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Low-Carb

Savory Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs – Carb-Conscious Dinner

About 45 minutes. Cook
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Introduction:
In the world of culinary delights, few dishes are as comforting and satisfying as a plate of classic spaghetti and meatballs. However, for those seeking a more carb-conscious alternative, we have just the recipe for you: Savory Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs. This dish offers all the flavors you love, with a healthy twist. Spaghetti squash, with its stringy texture and mild flavor, replaces traditional pasta, making it perfect for those looking to cut down on carbohydrates. Paired with succulent meatballs and a rich tomato sauce, this dish is sure to become a favorite at your dinner table.

Historical Context: Spaghetti squash, native to North and Central America, has been consumed for centuries by indigenous peoples. However, its popularity as a low-carb alternative to pasta soared in the late 20th century as health-conscious diners sought ways to enjoy classic Italian dishes without the guilt.

Preparation:

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

Step 2: Prepare the Spaghetti Squash

  • Carefully cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise using a sharp knife.
  • Scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp from the center using a spoon.

Step 3: Drizzle with Olive Oil and Season

  • Place the two halves of the spaghetti squash on a baking sheet, cut side up.
  • Drizzle the exposed flesh with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Step 4: Roast the Squash

  • Place the baking sheet with the spaghetti squash in the preheated oven and roast for about 35-40 minutes, or until the squash is tender and the flesh easily shreds into spaghetti-like strands with a fork.

Step 5: Make the Meatballs

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef or turkey, breadcrumbs (or almond meal), grated Parmesan cheese, chopped onion, parsley, egg, salt, pepper, dried oregano, and garlic powder.
  • Mix the ingredients thoroughly until well combined.

Step 6: Form the Meatballs

  • Roll the mixture into meatballs, about 1-2 inches in diameter, and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Step 7: Bake the Meatballs

  • Put the meatballs in the oven alongside the spaghetti squash and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they are cooked through and browned on the outside.

Step 8: Prepare the Tomato Sauce

  • While the squash and meatballs are cooking, heat a skillet over medium heat.
  • Add a drizzle of olive oil and minced garlic. Sauté until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Pour in the crushed tomatoes, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Simmer the sauce for about 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.

Step 9: Shred the Spaghetti Squash

  • Remove the roasted spaghetti squash from the oven and use a fork to scrape the flesh into strands, creating “spaghetti.”

Step 10: Serve

  • Plate the spaghetti squash “noodles” and top with meatballs and tomato sauce.
  • Garnish with additional grated Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley if desired.

Step 11: Enjoy!

  • Serve your savory spaghetti squash and meatballs hot and savor the delightful combination of flavors and textures.

This carb-conscious twist on a classic Italian favorite is not only delicious but also a wholesome choice for those looking to reduce their carb intake. It’s a perfect example of how creative cooking can provide healthy alternatives without compromising on taste. So, fire up your oven and enjoy this guilt-free and satisfying dinner!

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prep time
Approximately 1 hour.
cooking time
About 45 minutes.
servings
4 servings
total time
Around 1 hour.

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl

  • Baking sheet

  • Knife

  • Spoon

  • Skillet

  • Mixing spoon

  • Large pot

  • Fork

Ingredients

  • For the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey

  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (use almond meal for a gluten-free option)

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • For the Spaghetti Squash:

  • 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash

  • Olive oil for drizzling

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • For the Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1
Preheat oven to 375°F.
2
Prepare squash and roast.
3
Make and bake meatballs.
4
Prepare and simmer sauce.
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