Skinny Sun Dried Tomato Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash are a light and flavorful way to cure your craving for spaghetti and meatballs! Lean ground turkey is mixed with sun dried tomatoes and spinach. Perfect to make ahead, freeze then bake before serving!
Originally Posted October 2013 – Pictures and Photos Updated March 2016
I thought after a few sugar filled posts and a sugar-filled weekend ahead (hello chocolate bunnies!), I thought we were due for a dish that is lighter on the hips. And boy is this it.
Despite spring finally being here, my desire for indulgent, comforting, cheese bursting, hearty casseroles that make everyone all warm and fuzzy on the inside is still rearing its head. Who am I to deny those feelings? They are darn good ones. Then Target’s flashy commercial politely reminds me of those cute swimsuits they are tempting me to come buy. But do we need a real reason to go into Target? It’s a danger zone. I am lucky to even make it out with the item I went in for. The struggle is real.
So with my thoughts of sporting a swimsuit in a couple months time, let me present to you the skinny, literally, on spaghetti squash. There is no better time to give this delicious squash a try. The nutritional stats blow pasta’s out of the water. Spaghetti squash contains 42 calories per cup, with 10 grams of carbohydrates, with 2 grams being fiber; while pasta contains anywhere from 180 to 210 calories per cup, and roughly 43 grams of carbohydrates and fiber grams varying based on plain or whole wheat varieties. Talk about a great low carb substitute! Granted spaghetti squash presents a mild flavor, appears to be similar in shape of spaghetti, but I can’t lie to you (that would ruin our imaginary friendship…) and say it tastes exactly like pasta. I would hate for you to go diving in thinking your answers from the low carb gods were answering. Wa-wa.
But what spaghetti squash does have going for it is an amazing ability to transform a usual, carb filled, cheesey dish into a delectable one that is worthy to be on your weekly dinner rotation. These types of dishes are my savor and reintroduced pasta dishes into our house, as a woman with PCOS and the underlining issue is insulin resistance, carbs are not easy for my body to process. I learned to transform our ever so popular rich, carb dense dishes into meals that were lighter on the starches yet did not fail to deliver the intense Italian flavors we were craving.
Spaghetti squash should not be feared with its oblong shape and seedy insides. They are quite simple to cook and easier to devour! Cut the squash in half and scrape out seeds. Line a rimmed baking dish with aluminum foil that is greased. Season the spaghetti squash with coconut oil or olive oil, salt, and pepper. You can also season with any herbs your little heart desires. My latest favorite is Rustic Tuscan Seasoning from CostCo. It is fabulous on everything…but next week I will probably have a new fav. Place flesh side down and roast for 30 to 40 minutes until fully cooked. Test the strands by running a fork through; if they are still slightly hard and are crunchy when you taste them, place back in oven until al dente. Just like pasta! Once cooked through, remove from the oven and let rest until cool enough to handle. Once cool enough, it’s time to get your fork on! Start scrapin’ the strands to create your spaghetti.
I can’t forget to tell you how well these meatballs freeze. You can choose to cook prior to freezing or freeze the raw meatballs then thaw before cooking. The only difference is the cooking times. I personally prefer to cook then freeze because that means I am only a few minutes away from devouring all the meatballs I can in a minute time span before my little is calling for my attention!
Now excuse me, I have a Target run to make!
meal prep tips:
Double or triple the batch then freeze! You can cook prior to freezing or freeze the raw meatballs then thaw before cooking.The only difference is the cooking times.
Make a large batch one day, then reheat with a touch of pasta sauce and serve with pasta or spaghetti squash when it is meal time. They are the perfect leftovers meal!
Tools I used to make these Baked Turkey Meatballs:
Serves 6 Meatballs + 1 1/2 cups squash + 1/2 cup marinara
Skinny Sun Dried Tomato Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash are a light and flavorful way to cure your craving for spaghetti and meatballs! Lean ground turkey is mixed with
15 minPrep Time
45 minCook Time
1 hrTotal Time
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- Olive oil, or Coconut oil
- Salt, pepper and herbs of choice
- Sun Dried Tomato Meatballs:
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 1/4 pounds 93% lean ground turkey
- 6 sun-dried tomatoes, in oil, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup finely minced yellow onion
- 1/2 cup finely minced spinach
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 cups your favorite marinara sauce
- Parmesan Cheese, shredded or grated
- Squash: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. To prepare spaghetti squash, cut the squash in half and scrape out seeds. Line a rimmed baking dish with aluminum foil that is greased. Season the spaghetti squash with coconut oil or olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs of choice. Place flesh side down and roast for 30 to 40 minutes until fully cooked. Test the strands by running a fork through; if they are still slightly hard and are crunchy when you taste if, place back in oven until al dente. Once cooked through, remove from the oven and let rest until cool enough to handle. Once cool enough to handle, scrap the strands to create your spaghetti.
- Meatballs: In a blender, add the oats and process until flour consistency.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the oat flour, turkey, sun-dried tomatoes, onion, spinach, garlic, milk, cheese, egg,
saltand pepper. Mix until just combined. Don’t over mix as it will create a tough meatball.
- In a greased baking dish, add marinara; roll meat into golf ball size meatballs. Place in marinara filled dish, and bake at 375 degrees F, for 15-17 minutes, or until no longer pink on the inside and the meat reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees.
- Once spaghetti squash is complete, divide between 4 plates, top with meatballs and marinara. Garnish with cheese, if desired.
Hungry for more lighter dishes?