Spaghetti (Squash) & Meatballs

You can always use regular gluten free pasta in place of the spaghetti squash, just thought we’d switch it up! The marinara sauce in this recipe is very simple, with only a few ingredients – but it really is fantastic. The tomatoes are allowed to shine through and their flavor is unbeatable.

If you normally use (canned) diced tomatoes for marinara sauce, I challenge you to buy whole (canned) ones, then crush them with your hand. I swear this makes all the difference in the sauces taste and texture (and I’m sure some traditional Italian cooks might agree with me).

SpaghettiSquashMeatballs1

Instead of gluten free bread crumbs, we use almond flour here. If you’ve never tried it, almond flour is a great substitution in places like this (or in a breading for baked chicken).SpaghettiSquashMeatballs2

I was lazy and didn’t want to use my hands to shape the meatballs, so I used my 1 1/2″ cookie baller – it worked perfectly! Sure they weren’t as tight as if I pressed them by hand, but when you’re in a hurry it works like a charm.SpaghettiSquashMeatballs3

Prepare the spaghetti squash by drizzling them with some olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper. Cover each top with foil, and bake until tender.SpaghettiSquashMeatballs5

Spaghetti (Squash) & Meatballs
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Serves: 6
Almond flour is used instead of bread crumbs in the meatballs, for a delicious change. Use gluten free pasta, or try spaghetti squash for a change.
Ingredients
Marinara
  • 2 28oz cans plum tomatoes
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 leaves fresh basil, chopped
  • Pinch dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
Meatballs
  • 1 lb ground beef (or pork)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1½ tsp Italian seasoning
  • ¾ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 beaten egg
  • ½ cup almond flour (or GF bread crumbs)
Noodles
  • 1 lb GF spaghetti, or 2 spagetti squashes
Instructions
  1. Strain the tomatoes and the juice (reserve). Place tomatoes in a large bowl and crush with your hands (this makes all the difference!). Remove any tough cores or membranes you come across.
  2. In large pot, sauté onions in oil until just starts to turn brown, then add in garlic. Cook for another 30 seconds, than add tomatoes, reserved juice, and some salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 hour (this will concentrate the flavors and reduce the sauce). Stir in herbs about 15 minutes before serving.
  4. While the sauce simmers, prepare the meatballs: Mix all ingredients together. Form into 2” balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes, then add to simmering Marinara sauce to continue cooking.
  6. To serve, toss sauce and meatballs with gluten free spaghetti, or baked spaghetti squash.
Notes
To cook squash: Cut squash in halve lengthwise, and remove seeds. Place, cut side down, on lightly greased baking sheet (or in a baking pan with a ½" of water). Bake at 400°F for 45-60 minutes or until flesh is easily pierced. You can also microwave: flesh side up, add a few teaspoons of water to squash then cover with plastic wrap or place in a lidded casserole dish. Cook at High for about 15 minutes.

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7 Comments

  1. thanks for a easy and less ingred’s. I have not tried them yet..but you can use bread crumbs tho ..right?

  2. What temperature do you bake your squash at and for how long? Spaghetti squash is my favorite GF pasta 🙂 but mine always turns out really crunchy :(. I’ve been cooking it like I cook all if my other squashes. I cut it in half length wise scoop out the seeds, sprinkle with salt then place in a cookie sheet cut side down with about a half inch of water in the bottom of the pan. Then I bake it at 350deg for about 30-35 min or until I can pierce the skin easily with a fork. With works wonderfully with acron squash but I’m having trouble with the spaghetti squash. Could you help me? Thanks 🙂

  3. I updated the recipe and added the info for cooking squash (sorry I should have included that to start with!). I personally don’t use water added to the pan when I bake it, since I find squash is quite watery as it is so when its added to a sauce I sometimes find the flavor of the entire dish gets watered down. Spaghetti squash does have a different structure than other squashes – which makes it so unique since it forms into strings when baked. So it will never be as smooth and creamy tasting as other squashes. Try cooking it at a higher temp (see recipe), then after 30 minutes, test it to see how tender it is. Continue cooking if its a bit too al dente. Let me know how it turns out!

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