One of my favorite things about fall is the seasonal food… I’m not talking about pumpkin (which I covered in my last post) I’m talking about hearty root vegetables and squash. There are so many different types of squash and so many different things to do with each, have you ever had a spaghetti squash? I had never even heard of them until just a few years ago but they’re so yummy! My friend made me dinner in Idaho once using the spaghetti squash and marinara sauce and it was delicious. I’ve never made it on my own until last weekend and I’m so glad I finally tried it out. This is such an easy meal to make with so many ways to eat the spaghetti squash but this time I decided to make it was marinara sauce and meatballs.
The squash can be cooked in the oven or in the slow cooker. If you cook it in the oven it needs to bake for about an hour to an hour and a half and it needs to be cut in half. If you cook it in the slow cooker, it takes about 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low with one cup of water. Of course this will completely depend on the size but it can be cooked whole just be sure to poke a few holes in it. I had to cut mine in half lengthwise because it was so large and it took a full 4 hours on high. Whichever way you prefer, once the skin of the squash is super soft it is done.
When the squash has an hour left start making the meatballs. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix together with your hands – just be sure to remove any rings first! When the meat mixture is all combined, grab a cookie dough scoop or tablespoon and make equal sized meatballs – set them aside. I made these using a cookie dough scoop so they were about 2 tablespoons each. I actually made these meatballs ahead of time which is why I stuck them on a baking sheet, I left them in the fridge for an hour before I cooked them.
Note: You can add whatever you like to the meatballs, I didn’t use onions this time to avoid a little mess and basil could be substituted for parsley and regular breadcrumbs can be substituted as well, just add in a little Italian seasoning to the mix.
In a large skillet melt some butter over medium heat and then add in the meatballs.
You don’t want the meatballs sticking to the pan so only let them cook about 45 seconds or so and then roll them around, and keep rolling and browning until they’re all browned.
Add in the marinara sauce, turn the heat to medium-low and let this simmer for about 45 minutes. You can either make your own marinara sauce or use a good jarred kind, which is what I did this time around to make this an even easier dinner.
Remove the squash from the slow cooker and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Take a fork and scrape up the squash and you instantly have spaghetti “noodles”!!
Scoop some of the meatballs and marinara sauce over the squash and you have spaghetti and meatballs!! It’s delicious and no carbs are included!! Well, besides the breadcrumbs in the meatballs, and the French bread on the side, but you get the idea. This is a great twist on a classic comfort dish that is also bound to impress your friends and family.
- 1 large Spaghetti Squash
- 1 cup Water
- 1.5 lbs Ground Beef (or Turkey)
- 1/2 cup Italian Breadcrumbs
- 1 Egg
- 1/2 t. Salt
- 1/2 t. Pepper
- 1 t. Garlic Powder
- 1/4 cup fresh Parsley, chopped
- 1 jar Marinara Sauce
- shredded parmesan cheese to top
- Cut squash in half (or leave whole and poke holes in skin) and set in a slow cooker, add in 1 cup water. Set for 3-4 hours at high or 6-8 hours on low.
- Combine meat, breadcrumbs, egg, salt, pepper, garlic and parsley. Mix together and then make equal sized meatballs.
- Heat a large skillet or medium heat and melt some butter. Brown the meatballs. Let them cook about 45-60 seconds then stir and let cook until they're completely browned. Add in marinara sauce and turn heat to low, let simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes.
- Take squash and remove seeds and pulp, shred with fork and top with meatballs and marinara sauce.
- Don't forget to add the water with the slow cooker