Maybe its the Italian in me, or my constant desire to recreate healthier comfort foods, but I’ve been having a nagging craving for spaghetti and meatballs. Welcome to the delicious recipe for spinach meatballs with spaghetti squash pasta.
Spaghetti and Meatballs is an age-old classic combination, one that peoples of all cultures, races and tastes can enjoy. It is a dish that reminds me of my childhood, of a special time spent in the kitchen with my grandfather, preparing our Sunday meal, one that always needs a place in my weekly meal rotations.
Fast forward to today where I am living with an incredibly adorable, but gluten-intolerant man, and I am in need of some food comfort. I came up with the idea of making this plant-based version of spaghetti and meatballs after thoroughly exploring the versatility of spaghetti squash. If you’ve never had the pleasure of making spaghetti squash before, now is the time.
Spaghetti Squash is a food incredibly rich in nutrients, especially vitamin C and A, potassium and manganese, and just so happens to be a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate, gluten-free pasta replacement. Its taste is quite mild, allowing it to be a glowing substitute to pasta or noodles in all recipes, which is why this recipe works out so well.
The “meatballs” are made with spinach, cheese, eggs and breadcrumbs. Pretty simple to make, and luckily the gluten-free version of breadcrumbs does not alter the texture or taste. Serve these meatballs over the spaghetti squash, and use your favorite sauce of choice. I personally have fallen in love with a jarred puttanesca version by Cucina & Amore, which was such a pleasant surprise, or you can make your own sauce, pesto or tomato-based.
I hope you enjoy this recipe for spinach meatballs with spaghetti squash pasta, and feel free to leave some comments below!
Recipe adapted from Chez us.
- For the "Meatballs"
- 1.5 pounds fresh spinach
- 1 c. breadcrumbs (gluten-free breadcrumbs work as well)
- 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbs. fennel seeds
- 1 tbs. fresh thyme, chopped
- pinch of sea salt
- 3 tbs. butter or coconut oil
- 1 medium - large spaghetti squash
- 1-2 tbs. coconut oil
- marinara sauce or pesto sauce
- fresh Parmesan cheese
- For the "Meatballs"
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
- Add spinach and blanch for 2-3 minutes, until leaves are wilted but still green.
- Drain spinach in a colander, and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Wring out the spinach, separating into small handfuls, until no water runs out of spinach.
- Place spinach on a cutting board, and chop into small pieces.
- In a small mixing bowl, beat the two eggs.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine spinach, breadcrumbs, cheese, fennel, thyme and salt. Mix.
- Then add eggs to spinach mixture and combine.
- Form "meatballs" out of spinach mixture and set aside.
- Heat butter or coconut oil in a large frying pan.
- Once the pan is hot, add "meatballs" and lightly fry. Once golden brown (about 2 minutes), flip to the other side. Cook until all sides are lightly golden.
- Set aside.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cut open spaghetti squash (lengthwise).
- Scoop out seeds with a spoon.
- Brush the inside of the squash with coconut oil.
- Place the prepared spaghetti squash on a baking sheet (you can cover with tinfoil for easy cleanup).
- Bake until squash is soft and easily can pulled from the squash skin. About 30 - 40 minutes.
- Let the squash cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Pull squash apart until it looks like pasta noodles.
- Plate and serve with marinara or pesto sauce, and top with spinach meatballs and fresh Parmesan cheese.
* Depending on your hunger level this recipe can serve 2 - 4 people.
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