Spaghetti (Squash) and Meatball Bites


I LOVE ITALIAN FOOD. It’s my biggest weakness, aside from anything sweet. Or booze. I guess it’s actually #3 in the ranks of terrible things that I love. I worked at an Italian restaurant all through high school (when my metabolism was way, way better than it is now), and I ate pasta almost daily. I miss it. My happy alternative, albeit not quite as good as traditional spaghetti and meatballs, is Spaghetti Squash with turkey meatballs. I’ve tried this a million different ways, but the bite-sized form (adapted from PaleOMG) is my absolute favorite.

IMG_3076[1]Make it a Full Meal
Cook a bag full of asparagus or green beans in the microwave while your bites are baking. You probably don’t need anything else. How easy is that? (This might be the lowest-calorie, lowest-carb meal in history, and it’s filling. Woo!)

Nutritional Overview
Calories: 403
Carbs: 30
Fat: 16
Protein: 38Serves: 2
Cook time: 40 minutes (20 active, 20 baking)

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium Spaghetti Squash
  • 8-10 ounces ground turkey (I used 93% lean/7% fat)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs or rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning blend (or create your own with dried parsley, basil, thyme, sea salt, and pepper)
  • 2-3 egg whites
  • 2 cups tomato sauce, divided

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Cut squash in half (length-wise) and remove seeds with a spoon
  3. Place squash face-down on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes
  4. While squash is cooking, combine ground turkey, bread crumbs, seasoning, and 1 egg white in a bowl. Mix it all together with your hands (I hate mixing ground turkey, but it’s worth it)
  5. Form turkey into bite-sized balls. You should end up with 10-15, depending on how big you think “bite-sized” is.
  6. Add olive oil to a large skillet and bring to medium heat
  7. Add your meatballs, then add 1 cup of tomato sauce to the skillet
  8. Cook for 4-5 minutes, turn, and continue cooking for another 4-5 minutes. (You can turn the heat down a bit if they start to look overcooked)
  9. Remove your squash from the oven and let cool until you’re able to pick it up without burning yourself. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees
  10. Take a fork and scrape the insides out. This is my FAVORITE part. You’ll end up with noodle-like threads, only a little crispier than real spaghetti
  11. Line a muffin tin (or spray it with Pam). Fill the cups with your “noodles” about halfway full and push down in the middle of each cup
  12. Top each cup with a meatball, a little sauce from the skillet, and a drizzle (1-2 tsp — just a little) of egg white
  13. Bake for 18-20 minutes
  14. Serve with a bowl of spaghetti sauce (whatever was unused from original 2 cup measure) for dipping. Top with a little Parmesan for extra flavor!

IMG_3078[1]

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