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Spaghetti and Meatballs (Paleo Style) Recipe

Switch up your usual pasta night with this delicious paleo spaghetti and meatballs recipe. Using ground beef for the meatballs and spaghetti squash for the noodles, this dish is packed with protein and nutrients. The hearty tomato sauce, bursting with fresh vegetables and aromatic herbs, ties everything together for a satisfying and flavorful meal that will make you forget all about traditional wheat pasta.

Spaghetti and Meatballs (Paleo Style) Recipe
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Most ingredients for this recipe should be readily available in your local grocery store. However, the spaghetti squash used as a pasta substitute might not be as easily found in some regions. It's a type of winter squash with a mild flavor and stringy flesh that resembles spaghetti when cooked. Also, quinoa is used in the meatballs as a grain substitute. It's a seed that is cooked and eaten like a grain, high in protein and fiber.

Ingredients for Spaghetti and Meatballs: Paleo Style

Ground beef: The main component of the meatballs, lean ground beef is packed with protein.

Onion: Adds a sweet, aromatic flavor to both the meatballs and the sauce.

Quinoa: Acts as a binder for the meatballs and adds extra protein.

Garlic: Brings a robust flavor to the meatballs and sauce.

Spaghetti squash: Low in calories and carbs, this squash forms the 'noodles' of the dish.

Mushrooms, green bell pepper, and zucchini: These vegetables add texture and nutrients to the sauce.

Tomatoes: Form the base of the sauce, giving it a rich, tangy flavor.

Black olives: Provide a salty, tangy touch to the sauce.

Basil and Oregano: Fresh herbs that add a depth of flavor to the meatballs and sauce.

Honey: A hint of sweetness to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes.

How To Make Spaghetti and Meatballs (Paleo Style)

These spaghetti and meatballs trade actual pasta for seasoned spaghetti squash. It’s topped with tomato mushroom sauce for a delicious, filling meal.

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 55 minutes
Total: 1 hour 25 minutes



For Meatballs:

  • 1lblean ground beef
  • 1onion,grated
  • ½cupquinoa,cooked
  • ¼cupmilk
  • 2garlic cloves,minced
  • 1egg,beaten
  • 2tbspfresh basil,chopped
  • 2tbspfresh oregano,chopped
  • 1tspred pepper flakes
  • salt and ground black pepper,to taste
  • 1tbspolive oil

For Pasta:

  • 1tspolive oil,or to taste
  • salt,to taste
  • 1large spaghetti squash,halved and seeded

For Sauce:

  • 2tbspolive oil
  • 1onion,chopped
  • 2garlic cloves,minced
  • 1tspred pepper flakes
  • 1cupfresh mushrooms,sliced
  • 1small green bell pepper,chopped
  • ½zucchini,sliced
  • 4ozblack olives,(1 can), sliced
  • 14.5oztomatoes,(1 can), crushed
  • 2tbspfresh basil,chopped
  • 2tbspfresh oregano,chopped
  • 1tbsphoney



  1. Mix the beef, grated onion, quinoa, milk, minced garlic, egg, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper together in a bowl until evenly combined.

  2. Form the mixture into 1½-inch meatballs.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook meatballs in hot oil for 5 to 10 minutes until browned on all sides.

Spaghetti Squash:

  1. Fill a large pot with 2 to 3 inches of cold water, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Place the spaghetti squash, cut side down, into the pot.

  2. Cover the pot with a lid and place over high heat. Cook for about 20 minutes until squash is tender.

  3. Drain and shred the squash into “noodles” by scraping out the flesh with a fork.


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté chopped onion, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes in hot oil for 5 to 7 minutes until soft and translucent.

  2. Stir the mushrooms, green bell pepper, zucchini, and olives into onion mixture. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until slightly softened.

  3. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, and honey. Bring to a simmer.

  4. Gently stir the meatballs into tomato mixture, return to a simmer, and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are heated through and vegetables are tender.

  5. Divide the squash “noodles” between serving bowls and ladle sauce and meatballs over the top. Enjoy!


  • Calories: 651.81kcal
  • Fat: 41.16g
  • Saturated Fat: 11.64g
  • Trans Fat: 1.34g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 21.47g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.51g
  • Carbohydrates: 45.78g
  • Fiber: 9.25g
  • Sugar: 15.69g
  • Protein: 28.71g
  • Cholesterol: 122.03mg
  • Sodium: 1321.45mg
  • Calcium: 205.35mg
  • Potassium: 1176.66mg
  • Iron: 6.86mg
  • Vitamin A: 106.26µg
  • Vitamin C: 42.87mg

Crucial Technique Tip for Perfecting Paleo Style Spaghetti and Meatballs

When forming the meatballs, try to keep them all the same size. This ensures that they cook evenly and at the same rate. If some meatballs are larger than others, they may require more cooking time and could result in some meatballs being overcooked while others are undercooked. Using a cookie scoop can help to get uniform-sized meatballs. Additionally, when cooking the spaghetti squash, be sure not to overcook it. Overcooked spaghetti squash can become mushy and lose its noodle-like texture. Aim for a tender, but still slightly firm texture.

Time-Saving Tips for Making This Paleo Style Recipe

Prep ahead: Prepare the meatball mixture and sauce in advance and store them in the refrigerator until ready to cook. This will save time on the day of cooking.

Use a food processor: Use a food processor to quickly chop the onions, garlic, and other vegetables for the sauce and meatballs, saving time on prep work.

Multitask: While the meatballs are cooking, prepare the spaghetti squash and sauce simultaneously to streamline the cooking process.

Batch cooking: Make a larger batch of meatballs and sauce, then freeze the extra portions for future quick and easy meals.

Organize ingredients: Before starting the recipe, gather and organize all the ingredients and kitchen tools needed to avoid last-minute searches and save time.

Substitute Ingredients For Spaghetti and Meatballs (Paleo Style) Recipe

  • lean ground beef - Substitute with ground turkey: Ground turkey is a lean and healthy alternative to beef, and it works well in meatballs. It has a similar texture and can be seasoned to taste like beef.

  • quinoa - Substitute with almond flour: Almond flour can be used as a grain-free alternative to quinoa in meatballs. It helps bind the ingredients together and adds a nutty flavor.

  • milk - Substitute with coconut milk: Coconut milk is a paleo-friendly alternative to dairy milk. It adds creaminess to the meatball mixture and complements the flavors.

  • spaghetti squash - Substitute with zucchini noodles: Zucchini noodles, also known as zoodles, are a great low-carb and paleo-friendly alternative to spaghetti squash. They provide a similar texture and absorb the flavors of the sauce well.

  • tomatoes - Substitute with diced tomatoes: Diced tomatoes are a suitable substitute for fresh tomatoes in the sauce. They provide a rich and chunky texture, adding depth to the dish.

  • honey - Substitute with maple syrup: Maple syrup can be used as a paleo-friendly alternative to honey in the sauce. It adds a touch of sweetness and enhances the overall flavor profile.

How to Beautifully Present Spaghetti and Meatballs

  1. Elevate the meatballs: Gently place the meatballs on the plate, ensuring they are evenly spaced and not overcrowded. This will showcase the texture and form of the meatballs, allowing the flavors to shine through.

  2. Create a nest of spaghetti squash: Using a fork, carefully twirl the spaghetti squash into a nest-like shape and place it in the center of the plate. This adds an artistic touch and provides a visually appealing base for the dish.

  3. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle a few sprigs of fresh basil and oregano over the meatballs and spaghetti squash. This not only adds a pop of color but also infuses the dish with a delightful aroma.

  4. Drizzle with olive oil: Using a steady hand, drizzle a small amount of high-quality olive oil around the edge of the plate. The sheen of the oil will enhance the visual appeal and add a touch of richness to the dish.

  5. Add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes: Carefully sprinkle a pinch of red pepper flakes over the dish for a hint of heat and a burst of vibrant color. This will create a visually striking contrast against the backdrop of the meatballs and squash.

  6. Incorporate edible flowers: Place a few edible flowers strategically around the plate to introduce a delicate and elegant element to the presentation. The vibrant hues of the flowers will complement the dish beautifully.

  7. Use a minimalist approach: Embrace simplicity by ensuring that each element on the plate has a purpose. Avoid overcrowding and allow the natural beauty of the ingredients to take center stage.

  8. Consider plate geometry: Opt for a round or oval plate to complement the circular shape of the spaghetti squash, creating a harmonious visual flow that is pleasing to the eye.

  9. Emphasize symmetry: Arrange the components of the dish with symmetry in mind, creating a balanced and visually appealing presentation that reflects precision and attention to detail.

  10. Highlight the contrast of colors: Aim for a balanced contrast of colors on the plate, ensuring that the vibrant hues of the ingredients stand out and create an enticing visual composition.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Paleo Style Spaghetti and Meatballs

  • Food processor: A food processor is a versatile kitchen appliance that can be used for various tasks such as chopping, slicing, shredding, and pureeing ingredients.
  • Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is essential for combining ingredients and mixing them thoroughly.
  • Skillet: A skillet is a flat-bottomed pan used for frying, searing, and browning foods.
  • Large pot: A large pot is used for boiling water, cooking pasta, and preparing sauces or soups.
  • Fork: A fork is a utensil with pronged ends used for picking up and turning food while cooking.
  • Ladle: A ladle is a long-handled spoon with a deep bowl, used for serving soups, stews, and sauces.
  • Cutting board: A cutting board provides a stable surface for cutting and preparing ingredients.
  • Chef's knife: A chef's knife is a versatile, all-purpose knife used for chopping, slicing, and dicing ingredients.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Measuring cups and spoons are used to accurately measure ingredients for recipes.
  • Grater: A grater is used to grate or shred ingredients such as cheese, vegetables, or citrus zest.

How To Store and Freeze Spaghetti and Meatballs: Paleo Style Recipe

  • To store leftover spaghetti squash and meatballs, allow them to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.
  • When ready to reheat, place the desired portion in a microwave-safe dish and heat until warmed through, stirring occasionally to ensure even heating.
  • For longer storage, freeze the meatballs and sauce separately from the spaghetti squash noodles.
  • To freeze the meatballs and sauce:
    • Allow them to cool completely.
    • Place the meatballs and sauce in a freezer-safe container or resealable bag, removing as much air as possible.
    • Label the container with the date and contents.
    • Freeze for up to 2-3 months.
  • To freeze the spaghetti squash noodles:
    • Allow the noodles to cool completely.
    • Place them in a freezer-safe container or resealable bag, removing as much air as possible.
    • Label the container with the date and contents.
    • Freeze for up to 1-2 months.
  • To reheat frozen meatballs and sauce:
    • Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
    • Place the thawed meatballs and sauce in a saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until warmed through.
  • To reheat frozen spaghetti squash noodles:
    • Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
    • Place the thawed noodles in a microwave-safe dish and heat until warmed through, stirring occasionally to ensure even heating.
    • Alternatively, reheat the noodles in a skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until warmed through.

How To Reheat Leftovers

  • To reheat leftover spaghetti squash and meatballs, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover spaghetti squash in an oven-safe dish and cover it with foil. Bake for about 15 minutes or until heated through.
  • While the spaghetti squash is reheating, place the meatballs in a separate oven-safe dish and cover them with the leftover tomato sauce. Cover the dish with foil and bake alongside the spaghetti squash for about 15-20 minutes or until the meatballs are heated through and the sauce is bubbly.
  • Alternatively, you can reheat the spaghetti squash and meatballs in the microwave. Place the spaghetti squash in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes or until heated through. Place the meatballs and sauce in a separate microwave-safe dish and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes or until heated through.
  • For a quick and easy reheat, you can also warm up the spaghetti squash and meatballs in a skillet on the stovetop. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the spaghetti squash and meatballs to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5-7 minutes.
  • If you find that the spaghetti squash has released a lot of water during storage, you can drain it before reheating to prevent the dish from becoming too watery. Simply place the spaghetti squash in a colander and let it drain for a few minutes before reheating.
  • To add some extra flavor to your reheated spaghetti squash and meatballs, try sprinkling some fresh basil or oregano on top before serving. You can also grate some fresh Parmesan cheese over the top for an extra burst of flavor.

Random Fact about Spaghetti and Meatballs: Paleo Style Recipe

Spaghetti squash is a great low-carb alternative to traditional pasta, providing a healthier option for those looking to reduce their carbohydrate intake. It's also a good source of fiber and contains beneficial nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium. This makes it a versatile ingredient for those following a paleo diet, as it can be used as a substitute for pasta in various recipes.

Is Making Paleo Style Spaghetti and Meatballs at Home Cost-Effective?

This spaghetti and meatballs: paleo style recipe offers a moderate level of cost-effectiveness. The use of lean ground beef and quinoa as the main protein sources may increase the overall cost, but the inclusion of spaghetti squash instead of traditional pasta helps balance the expenses. The variety of vegetables and herbs adds nutritional value and flavor, making it a worthwhile investment. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $25-$30. Overall Verdict: 8/10.

Is This Paleo Style Recipe Healthy or Unhealthy?

This paleo-style spaghetti and meatballs recipe is a healthier twist on the classic dish. It incorporates several nutritious ingredients such as lean ground beef, quinoa, vegetables, and a homemade tomato sauce. The use of spaghetti squash instead of traditional pasta significantly reduces the carbohydrate content and adds extra vitamins and minerals. The meatballs are packed with protein and flavored with fresh herbs and spices, while the sauce is loaded with vegetables and natural sweetness from honey.

However, there are a few areas where the recipe could be improved to make it even healthier:

  • Use a leaner cut of ground beef (90% or higher) to reduce the saturated fat content
  • Replace the milk in the meatballs with a non-dairy alternative such as almond milk or omit it altogether
  • Increase the variety and quantity of vegetables in the sauce, such as adding carrots, celery, or spinach
  • Reduce the amount of olive oil used in the recipe or substitute it with a healthier option like avocado oil
  • Consider using a natural sweetener like dates or maple syrup instead of honey to minimize added sugars

Overall, with a few minor adjustments, this paleo spaghetti and meatballs recipe can be a nutritious and satisfying meal that fits well into a healthy lifestyle.

Editor's Opinion on This Paleo Style Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

The combination of lean ground beef, quinoa, and fresh herbs in the meatballs provides a flavorful and nutritious twist to the classic dish. The use of spaghetti squash as a paleo-friendly alternative to traditional pasta is innovative and adds a delightful texture. The vegetable-packed sauce is vibrant and complements the meatballs perfectly. Overall, this paleo-style spaghetti and meatballs recipe offers a delicious and wholesome take on a beloved comfort food, making it a delightful option for those seeking a healthier alternative.

Enhance Your Spaghetti and Meatballs (Paleo Style) Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Asparagus: Tender asparagus spears roasted to perfection with a hint of garlic and olive oil.
Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts: Crispy Brussels sprouts drizzled with a sweet and tangy balsamic glaze for the perfect balance of flavors.
Grilled Pineapple Skewers: Juicy pineapple chunks grilled to caramelized perfection, bringing out the natural sweetness of the fruit.
Creamy Cauliflower Mash: Smooth and velvety mashed cauliflower with a hint of garlic and butter for a healthier alternative to traditional mashed potatoes.

Delicious Alternative Recipes Similar to This Paleo Style Dish

Grilled Vegetable Skewers: Marinate your favorite vegetables and grill them to perfection for a healthy and delicious side dish or main course.
Braised Beef Short Ribs: Slow cook beef short ribs with aromatic herbs and vegetables for a hearty and comforting meal that falls off the bone.
Mango Coconut Chia Pudding: Combine ripe mango, coconut milk, and chia seeds to create a creamy and nutritious dessert or breakfast option.
Butternut Squash Soup: Roast butternut squash and blend it with savory broth and spices for a velvety and warming soup that's perfect for any season.

Perfect Appetizers and Desserts to Complement This Paleo Style Recipe

Stuffed Mushrooms: Delight your guests with these savory stuffed mushrooms, filled with a flavorful mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs. They're the perfect bite-sized appetizer to kick off any meal.
Caprese Skewers: Impress your guests with these elegant Caprese skewers, featuring fresh mozzarella, juicy cherry tomatoes, and fragrant basil, all drizzled with a balsamic glaze. These colorful skewers are a refreshing and light start to any gathering.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse that will satisfy your sweet tooth. The smooth and creamy texture of this dessert will leave you wanting more with every bite. Pair it with fresh berries for a burst of fruity flavor.
Banana Foster: Experience the warmth and sweetness of a decadent banana foster. The caramelized bananas combined with a hint of rum create a delightful and comforting dessert. Serve it over a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delightful treat.

Why trust this Spaghetti and Meatballs (Paleo Style) Recipe:

This recipe offers a delicious and nutritious twist on a classic favorite, making it suitable for a paleo lifestyle. The meatballs are made with lean ground beef and wholesome quinoa, providing a good source of protein and fiber. The sauce features a medley of fresh vegetables and aromatic herbs, creating a flavorful and vibrant dish. With the use of spaghetti squash instead of traditional pasta, it's a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet. The combination of these wholesome ingredients ensures a satisfying and wholesome meal that you can trust.

Want to share your own twist on this classic Italian dish or discuss other Paleo-friendly pasta alternatives? Join the conversation in the Recipe Sharing forum!
Can I substitute the lean ground beef with another type of meat?
Yes, you can substitute the lean ground beef with ground turkey, chicken, or even a plant-based ground meat alternative for a different flavor and texture.
Can I omit the quinoa from the meatball mixture?
Absolutely! If you prefer to omit the quinoa, you can replace it with almond flour or breadcrumbs as a binding agent for the meatballs.
Is there a substitute for spaghetti squash if I can't find it?
If you can't find spaghetti squash, you can use zucchini noodles (zoodles) or shirataki noodles as a low-carb alternative.
Can I make the meatballs ahead of time and freeze them?
Yes, you can make the meatballs ahead of time and freeze them. Just make sure to thaw them in the refrigerator before cooking.
Can I make the sauce without honey for a lower sugar option?
Absolutely! You can omit the honey from the sauce if you prefer a lower sugar option, or you can substitute it with a small amount of maple syrup or a sugar-free sweetener.

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