance to showcase the vibrant colors and textures.

  2. Artfully place the meatballs: Position the meatballs strategically around the spaghetti squash, ensuring an even distribution and visually appealing presentation.

  3. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle the dish with freshly chopped parsley or basil to add a pop of color and a hint of freshness.

  4. Drizzle with avocado oil: Add a drizzle of high-quality avocado oil around the perimeter of the plate for a touch of richness and a glossy finish.

  5. Sprinkle with a pinch of black pepper: Lightly dust the dish with freshly ground black pepper to enhance the flavors and add a subtle hint of spice.

  6. Add a touch of grated parmesan: Grate a small amount of parmesan cheese over the top for a savory umami flavor and a touch of elegance.

  7. Serve on elegant dinnerware: Present the dish on a beautiful, elegant dinnerware to create a sophisticated and visually stunning presentation.

  8. Use a minimalist plating approach: Embrace a minimalist plating style, allowing the natural beauty of the dish to take center stage without overwhelming the senses.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making This Recipe

  • Baking sheet: A flat, metal sheet used for baking and roasting foods in the oven.
  • Glass baking dish: A glass or ceramic dish used for baking and roasting foods in the oven.
  • Saucepan: A deep cooking pan with a long handle and a lid, used for making sauces and simmering foods.
  • Tongs: A tool with two arms and a pivot used for gripping and lifting objects, such as turning the spaghetti squash while baking.
  • Fork: A utensil with prongs used for scraping out the flesh of the spaghetti squash.
  • Mixing bowl: A bowl used for mixing and combining ingredients, such as for mixing the ground beef and seasonings for the meatballs.
  • Food processor: A kitchen appliance used for chopping, blending, and pureeing ingredients, which could be used for chopping the onion for the meatballs.

Storage and Freezing Guidelines for This Recipe

Here are the detailed instructions for storing and freezing whole30 squash spaghetti and meatballs:

  • For storing leftovers in the fridge:

    • Allow the spaghetti squash and meatballs to cool completely before storing
    • Place the squash in an airtight container and the meatballs with sauce in a separate airtight container
    • Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days
    • When ready to reheat, warm the squash in the microwave or oven until heated through and reheat the meatballs with sauce in a saucepan over medium heat until warmed through
  • For freezing:

    • Allow the spaghetti squash and meatballs to cool completely before freezing
    • Place the squash in a freezer-safe airtight container or freezer bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing
    • Place the meatballs with sauce in a separate freezer-safe airtight container or freezer bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing
    • Label the containers or bags with the date and contents
    • Store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months
    • When ready to reheat, thaw the squash and meatballs with sauce in the refrigerator overnight
    • Warm the squash in the microwave or oven until heated through and reheat the meatballs with sauce in a saucepan over medium heat until warmed through
  • Pro tips:

    • Portion the spaghetti squash and meatballs into individual servings before freezing for easy reheating and portion control
    • Use a vacuum sealer to remove as much air as possible from the freezer bags for longer storage and to prevent freezer burn
    • Add a label with reheating instructions on the container or bag for easy reference later

How To Reheat Leftover Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover spaghetti squash and meatballs in an oven-safe dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until heated through. This method helps to retain the moisture and prevent the squash from drying out.

  • For a quicker option, you can use the microwave. Place the leftovers in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the spaghetti squash and meatballs are heated through. The damp paper towel will help to keep the squash from becoming rubbery.

  • If you have a bit more time, you can reheat the spaghetti squash and meatballs on the stovetop. Place the leftovers in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add a splash of water or tomato sauce to help keep the squash moist. Cover the pan and heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the dish is heated through.

  • For a crispy twist, you can reheat the meatballs separately in an air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C) and place the meatballs in the basket. Cook for 3-5 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through, until the meatballs are heated through and slightly crispy on the outside. Reheat the spaghetti squash using one of the above methods and combine with the crispy meatballs before serving.

  • If you have a lot of leftovers, you can freeze them for later. Divide the spaghetti squash and meatballs into individual portions and store them in airtight containers or freezer bags. When you're ready to eat, thaw the leftovers in the refrigerator overnight and reheat using one of the above methods. This is a great way to enjoy a quick and healthy meal on busy weeknights.

Interesting Trivia About Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

Spaghetti squash is a great source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and fiber. It's a healthy and delicious alternative to traditional pasta, making it a perfect choice for a whole30 meal.

Budget-Friendly: Is This Recipe Economical?

This whole30 squash spaghetti and meatballs recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The use of simple and affordable ingredients such as spaghetti squash, beef, and onion makes it budget-friendly. The recipe yields a hearty and satisfying meal for a family of four at an approximate cost of $15. The combination of flavors and textures in this dish is sure to please, earning it a solid 8 out of 10 rating for its affordability and deliciousness.

Is This Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs Recipe Healthy?

This whole30 squash spaghetti and meatballs recipe is a healthier alternative to traditional pasta dishes. The use of spaghetti squash instead of regular pasta significantly reduces the carbohydrate content and adds beneficial nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The meatballs are made with lean ground beef, which provides a good source of protein. The recipe also incorporates various spices and herbs, adding flavor without relying on unhealthy additives. The whole30 spaghetti sauce used in this recipe is likely to be free from added sugars and preservatives, making it a cleaner option compared to regular store-bought sauces.

To further enhance the nutritional value of this recipe, consider the following suggestions:

  • Incorporate more vegetables into the dish by adding finely chopped or grated zucchini, carrots, or spinach to the meatball mixture. This will increase the fiber content and provide additional vitamins and minerals.
  • Experiment with using a combination of lean ground meats, such as turkey or chicken, to vary the protein sources and potentially reduce the fat content of the meatballs.
  • Prepare a homemade whole30-compliant spaghetti sauce using fresh tomatoes, herbs, and spices. This will give you complete control over the ingredients and ensure the absence of any unwanted additives or preservatives.
  • Serve the spaghetti squash and meatballs with a side salad or roasted vegetables to add more fiber, nutrients, and color to the meal.

Editor's Opinion on This Whole30 Recipe

The Whole30 Squash Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe is a delightful and wholesome dish. The use of spaghetti squash as a low-carb alternative to traditional pasta is innovative and adds a lovely texture. The meatballs are well-seasoned and perfectly complemented by the Whole30 spaghetti sauce. The dish is not only delicious but also adheres to the Whole30 guidelines, making it a great option for those following a specific dietary plan. Overall, this recipe offers a satisfying and flavorful meal that is both nutritious and satisfying.

Enhance Your Whole30 Squashgetti and Meatballs Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Toss Brussels sprouts with balsamic glaze and bacon for a savory and crispy side dish.
Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Zest: Grill asparagus until tender and sprinkle with fresh lemon zest for a bright and refreshing side dish.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Milk: Whip up creamy mashed sweet potatoes with a hint of coconut milk for a sweet and velvety side dish.

Similar Recipes to Whole30 Squash Spaghetti and Meatballs

Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken: Marinate the chicken in a mixture of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and herbs. Grill until cooked through and serve with a side of roasted vegetables.
Mango Avocado Salsa: Combine diced mango, avocado, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice for a refreshing and flavorful salsa. Serve with grilled fish or as a topping for tacos.
Butternut Squash Soup: Roast butternut squash, onion, and garlic until caramelized. Blend with vegetable broth, coconut milk, and spices for a creamy and comforting soup. Garnish with a drizzle of coconut cream and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for Whole30 Squash Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Delight your guests with savory stuffed mushrooms, filled with a flavorful mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs. These bite-sized appetizers are sure to be a hit at any gathering.
Caprese Skewers: Impress your guests with these elegant caprese skewers, featuring juicy cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fragrant basil, drizzled with a balsamic glaze. These colorful and delicious skewers are perfect for any occasion.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and decadent flavor will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Berry Parfait: Layer fresh berries with creamy yogurt and crunchy granola for a refreshing and light dessert. The combination of sweet and tart flavors, along with the different textures, creates a delightful treat that is perfect for any occasion.

Why trust this Whole30 Squashgetti and Meatballs Recipe:

This recipe is a trustworthy choice for your whole30 journey. The use of spaghetti squash as a pasta alternative ensures a nutrient-dense, low-carb option. The incorporation of avocado oil and lean beef promotes a healthy fat and protein balance. The Italian seasoning and garlic powder enhance the flavors without compromising the whole30® spaghetti sauce integrity. These thoughtfully chosen ingredients guarantee a delicious and compliant meal that aligns with your dietary goals.

Want to share your experience with this Whole30 Squashgetti and Meatballs recipe or have any tips to make it even better? Head over to the Recipe Sharing forum and join the discussion!
FAQ:
How long does it take to cook the spaghetti squash?
The spaghetti squash takes about 45 minutes to bake in the oven until it's soft.
Can I use a different type of oil instead of avocado oil?
Yes, you can use other oils like olive oil or coconut oil as a substitute for avocado oil.
What can I use if I don't have whole30 spaghetti sauce?
If you don't have whole30 spaghetti sauce, you can use homemade tomato sauce with compliant ingredients or any other whole30 approved marinara sauce.
Can I use ground turkey instead of beef for the meatballs?
Absolutely! Ground turkey can be used as a substitute for beef to make the meatballs.
How do I know when the meatballs are fully cooked?
The meatballs are fully cooked when they are no longer pink in the center, which usually takes about 30 minutes in the oven.

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