Spaghetti (squash) & Meatballs

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If you follow along on Instagram or Snapchat, you know I haven’t been eating super healthy lately. I’ve been super busy and haven’t been cooking at home much. I also went to Pheonix for work a few weeks ago and went on a tour de burgers: Shake Shack, In-N-Out, and Whataburger. The thing I miss most about Texas is definitely Whataburger. That honey butter chicken biscuit. Anyway, it’s been hard to get motivated to get back to cooking at home. A while ago I did Whole30, read about it here, and I loved it. I felt so much better and saw serious results pretty quickly. But since I can’t cut so many things out of my diet on a long-term basis, I’m trying to get back to the 85/15 rule: eating Whole30 for all but 3 meals a week. It’s been pretty doable the past two weeks.

It’s actually pretty easy for me to eat Whole30 most of the time because I have severe acid reflux. I mean we’re talking water gives me heartburn. And before you ask, because every person I’ve ever mentioned it to asks, yes I have tried every prescription and OTC drug possible. It’s not only heartburn but it’s constantly having a stomach ache. Therefore, Whole30 has been kind of a lifesaver.

One of my favorite recipes from the Whole30 book was the chicken meatballs. I still make them a lot because they are super easy and delicious but also really filling. You can modify the recipe in a lot of different ways. I make mine pretty plain, but they’re still really flavorful. I also got super into spaghetti squash while doing Whole30. I’d tried it a few times before, like this recipe, but I didn’t buy it regularly like I do now.

Chicken Meatballs:

1lb ground chicken

1/4 cup almond flour (optional, but makes them a little more substantial)

1 large egg

1 clove garlic, minced (optional)

1/4 onion, finely chopped (optional)

Salt & Pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

The recipe in the book calls for 2 teaspoons oregano, but I’m allergic to oregano so I leave it out. You see what a nightmare I am to cook for?

You’ll also need:

1 medium spaghetti squash

1 jar store bought pasta sauce

OR if you want Whole30 tomato sauce, which is super easy to make

1 large can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes

1 clove garlic, minced

1 onion, finely chopped

1 bay leaf

Salt & Pepper

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You’ll want to start by roasting your spaghetti squash. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Cut your spaghetti squash in half without cutting your hand off. Throw some parchment paper on a baking sheet. Coat your squash halves with olive oil, salt, and pepper and flip them so the insides are facing down on the sheet. Pop them in the oven for about 45 minutes to roast. When your squash is ready, take it out and let it rest for a few minutes. Then just use a fork to shred your “spaghetti”.

Next throw on your tomato sauce. In a saucepan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat and throw in your onion until it becomes translucent, 2-3ish minutes. Throw in the garlic and stir until it smells amazing, about a minute. Then add your tomatoes, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. You can also throw in any other Italian spices you like. Turn the heat to a simmer and cook over low heat for about an hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Be sure to remove the bay leaf when it’s ready.

To make your chicken meatballs you’ll want to wait until your spaghetti squash is finished, because you need the oven at 350. Mix all of your meatball ingredients in a large bowl and then roll into meatballs about the size of golf balls. This should make about 12-15 meatballs. In a large skillet, heat your olive oil on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, throw in your meatballs. Don’t literally throw them in you will probably get oil everywhere and burn yourself. Cook for about 30 seconds on each side, turning them a lot to keep from burning. Do this for about 5 minutes total, until they are browned all over. Then pop the meatballs onto a baking sheet with parchment paper  to toss in the oven for about 8-10 minutes to finish cooking.

This is actually a really low maintenance meal to cook which is why I like to make it on weeknights when I’m feeling lazy. You can modify it a lot of ways too which is great. The chicken meatballs are great with actual spaghetti too or zoodles, see a quick recipe for them here.

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If you try one of my recipes, send it to me! I’d love to see what you guys are trying. Or share on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with #astudyinchic!