This Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs recipe is a low carb, keto friendly version of the classic spaghetti & meatballs.
Ah, the classic Spaghetti & Meatballs. Reminiscent of that romantic Lady & the Tramp scene or the big warm bowl of comfort you used to eat.
I don’t love pasta the way some people do, as my heart lies with tacos, but I can definitely appreciate a good bowl of pasta every now and again. Especially when it includes a delicious sauce and meatballs!
Even prior to eating a more low carb diet or trying the paleo way of eating, I had tried Spaghetti Squash as a noodle. I was really curious what it would taste like and I always think it’s nice to be able to squeeze in a little extra vegetables in my diet when I can. It just makes me feel better.
Surprising to me, spaghetti squash noodles are pretty good. They aren’t pasta, let’s cut right to the chase on that. But they are a good alternative, if you’re looking for a similar mouthfeel and slurp worthy bowl.
In the summer it’s kind of nice too since spaghetti squash tends to be lighter, to not have a big heavy bowl of pasta weighing you down. It helps that my garden is bursting at the seams with fresh basil so I have plenty of that to add to all my bowls of pasta.
Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs Recipe Notes
There’s a couple of tricks here to get the best tasting bowl of “pasta”:
1) Cook the spaghetti squash properly. If you don’t, it could end up really watery which makes your sauce watery which isn’t very appetizing at all. You can see an entire post I did on How to Roast a Spaghetti Squash here.
2) Make sure you are liberal with the meatball seasonings. There’s nothing worse than a bland meatball. I’m not using breadcrumbs here, so we’re really using spices to create a well-rounded delicious meatball.
3) I don’t ever hate on anyone that wants to use store bought sauce–go for it! In fact, in this recipe, I’m going to call for it! But do yourself a flavor and liven it up a little. Store bought marinara sauces are a great starting point for you to add in even more flavor! Think of things like adding extra herbs, chili flakes, even a splash or two of wine would be a great addition.
Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs
- 1 medium sized Spaghetti Squash
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 1/2 Parmesan Cheese
- Pasta Sauce
- 1 medium sized spaghetti squash about 5 cups spaghetti squash noodles
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1-2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 24 oz. jar marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese more to taste
- half a medium yellow onion minced
- 1 egg
- optional extra seasonings of choice: I used dried oregano, 2 tsp chili flakes, and added a splash of red wine
- optional 1/4 cup almond flour in the meatballs
- salt and pepper to taste
To cook the spaghetti squash in the oven: Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Rub olive oil on sides of squash then season with salt and pepper. Roast for 50min-1 hour. Once slightly cooled, take fork and scrape out insides for noodles.
To cook the spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot: Cut the Spaghetti Squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Put it in the Instant Pot with one cup of water. Set it to high pressure for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, release pressure. Scrape the insides of the spaghetti squash with a fork to get "noodles".
To make the meatballs: While the spaghetti squash is cooking, in a bowl, combine ground beef, egg, almond flour if using and seasonings of choice (I used garlic powder, salt, pepper, oregano, and a little steakhouse seasoning). Mix until well combined but try not to overmix. Form into balls.
Heat a pan over medium heat, add olive oil or butter and then add in meatballs, turn them every few minutes, letting them brown on all sides. This should take about 10 minutes. Once cooked, set aside.
Heat another pan over medium heat, add in olive oil then yellow onion and cook until slightly translucent. Add in marinara sauce then add any seasonings you might be using. I added 2 tbsp dried oregano, 2 tsp red chili flakes and a splash or two of red wine. I also chopped half the basil and added to the sauce at the end. You could also add a splash of cream, if desired. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
Allow to simmer for at least ten minutes. Add back in meatballs. Once spaghetti squash is done cooking, add in noodles. Combine everything together.
To serve, put noodles on a plate or bowl, get a couple meatballs then top with parmesan and fresh basil, as desired.
Did you make this recipe?
I love seeing your pictures!