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“Spaghetti” and Meatballs Paleo style (Yum!)

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So I’ve got another yummy recipe to share! “Spaghetti” and meatballs Paleo style… need I say more? :D Seriously, if you are getting that craving to devour an entire plate of pasta (yep – I get those cravings a little too often!), you are gonna love this recipe. My kiddos also enjoyed it – which is definitely an added bonus, as they don’t always like my Paleo creations. ;)

“Spaghetti” and Meatballs Paleo style

Ingredients

For the “Spaghetti”:
1 spaghetti Squash (and you really can use any veggie you please to be the substitute for the “noodles”. I’ve had success with both zucchini and butternut squash… but what’s nice about Spaghetti Squash is that you don’t need any sort of kitchen gadget to create the noodles and honestly I think spaghetti squash by far makes the best tasting noodles!)

For the Meatballs:
2 pounds ground turkey (this is what I used, however, you can use beef and/or pork)
1/3 cup almond flour
2 eggs
3 cloves of minced garlic
A handful of fresh chopped basil (or about 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (for an added kick!)

For the homemade tomato sauce (or use any sauce you please):
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced (Yes, I love garlic and my wonderful breathe! :D )
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
A handful of fresh chopped basil (or 1 tablespoon of dried basil)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon or more crushed red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking sheet. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and discard the seeds. Place spaghetti squash cut sides down on baking sheet. Bake for about 40 minutes. Once done, remove from oven and let cool.

While the squash is baking, you can start making the meatballs. Just throw all of the meatball ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands until everything is incorporated. Form into balls and place the meatballs on a baking sheet with parchment paper (if you have it), as this will help make for easy clean up when the fat cooks off while baking. I opted to do without since I didn’t have any parchment paper on hand.  Put pan in 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes (should already be preheated from the squash).

Now make the sauce or make it easy by using pasta sauce you already have on hand. For the homemade sauce, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Lower to medium heat and throw in the chopped onion. Saute for about 8 minutes, then add in garlic and saute for 30 seconds more. Lower heat a little and add in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Simmer until meatballs are done, then throw them in the sauce and let simmer for another 30 minutes or so. Now you have a killer sauce to go on your “spaghetti”!

Take a large spoon to scoop the “angel hair” pulp from the squash, and place in a bowl.

Finally throw some squash on a plate and top with the meatballs and sauce. If you haven’t completely taken dairy out of your diet, you can also sprinkle some Romano or Parmesan cheese over your masterpiece. I love me some Romano cheese!! :D

This is definitely one of my favorite Paleo Friendly meals I have made thus far!

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63 Hip Readers Commented

  • heather says:

    YUM!!! I cannot wait to try it!

  • Kelley says:

    Is the texture anything like pasta? We are trying a semi paleo diet… Btw, if you haven’t all ready, check out mark’s daily apple blog!

  • enduRUNce says:

    If only spaghetti squash wasn’t so expensive :(

    I would kill for a fresh vegetable coupon…

    • andrea says:

      How much does it cost? Around here it goes on sale for $0.80/lb which I don’t think is bad.

    • Jane says:

      Keep in mind that when you use a squash instead of noodles, you fill up faster so you don’t eat as much and don’t get hungry for things soon after eating and you feel great the next day because it is so much healthier. We are vegan so we make this a lot in our house (minus the meatballs) :)

  • Libby says:

    I made spaghetti squash for the first time tonight! It is AMAZING! I love spaghetti but if I even look at carbs, I gain 5 lbs. This meal was the best alternative I’ve ever had!

  • Lori says:

    I LOVE spaghetti squash..I just bought turnips today to try for the first time..also bought bok choy..If you have never tried bok choy, I encourage you to try that next! It is yummy cooked with shrimp! I also purchased that kitchen gadget today (that you posted) and I can not wait to try this recipe with zucchini and butternut squash (to switch it up instead of the spaghetti squash that I always use). Thanks Collin!

  • bdm says:

    Hi Collin!

    I’m not looking to eat paleo but am always looking for ways to trim calories and spaghetti squash seems like a great way to do it. (Also planning on trying your roasted turnips in place of potatoes!) I do have one question, though– how much spaghetti squash do you think is a serving size?

    It appears my grocery store only sells a 3 lb. spaghetti squash and it costs a whopping $5.07! As most couponers, I’m on a strict budget and need to estimate how far I can make one of these bad boys go… especially seeing as how pasta is always $1 or under for a whole box.

    Thanks for all you do!

    Brittany

    • Hi Brittany,

      For our family of five one large spaghetti squash makes enough for all of us. I also made a salad with our meal tonight too and we were all stuffed.

    • Lacey says:

      Brittany–you should ask your produce people if they could cut a squash in half. The store I shop @ has no problems w/ doing that!

      • Gil says:

        Our beloved Publix folks will happily sell you half :)

      • Joy says:

        Lacey.. I did this after reading someone post about it.. maybe it was you on the roasted butternut squash thread.. the produce guy gladly cut it in half and wrapped it up for me in plastic wrap….no problem.. thnx for that tidbit of info..

    • GWEN says:

      Try it w/ zuchinni (green and yellow) is much cheaper, and also w/ carrots. To get the “noodle” effect out of the veggie, you will need a “juliannie peller”. Or cut them w/ a knife it will give a “linguini” effect. Boil or saute until al dente pretty much it.

  • Missy says:

    Wow, I love these recipes. Does spaghetti squash taste like butternut squash? I want to try it so badly, but I’m afraid!!

    Collin, is there any where in particular you are getting these recipes? or do you just pull ‘em out of thin air?

    • Jill says:

      I think that butternut squash has a very distinctive flavor, while spaghetti squash tastes remarkably like… spaghetti. Very mild, almost bland. My *only* complaint is that even well done spaghetti squash is only like ‘al dente’ pasta, and I really like my spaghetti soft. But we eat it anyway! I cook it in the oven with NO water (don’t like the extra liquid it absorbs during cooking; I’ve found it hard to keep the sauce from getting super runny when we do it this way). Just slice it in half, scoop out seeds and put it flesh side up in a 375 or 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Scrape the spaghetti ‘threads’ lenthwise with a fork for that pastalike look, top with butter or sauce, and enjoy. Yum! :)

  • Hip Helper Holly says:

    Im totally trying this this weekend. even my 2 yr old said he wanted “that sketti”

  • Lisa says:

    Do you have to cook the spaghetti squash? I have never really used it before. Any tips?

  • Lisa says:

    Never mind. I guess it helps to read the entire recipe. LOL!

  • Joy says:

    Great Collin.. I have my butternut squash..and asked produce guy to cut it in half for me..thnx to one of your hispter readers..he gladly did so.. and I am going to try the butternut squash sauted and the roasted turnips..love both of those..again I did try the kale chips..not a big hit in my house.. and I enjoy so many veggies..but I can munch on raw kale (just a few pieces..due to roughage and digestion) but when I get it as a garnishment on my entrees ..I eat it.. but the kale chips let a stink in the house and I even have a great air purifier too..so have that baby going on high tonight..haha…but the smell came through the ziplock bag too..for the leftovers..was going to much on them tomorrow..but isn’t something I would do again.. sorry..

    But I am SO doing the spagetti squash..my husband makes his own homemade sauces and lets it simmer for about 4 hrs or more..then we free it for later.. we just add meatballs later if we like..I can make the turkey ones you listed and walah!!!! thnx Collin.. I am no Paleo either, but do very very little dairy, little cheese and egg..and less refined sugars and flours than I used to.

  • Joy says:

    spaghetti and freeze..oops.. sorry it’s late..sorry for any other typos in advance…

  • Angela says:

    With all this paleo talk it would be awesome to see a piece on CSA’s. I actually think a CSA is one of the most affordable and healthy ways to feed our families.

  • Joy says:

    if you have a Android phone that you can download apps..please checkout the app called..”out of milk”..it is great..it is free unless you want to pro version…it has a scan feature or you can type in what you need for your grocery list. I love the scan feature..If I am running low in something..I just scan the item and it puts it on my shopping list.. It also has a pantry list (great way to keep an inventory) and a ‘to do list’..for those errands or ‘honey do’ projects..haha..

    Collin if this link below isn’t allowed please delete…but I find it a great way to keep up w/ posts like this..that calls for different items that I don’t have in my pantry.. I just add to my OOM list.. if anyone has the pro version. it is one time $4.99…is it worth buying? I just started using it a few weeks ago.. it reads something about coupon managment..hmmm…

    http://www.outofmilkapp.com/

  • mel says:

    Thanks. Adding that on my list of veggies to try. I’m not a paleo either, but since the beginning of the year, have cut out a lot of carbs and prepackaged foods. One biggie was soda. I replaced it with drinking unsweetened decaf green tea (or decaf tea). I’ve tried splenda and stevia and they upset my stomach, so unsweetened it is! I can’t believe how that one change has already started to shrink my stomach.

    Anyway, what I want to say is that I’ve been reading a lot of comments about how produce is so expensive and many can’t afford it. It was tough on my budget as well, but what I’ve been doing – something I picked up either reading online or from a book, is to “swap this for that” So instead of buying a frozen pizza, which costs around $5 or more, I’ll buy more fresh produce instead. Instead of a bag of chips, buy one more pack of poultry or ground meat or whatever! Since I”m not buying soda anymore, I use that money to try a new food, organic or gluten free. So just swap one or two unhealthy items on your grocery list for one or two more healthy choices. I allot $20 for produce, $20 for meat, $10 for staple items (bread, milk, eggs) and $10 for misc items I might need for the week.

    I’m finding that I’m not using quite as many coupons at the grocery store as I used to, but I’m still within my grocery budget!

    • Anonymous says:

      I just started doing the same thing! I figured I’d rather have my kids eat more veggies than spend that money on a 3 month supply of Chex mix! :-) BTW – my kids LOVE chopped dates rolled in unsweetened coconut. They think they are candy! Lol If only I had known that before. Much healthier than Chex mix, right? ;)

  • Rachael says:

    For a quick cooked Spaghetti Squash. Cut in half length wise clean out seeds and place cut side up in microwave cover with a damp paper towel to keep it from drying out. Cook on high 15-20 minutes (until the “spaghetti” pulls easily from the outer rind).
    We had this for dinner the other night and it is super filling and I usually get heart burn from spaghetti and this did not give me heart burn.

  • Christine b says:

    thanks! Have been craving spaghetti & meatballs since had to go gluten free just haven’t made it around to making. My hubby brought me home 3 gluten free cookbooks today. So sweet! Love spaghetti squash, crazy hard to cut though : )

    • Deb says:

      Ugh Christine :(
      I’m headed to the diagnostic clinic Monday to get tested for Celiac. It will be very hard to give up pasta-we usually go tothis great little Italian restaurant most Saturdays…
      But I’m so tired of the stomach problems!

    • Deb says:

      You know how I finally figured out how to cut into the beast?
      I get the largest knife I have, put the cutting board in front of me and center the knife in the squash and press until it barely goes in-just enuf to hold in place.
      Then I pick it up with the knife in it and bring it down HARD on the cutting board!
      The impact gets the knife slicing thru the flesh, and I just do it 1 or 2 more times until it goes far enuf thru that I can rock my knife in it to finish cutting thru. Voila!

      • Christine b says:

        thanks for the tips on cutting Deb!! good luck with your testing, I hope all goes well for you. I love pasta too but honestly it has been ok staying away because I feel SO much better. They have some great gluten free options now and you just need to get creative. Bummer about your Saturday restaurant but hopefully you can find a new non pasta yummy dish. For me the heath benefits have been like night and day. Even my head feels less foggy. Crazy because I have had symptoms for at least a decade and it has been blamed on everything under the sun. Good luck to you!

  • Tonia says:

    Can anyone point me to the roasted turnips recipe? :)

  • Jess says:

    Thank you so much for all of these healthy recipes, Collin! I can’t wait to try them!

  • Thanks for the great recipes Collin! I’ve been in a HUGE slump lately with cooking, loving the inspiration! we have so many allergies, i get frustrated sometimes :-P

    We LOVE Spagetti Squash around here.. with 2 kids who need to be GF(plenty more who benefit from the reduced gluten) and a hubby with Diabetes… it is a highly helpful veggie! For those concerned about the cost, put planting these HIGH on your priority list for this year! They grow easy, they can even grow in a good size pot or plastic bucket… you can even support it growing upright if space is an issue (apartments…) but very well worth the work!

    Thanks again!

  • Denise says:

    Thank you for introducing this diet. I have a special medicial condition where I cannot eat sugar or yeast. I’ve been looking for a meal plan to follow for many years. Thank you for introducing this new option for me – it’s so encouraging to know that the diet can be fun and tasty. I never knew that I had all of these meal options!

  • MA says:

    Thanks to you Collin, I was “brave “enough” to branch out and buy some really nice looking Romaine lettuce last night, for one thing it just really looked much nicer than my usual leaf lettuce. :-) Think I will also try the spaghetti squash. We love squash…and spaghetti, and I already like to make homemade sauce-so sounds like a winner. You are such a gem-teaching and helping us to coupon hand-in-hand, along with encouraging us and showing us how to eat healthfuly. Big Hugs to You

  • jamie says:

    I LOVE this new side of your blog! Health eating, recipes, tips, etc. You rock!!!!

  • Stephanie says:

    My Walmart has had spaghetti squash and other squashes for $.69/lb for quite awhile now. Definitely the best price I have seen this time of year. YMMV.

  • SK says:

    That looks great! I’ll have to try it! I am loving the new healthy approach to your blog!

    I also enjoy spaghetti squash mixed with basil pesto with some tomatoes on it, yum! And, another recipe I want to try is mashed cauliflower, which is supposed to be kind of like mashed potatoes. My boyfriend is trying to cut way back on carbs so keep the paleo recipes coming!

  • Rachel says:

    Colin,

    I think everyone might agree with my request here, but do you think you many consider adding a tab for your awesome recipes?

    • Joy says:

      Rachel..click in the upper right hand corner: click to view all catagories

      Collin has most of her recipes there over time.. hope this is what you are looking for..

  • Jasmine says:

    For your consideration, Colin, check out this recipe: http://www.yummymummykitchen.com/2011/11/baked-spaghetti-squash-and-meatballs.html

    My Gram used to make spaghetti squash all the time. I had never considered doing it this way! It definitely eliminates a lot of pots and pans and it can be modified for any diet. And what kid doesn’t love their dinner in a ‘boat’? =]

  • Cheryl says:

    Thank you Collin. I am gradually steering towards a Paleo diet with your encouragement. I have googled the information and when I eat the “Paleo way” I feel so much better. Thanks for the recipes and for your wonderful spirit that comes through in all you do!

  • andrea says:

    I LOVE spaghetti squash! It is good even just drizzled with a little margarine or butter, and some parmesan cheese. Not exactly low fat—but yummy!!

  • cindy says:

    Off the topic but I did a daily deal posted on here for some cake balls or sharri berries (somthing sweet – I remember) a month or so back does anyone know what daily deal site it was or remember it? I was saving it for v-day now I can’t find it. Guess I need to figure out a way to track these deals I buy. THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR ANY HELP:)

  • Didi says:

    …So you don’t cook the squash?
    <—–fail college student

  • Emily says:

    One of my friends uses the Julienne Peeler from Pampered Chef and make zucchini noodles. They are very good! I sell Pampered Chef, so if you would like more details, just ask:)

  • Hip Helper Holly says:

    I got a fairly large spaghetti squash today. Just curious, at 5 lbs, do you think thats enough for a family of 6 or should I get another one?

  • kath says:

    We have done french cut green beans as a substitute for the noodles and it is very good.

  • Connie says:

    I don’t know anything about Paleo. but it looks like your recipes are low carb. which is what I have done for years.
    Thank You for the recipes. I am always on the lookout for a new recipe.

  • Kate says:

    I’m trying to get my husband to eat better, but I have to gradually work him into it. So I tried this recipe for our “Meatless Monday” and it was awful! I have my own recipe for meatballs and sauce, so that part was yummy, but this squash was so nasty! It was still hard and crunchy! I only bought a 12oz squash (it’s just the two of us) and I baked it for 30 minutes. It was still crunchy so I put it back in the oven and kept an eye on it … it was in for over 2 hours and was still crunchy, not al dente like noodles. I was so disappointed, especially when my husband ran to McDonalds for burgers later :( What did I do wrong?

  • Mel says:

    Wow, this is great. I have never eaten spaghetti squash or even heard of it. I finally tried the other day and I can’t believe what I have been missing. I made mine with just a little olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper and some sun dried tomatoes. Wonderful! Thanks so much! I probably would of never tried this if I didn’t see it on your site.

  • Vicki says:

    Just tried this recipe and it was amazing!!! My hubby had his doubts but he had seconds! Thank you!

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