Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Spaghetti Squash "Pasta" with Turkey Meatballs and Garlic Herb Marinara Sauce!

Spaghetti squash has really become one of my new favorite vegetables! I must admit I was skeptical. The first time I had heard of spaghetti squash was a few years back when a co-worker brought it to work. At the time I was eating horribly and the thought of making spaghetti squash would have never crossed my mind. Well boy oh boy was I missing out and times have changed! I swear you could totally mistake the squash for some angel hair pasta. So if you haven't tried spaghetti squash yet, now is the time to step out of your comfort zone. Trust me, you will be happy you did.

Here is what you will need for this recipe:
Adapted from Martha Stewart

Serves 4

Spaghetti squash "Pasta"-

Baking sheet or Roasting pan
Medium- Large spaghetti squash

Garlic Herb Marinara-

2 tbs EVOO (can sub with coconut oil)
4 cloves garlic chopped
2 tbs tomato paste
2 28oz can crushed tomatos
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper

OR if short on time

CLEAN jarred marinara sauce. I like Trader Joes Organic No Salt Added Marinara. What you want to look for is a sauce with little or no added sugar and few ingredients. If you don't recognize every ingredient on the label it probably isn't clean. I just add 1 tbs of Mrs. Dash no salt added garlic herb seasoning to the sauce over the stove top. I have made the sauce both ways and this is great if your in a pinch! 

Ground Turkey Meatballs-

1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs- (can be homemade by food processing day old whole wheat bread or your favorite GF bread)
1/4 cup Parmesan-reggiano
1/4 chopped parsley, preferably fresh but dried will do
1 clove garlic chopped
1/4 almond milk
1 lb ground turkey
1 large egg
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper
2 tbs coconut oil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. The most difficult part of this recipe is opening the spaghetti squash. I have yet to figure out an easy method for opening the squash. From fellow Instagrammers I have heard you can bake the squash whole or bake it in the crock pot and then the squash splits easily. This time I took a tip from
Lindsay and microwaved the squash whole for 4 mins. After microwaving chop the top off the squash and CAREFULLY split in half. Microwaving it made it easier to cut open but it still took a lot of muscle power. I must admit I have almost lost a finger doing this multiple times so please please don't kill yourself or loose a limb! Once your squash is open scoop out the seeds and pulp (save them for roasted squash seeds, sooo yummy!). Then place on baking sheet and roast in the oven for 60mins or until tender (can easily be poked with a fork).

3. While squash is roasting prepare your meatballs. Mix bread crumbs, Parmesan, parsley, garlic, salt & pepper in a large bowl. Add in turkey, milk, and egg. Mix everything together till well combined- I usually use my hands. Form mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls.

4. Now let's get the sauce going. Heat the EVOO in a medium sauce pan of med heat. Add the garlic and saute for 1 min. Then stir in the tomato paste and cook for another minute before adding the crushed tomatoes. Once the crushed tomatoes are added season with the oregano, basil, black pepper, and garlic powder. Feel free to get creative with your sauce and add in your favorite spices! Simmer on low until thickened, about 20 mins.

5. Heat coconut oil in a large frying pan. Cook meatballs in 2 batches. I like a good brown on my meatballs so I just cook them on all sides till well browned. If you like you meatballs less browned, slightly brown on each side and then pop in the oven at 200 degrees to finish cooking while you fry up the rest of the meatballs. Even when browned these meatballs are INCREDIBLY moist and I find the browning just adds another layer of flavor.

6. When your squash is done roasting and cool enough to handle use a fork to turn the flesh into strands that looks just like pasta! Serve in a bowl topped with meatballs, sauce, and some grated Parmesan if you would like. I promise you will never miss pasta again!

Check my next recipe for what to do with those lovely squash seeds that you hopefully saved :).


  1. Very healthy - can't wait to try. fyi... coconut oil is a high saturated fat which is not so healthy. I'd sub Grapeseed oil if not using EVOO.

    1. Don't fear the fat! Healthy fats are good for you and there have been many studies showing health benefits of coconut oil, including aiding with weight loss. I'd read a little more about it before ruling it out.