An easy recipe for spaghetti squash and meatballs ensures that you will never miss the beloved high carb dish again!
Spaghetti squash and meatballs is the ultimate healthy and low carb substitute for the beloved classic. I make it often, because my kids love it.
How do you make spaghetti squash and meatballs?
In this easy recipe, I cook the spaghetti squash in the microwave, so it’s ready in just ten minutes. I use a small, 2 lb. spaghetti squash. It yields about 1 lb. (3 cups) cooked strands.
To save time and effort, I use marinara sauce from a jar . But I make sure it’s a healthy sauce with no added sugar.
I quickly bake the meatballs in the oven, and there’s no need to add breadcrumbs to them – they come out juicy and delicious.
Is it any good, though?
Yes! This spaghetti squash and meatballs dish is surprisingly similar in its mouthfeel to eating the real thing, although it’s not exactly the same, obviously.
The spaghetti squash strands are wonderful in giving you the feeling of eating spaghetti, so you won’t miss the starch. Especially if you’re used to keto and low-carb substitutions.
The only caveat: it’s best to mix the sauce into the squash strands at the very last minute, right before eating, to prevent sogginess.
Is spaghetti squash better for you than pasta?
I believe it is. Pasta is high in carbs, and wheat-based pasta is considered by some (though not all) experts as especially problematic. Spaghetti squash is lower in carbs, it’s gluten-free, and it’s quite nutritious.
If you like spaghetti squash, check out my section of spaghetti squash recipes.
What about leftovers?
If you happen to have leftover spaghetti squash and meatballs, do keep the leftovers! You can keep them in the fridge, in a sealed container, for 3-4 days. Soggy or not, they will still be delicious, gently heated in the microwave on 50% power.
Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs
- 1 small spaghetti squash (2 lb.)
- 1 lb. lean ground beef (85/15)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cups no-sugar-added marinara sauce
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Prepare the spaghetti squash: Pierce the spaghetti squash in a few spots with a sharp knife. Microwave 5 minutes; turn to the other side and microwave 5 more minutes, until soft to the touch. Let stand for 5 minutes to finish cooking. Using a sharp knife, cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Allow to cool 5 minutes, until easier to handle. Scoop out the pulp and seeds from the center, then rake a fork back and forth to remove strands of the flesh onto a serving bowl. Set aside.
- Prepare the meatballs: In a medium bowl, mix together the beef with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika and oregano. Form into 24 small meatballs. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes, until juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted in a meatball reads 160 degrees F.
- Heat the marinara sauce in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. When meatballs are ready, transfer them to the warm sauce and continue to simmer for 5 more minutes.
- Pour the meatballs and sauce on top of the spaghetti squash strands, garnish with parsley and (if using) parmesan, and serve.