Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

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Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs is packed with flavor and nutrients, making it the perfect meal for any night of the week. The spaghetti squash base is a nutritious and low-carb alternative to traditional pasta, while the meatballs are a great tasty source of lean protein. Best of all, this recipe is easy to make and can be customized with your favorite marinara sauce and toppings!

Pair this delicious dinner with some homemade Dinner Rolls and a big Italian Salad!

Finished spaghetti squash filled with marinara and meatballs, topped with fresh cheese and herbs.

Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs

If you’re looking for a healthy and satisfying meal that is simple to make, this Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs recipe is a must-try! Not only is it delicious, but it’s also packed with nutritious ingredients that will leave you feeling satisfied and energized.

The spaghetti squash is a great alternative to traditional pasta, as it is lower in carbs and calories while still providing a wonderfully satisfying texture that pairs beautifully with the meatballs. Plus, spaghetti squash is loaded with beneficial vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, potassium, & magnesium.

The turkey meatballs are a great source of lean protein, and are seasoned to perfection with a flavorful blend of spices and herbs. Don’t be scared away by the lean meat in this recipe; with the addition of a couple of “secret” ingredients (like beef bouillon powder and Worcestershire sauce), they have a surprisingly rich and “beefy” flavor. These ingredients will make you forget they’re made with leaner meat! 

Cutting the squash and scooping out the centers in preparation for the recipe.

Let’s Chat Spaghetti Squash

Here are some tips for picking out good squash for this Spaghetti Squash With Meatballs recipe :

  • Look for squash that is firm and heavy for its size. Avoid squash that feels soft or has any noticeable dents or bruises, as these can indicate that the squash is overripe or damaged.
  • Check the color of the squash. A good spaghetti squash should have a bright yellow or orange color and a smooth, unblemished skin. If the skin is mottled or has any discoloration, it may be a sign that the squash is not fresh.
  • Check the stem. The stem of a good spaghetti squash should be dry and firm, indicating that it was harvested at the right time. If the stem is green or moist, it may indicate that the squash was picked too early or is not fully ripe.
  • Consider the size of the squash. Spaghetti squash comes in a variety of sizes, but for best results, look for squash that are medium-sized and evenly shaped. Larger squash can be tough and less flavorful, while smaller squash may not yield enough “spaghetti” strands for this recipe.

Brushing the squash with oil and seasoning with salt and pepper before roasting.

How To Prepare Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is a delicious and nutritious vegetable that can be prepared in a variety of ways. If you’re looking for a simple and foolproof method, try this easy recipe that yields tender shreds of slightly caramelized squash.

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Use a very sharp chef’s knife to cut off both ends of the spaghetti squash, then slice it in half lengthwise. Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and discard them. (Or wash & roast ’em up!)
  • Next, drizzle the insides of each squash half with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the squash halves cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake the squash in the preheated oven until the interiors are easily pierced through with a fork. (The exact baking time will depend on the size of your squash.)
  • Once the squash is done baking, use a fork to fluff the interiors and create “spaghetti” strands. This step is where the magic happens – you’ll be amazed at how much it resembles actual spaghetti! Spaghetti Squash With Meatballs here we come!

QUICK TIP

To avoid injury, it’s essential to use a very sharp chef’s knife and a sturdy cutting board when preparing spaghetti squash. If you’re missing either, it’s recommended to microwave the squash for 3-5 minutes each to soften them enough to slice in half safely. 

Laying out all meatball ingredients, including panko, onions, seasonings, meat, and more.

How To Make Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs (Tips)

  • Keep the ground turkey as cold as possible. Ground turkey is easiest to form into meatballs when it’s cold, so take it out of the fridge right when you need it and be careful not to overwork it (which will also warm it up).
  • Grate the onion. While it may be a tedious step, grating the onion will give these meatballs the best possible taste and texture. No large chunks of uncooked onions, and all the great flavor will be dispersed throughout.
  • Use Panko breadcrumbs. Panko breadcrumbs are lighter and crispier than traditional breadcrumbs, which gives these meatballs a great texture.

Combining meatball ingredients and rolling them into balls for the recipe.

Tips Continued

  • Use cooking spray! When forming the meatballs, it can be helpful to lightly grease your hands with cooking spray to prevent the meat from sticking.
  • Bake the meatballs. Baking the meatballs in the oven is a healthier and more hands-off method than frying them in a pan. To ensure that they cook evenly, space them out evenly on a baking sheet and flip them halfway through cooking.
  • Use a good-quality marinara sauce. If you prefer, make your own.
  • Don’t forget to taste and season. Each component of this dish (the squash, marinara, and turkey meatballs) should be independently seasoned, but don’t forget to give everything a taste together and adjust seasonings.

Meatballs cooking in the oven for the recipe.

STORAGE

Meal Prep Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs

Storing leftovers and meal prepping with this spaghetti squash and meatballs recipe is easy and convenient! Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your leftovers and meal prep:

  • Storage: Store any leftover meatballs separate from spaghetti squash in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Reheating: To reheat the leftovers, gently heat them up in a microwave or on the stovetop with a bit of additional marinara sauce to prevent them from drying out.
  • Freezing: Leftover meatballs can be frozen (read up on the details here)
  • Meal prep: If you want to meal prep this recipe, you can prepare the spaghetti squash and turkey meatballs ahead of time and store them in separate containers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When you’re ready to eat, simply reheat and toss them together with your favorite sauce.

Using a fork to pull strands out of the spaghetti squash.

Serving Suggestions

When it comes to serving Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs, we recommend using either a homemade marinara sauce or Rao’s marinara sauce (not sponsored, it’s just our favorite!).

Top it off with a fine grating of Parmesan cheese using a microplane grater, a sprinkle of fresh herbs like parsley or basil, and a drizzle of olive oil for a burst of flavor.

As far as side dishes go: 

The finished dish, ready to be enjoyed, topped with fresh herbs and parmesan.

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Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs

5 from 2 votes
Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs is packed with flavor and nutrients, making it the perfect meal for any night of the week. The spaghetti squash base is a nutritious and low-carb alternative to traditional pasta, while the meatballs are a great tasty source of lean protein. Best of all, this recipe is easy to make and can be customized with your favorite marinara sauce and toppings!
Finished spaghetti squash filled with marinara and meatballs, topped with fresh cheese and herbs.
Print Recipe

Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs

Finished spaghetti squash filled with marinara and meatballs, topped with fresh cheese and herbs.
5 from 2 votes
Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs is packed with flavor and nutrients, making it the perfect meal for any night of the week. The spaghetti squash base is a nutritious and low-carb alternative to traditional pasta, while the meatballs are a great tasty source of lean protein. Best of all, this recipe is easy to make and can be customized with your favorite marinara sauce and toppings!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword spaghetti squash, Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs, turkey meatballs
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 4 large servings
Chelsea Lords
Calories 485kcal
Cost $12.15

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1 pound (93/7) ground turkey
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled & grated on large holes of cheese grater (Note 1)
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs (Note 2)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan (Note 3)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: fine sea salt & pepper
  • 1 teaspoon each: beef bouillon powder, onion powder, garlic powder, & Italian seasoning (Note 4)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Spaghetti Squash

  • 2 medium-sized spaghetti squash
  • Olive oil, salt & pepper
  • 3 cups marinara sauce (homemade or good store bought)
  • Optional toppings: fresh Italian parsley, freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • SPAGHETTI SQUASH: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line an extra-large (15x21-inches) sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
    Using a very sharp chef's knife and sturdy wood cutting board, cut off the stem and base of the spaghetti squash. Then, cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard.
    Cutting the squash and scooping out the centers in preparation for the recipe.
  • SQUASH CONT.: Drizzle each cut side of the squash with olive oil (1 tsp per squash half) and sprinkle with salt (1/4 tsp per half) and black pepper (1/16 tsp per half). Place the squash halves on prepared pan, cut side down.
    Roast for 40-60 minutes or until fork tender (easily pierced with a fork).
    Brushing the squash with oil and seasoning with salt and pepper before roasting.
  • MEATBALLS: While the squash is roasting, prepare the meatballs. Keep the oven at 400 degrees F. Generously grease a large (unlined) rimmed sheet pan with cooking spray and set aside. Grate the onion with the large holes on a cheese grater until you have a full 1/2 cup of grated onion. Add it to a very large bowl. Gently knead the ingredients until they are integrated, being careful not to overwork the meat.
    Combining ingredients; rolling the mixture into uniform meatballs for the turkey meatball recipe.
  • MEATBALLS CONT.: Use a tablespoon measuring spoon to scoop a heaping tablespoon of the meat mixture and roll it into an even-sized ball. Repeat with all the meat, aiming to get evenly-sized meatballs. You should get around 30 meatballs. (I find it helpful to lightly grease my hands with cooking spray to make rolling the balls easier).
    Ground turkey meatballs cooking in the oven, turning golden brown and delicious.
  • BAKE: Place the meatballs on the prepared sheet pan, spaced evenly apart. Generously spray the meatballs with cooking spray. Bake the meatballs for 18 minutes. Then, use a spatula and your fingers (careful, they're hot) to gently flip the meatballs over to the other side. Bake for another 5-10 minutes or until they are nicely golden brown and cooked through.
  • SERVE: Meanwhile, warm up the marinara sauce in a small pot on the stovetop. Once the meatballs are done baking, toss them with the warmed marinara sauce. To the squashes, fluff the interiors with a fork to make squash "spaghetti." Top the squash spaghetti with the sauced meatballs. If desired, garnish with fresh parsley and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Add additional cracked pepper and a drizzle of olive oil to the plates if desired. Enjoy promptly!
    Using a fork to pull strands out of the spaghetti squash.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Onion: Grating the onion will give these meatballs the best possible taste and texture. No large chunks of uncooked onions, and all the great flavor will be dispersed throughout.
Note 2: Panko breadcrumbs: Panko breadcrumbs are lighter and crispier than traditional breadcrumbs, which gives these meatballs a great texture.
Note 3: Parmesan: It's important to use the right type of Parmesan cheese to ensure that your turkey meatballs don't end up overly salty or with an odd flavor. Avoid using shelf-stable grated Parmesan, as it doesn't have the same flavor as freshly grated cheese. Instead, grab fresh (refrigerated) grated Parmesan. Or, grab a block of Parmesan and grate it using a microplane.
Note 4: Don't skip the "secret" ingredients. Beef bouillon powder and Worcestershire sauce may not be traditional meatball ingredients, but they add a rich, meaty flavor that will take these turkey meatballs to the next level! 

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1large servings | Calories: 485kcal | Carbohydrates: 37.9g | Protein: 32.4g | Fat: 23.5g | Cholesterol: 133.6mg | Sodium: 1738.2mg | Fiber: 6.8g | Sugar: 16.2g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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5 from 2 votes

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6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Loved this!!!! Made it for dinner tonight. First time using spaghetti squash. It was like fall in a bowl!!! Delicious!!!

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