Don't let spaghetti squash intimidate you! It's a big, heavy, beast of a vegetable, but if you know some simple steps, cooking it can be a breeze... and save you from mercilessly plunging a knife into the side of the squash and attempting to cut it in half while it rolls everywhere and you try to keep track of your fingers (we know you've been there!). After a couple of pokes, we let our microwave take care of this bad boy! Once you have that tackled, you can really enjoy the highlight of this dish... the meatballs! The zucchini and carrots add so much color! Combined with the marinara sauce, these meatballs stay nice and juicy. If there are leftovers, use them in a skinny meatball sub the next day! For another amazing low carb Italian dinner try our Slow Cooker Pepperoni and Chicken, or stick with the squash and try our Skinny Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce!
Recipe: Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Serving size: 1 cup squash and 5 meatballs
- 1 pound lean ground turkey (90/10 minimum)
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (plus 2-3 tablespoons more for topping)
- ½ cup zucchini, shredded (about ½ of a large zucchini)
- ⅓ cup whole plain bread crumbs
- ⅓ cup carrot, finely shredded
- 1 tablespoon basil (⅓ cup if using fresh)
- 1 tablespoon parsley (⅓ cup if using fresh)
- 2-3 garlic cloves, diced
- 2 cups low-sugar pasta sauce (look for under 8g)
- 2 large spaghetti squash
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Lightly coat 2, 9x13-inch casserole dishes with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a bowl, combine turkey, egg, cheese, carrot, zucchini, bread crumbs, basil, parsley, garlic, and spices. Fold ingredients together with hands, but be careful not to over-mix — too much mixing can dry out your meatballs.
- Roll meat mixture into 1-inch balls and place evenly in one of your prepared casserole dishes.
- Meanwhile, carefully cut the top and bottom off of the squash. Then cut the squash in half lengthwise.
- Use a spoon to scoop out and discard seeds from the middle of each half.
- Arrange squash in the second casserole dish, cut sides down. Pour 3/4 cup water into the dish and set aside.
- Place both the squash and meatballs in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes, rotating both dishes halfway through, or until meatballs are cooked all the way through. The internal temperature of the meatballs should reach 165ºF.
- When there is 10 minutes left of baking time, in a small saucepan, heat the pasta sauce over medium-high heat until it begins to bubble.
- Allow squash to cool slightly. Using a fork, loosen the ’spaghetti’ strands from the inside of the squash, scraping them into a colander so the excess juice can drain.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the pasta sauce over medium-high heat until it begins to bubble.
- Serve 1 cup spaghetti squash with ½ cup pasta sauce and 5 turkey meatballs.