Baked Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs
I have an awesome recipe to share with you today! It's the fusion of two of my earlier recipes and is so yummy. But before we get into my Baked Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs recipe, I need to discuss something…
When I sat down to write this post, I knew exactly what I wanted to share, but I was completely STUMPED by the title. The word “meatball” had me in a tizzy. I didn’t want to advertise that this recipe includes meat, but I also had no idea what to call it. No-meat balls? Sounds lacking. Hippie balls? Cute but also … not cute. Veggie balls? Not quite made of veggies. So, I took to the internet to read the opinions of others.
Not only did most people appreciate/understand the idea of a vegan meatball over other wordy alternatives, BUT it was also clarified that “meat” is not narrowed down to refer only to the flesh of an animal. Today, and always on Eating the Rainbow, we will focus on definition #2 in the fuzzy screenshot “FOOD OF ANY KIND”! I figured I would share this with you because some people get confused when non-animal products share the same title as animal products (e.g. meatballs), but have no fear! This is only to keep with the traditional titles of these dishes and help people find vegan alternatives to their usual faves. I don’t think many people will google “spaghetti squash and hippie balls," but you never know.
Alright, now let’s get to the fun stuff! BAKED SPAGHETTI SQUASH AND MEATBALLS!
First things first, let’s prep the Pasta Sauce! You can also opt for canned tomato sauce for Baked Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs, but this is my favourite pasta sauce.
Slow Cooker Pasta Sauce
1 Onion finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic minced
1 Carrot peeled and shredded
1/2 Bell Pepper sliced
2 cans Diced Tomatoes
1 can Tomato Paste, roughly 150g
1 can Pasta Sauce
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 pinch Turmeric
1.5 tbsp Mixed Italian Herbs dried
1 tsp Rosemary dried
1 pinch Stevia or any natural sweetener - optional
1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
Warm non-stick skillet on medium/high heat. Once warm, lower to medium heat and sautee chopped onion and minced garlic until softened - roughly 5-8 minutes (you may add a little water while cooking). Add the shredded carrot and peppers, sautee for another 3-5 minutes and remove from heat.
Pour the sauteed vegetables, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato sauce into the slow cooker. Stir and fold everything in.
Add the olive oil, salt, pepper, Italian herbs, Rosemary, Turmeric, Stevia, and Nutritional Yeast to the slow cooker. Stir.
Turn the slow cooker on to the "low" setting. Cover and allow to cook for 8 hours.
Stir and serve or allow to cool and freeze for another night. Enjoy!
* I like to make big batches of this sauce and FREEZE! That way, I defrost the sauce in a saucepan rather than whipping it from scratch. If you are making ahead and defrosting, you can place this in a skillet before placing the spaghetti squash in the oven. ** You can sub for store-bought sauce, but homemade is worth it. *** Also, if you don’t own/want to use a slow cooker, you could adapt steps 2-4 and pour ingredients into a pot or skillet with the veggies instead. Cook on low/medium-low heat until all the flavours combine (the longer you cook, the better it will combine, but it can take as quickly as 30 minutes!)
1 Spaghetti Squash washed
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with foil or spray with nonstick spray.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. (This part is fun because it reminds me of the Halloween season)
Drizzle with olive oil and lightly rub onto the squash halves - sprinkle on the salt and pepper.
Lay the squash halves onto a baking sheet (cut side down).
Place into oven and cook for about 35-45 minutes, depending on the size of your squash.
Remove the squash from the oven and cool for 1-2 minutes.
Scrape the squash with a fork and create spaghetti-like strands.
* I usually whip up two spaghetti squash (four halves) and bake them for 45 minutes for this recipe.
Alright, so you have your sauce on the skillet (or cooked in the slow cooker) and your squash in the oven – it's time to add the meatballs! My favourite meatballs are the Gardein Meatless Meatballs. Lightly brown on a skillet, then add these babies to the sauce to cook together. If you slow-cooked the sauce, add meatballs to a skillet, take about 1/3 – 1/4 of the sauce (depending on how saucy you like your spaghetti) and simmer over low heat. The remainder of the sauce can be frozen or used for another dish!
Set out your meal prep containers and prepare your meals (or enjoy them immediately)! Spaghetti squash noodles, sauce, meatballs, and I usually also like to add a veggie (Brussels sprouts, broccoli, zucchini, you name it).
This is one of my absolute favourite recipes, especially in the colder months, and is SOOO EASY to make! Start by whipping up pasta sauce (or, to make this even easier, use your favourite canned sauce). Add meatballs to the simmering sauce, bake the squash … and put it all together! VIOLA!
I hope you enjoy Baked Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs as much as I do!! <3