Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs

Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs

8 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2014

With this spaghetti squash and meatballs recipe, you can reduce the carbohydrates and increase the vegetable servings by skipping pasta and serving the Italian-seasoned turkey meatballs and quick, homemade marinara sauce over thin strands of cooked spaghetti squash instead. Cooking the squash first in the microwave and then in a skillet to cook off the extra moisture, gives the squash a more spaghetti-like texture.

Ingredients 4 servings

for serving adjustment
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 4 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 1 3-pound spaghetti squash
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • ½ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1¼ teaspoons Italian seasoning, divided
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28-ounce can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
  • ¼- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Halve squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place facedown in a microwave-safe dish; add water. Microwave, uncovered, on High until the flesh can be easily scraped with a fork, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Scrape the squash flesh into the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the moisture is evaporated and the squash is beginning to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in ¼ cup parsley. Remove from heat, cover and let stand.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the remaining ¼ cup parsley, ¼ cup Parmesan, ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning, onion powder, ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add turkey; gently mix to combine (do not overmix). Using about 2 tablespoons each, form into 12 meatballs.
  4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs, reduce heat to medium and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 4 to 6 minutes. Push the meatballs to the side of the pan, add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, crushed red pepper to taste, the remaining ¾ teaspoon Italian seasoning and ¼ teaspoon salt; stir to coat the meatballs. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes more.
  5. Serve the sauce and meatballs over the squash, sprinkled with the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: ¾ cup squash, ¾ cup sauce & 3 meatballs
  • Per serving: 408 calories; 18 g fat(5 g sat); 8 g fiber; 32 g carbohydrates; 31 g protein; 36 mcg folate; 74 mg cholesterol; 14 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 2,728 IU vitamin A; 33 mg vitamin C; 170 mg calcium; 7 mg iron; 608 mg sodium; 1,239 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (55% daily value), Vitamin C (55% dv), Iron (39% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 vegetable, ½ lean meat, 3 medium-fat meat, 1½ fat

Reviews 8

August 23, 2019
profile image
By: Vicki VVR
Using the lower fat percentage of ground turkey/chicken (buy the 85%) allows the meatballs to hold together better. Its the low fat content that makes them crumble.
January 30, 2019
profile image
By: BPros
I added an egg to the meatball mixture. They stayed together! After cooking the tomatoes, I thought it was too bland and lacking depth of flavor, so I added about 1/2 cup of strong beef broth (I love the Better than Boullion pastes). Then I added about 1/4 nonfat milk and some garlic salt and let it simmer for at least 10 more minutes. It was really good! Meatballs had good flavor.
October 29, 2018
profile image
By: Carla Benedict
Delicious and easy to prepare. I didn't have an issue with meatballs falling apart.. I prepared and cooked the meatballs while the squash was in the microwave.
February 04, 2018
profile image
By: Lesa
Delicious. Better than I expected. Used 1/4 cup parm and 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs. For sauce used petite diced tomatoes added salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, nutritional yeast, (jar) minced garlic and red crushed pepper. Really hit the spot!
July 28, 2015
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Delicious Delicious meal. I made it per the recipe but used crushed tomatoes WITH did not carry unsalted. The meatballs were tasty, but don't 'stir' them much or they fall apart. I flipped them with a spatula. Easy to make but took me longer due to first cooking squash in microwave. Pros: Tasty sauce Cons: Took me longer time
January 30, 2014
profile image
By: Terri
It's not quite spaghetti and meatballs, but it is a very good approximation. I will definitely make it again and will share the recipe with friends.
January 30, 2014
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Instead of cooking the squash in the microwave, I decided to roast it at 400 for 40 minutes, upside down with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. I don't recommend making meatballs as they were falling apart. Something may be missing from the recipe to hold them together, such as eggs and bread. The sauce was great in meat sauce form and very easy to throw together. Pros: Very tasty and the sauce was delicious. Cons: Meatballs did not have egg or bread as a binder, so I ended up making it into a ragu.
January 09, 2014
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Low fat spaghetti & turkey meatballs I made this last night but I fiddled with the recipe. I cooked the squash whole in the microwave by piercing it all over with a knife and then just cooking it in 5 minute increments until done. When it was done, I just used it without sauteing it. For the meatballs, I replaced the cheese with a panade of high fiber bread and water. For the sauce, I added a chopped onion to the meatball pan with the garlic before adding the tomato product. I simmered the meatballs a bit longer than stated too. My guy loved them! p.s. Using an ice cream or cookie scoop makes it easy to form the meatballs. Pros: Easy to make. Tastes great! Cons: I should have bought a bigger squash
More Reviews