My childhood memories consist of running around in the neighborhood until the sun went down, CYO basketball, trying learn all the words to every song by Hanson or Ace of Base, AND Spaghetti! I think my family ate Spaghetti at least once a week because it was easy and my parents way of surviving dinner with 4 kids! I ate it so much as a kid that I wanted nothing to do with it as an adult … until recently.
I stayed away from spaghetti as an adult not only because I ate way too much of it as a kid, but also because pasta has an extremely high glycemic index which makes your blood sugar surge and later coverts the sugar to fat in your body. I tried subbing whole wheat pasta a few times, but that just never did the trick for me. It wasn’t until I came across spaghetti squash that I began a whole new love affair with spaghetti.
Introducing my Turkey Meatballs & Spinach Served Over Spaghetti Squash. You will love, love, love this recipe and it still offers the simplicity and ease of traditional spaghetti with a much better nutritional value that is also better for your waistline. According to Livestrong , in one cup of spaghetti squash you will get three percent of the daily requirement of vitamin A, iron and calcium; 8 percent of the amount of vitamin B-6 you should have; and 9 percent of the recommended dose of vitamin C. A serving even contains a gram of protein. A cup of cooked spaghetti squash has only about 40 calories. Spaghetti squash does have some carbohydrates and natural sugar, but only a small amount.
This recipe is low-carb, protein packed and can be gluten free if you choose gluten free bread crumbs. I add the spinach to sneak in some extra veggies, you can never have enough leafy greens in one day! Save time by making the meatballs earlier in the week and freeze them until you are ready for this delicious and healthy meal.
Kerry’s Turkey Meatball’s & Spinach Served Over Spaghetti Squash
This recipe was modified from Martha Stewart.
- 1-2 Spaghetti Squash ( depending on how many people you are making it for. One will feed 2)
- Olive Oil Spray
- 2 Tbsp of minced garlic
- Jar of Your Favorite Organic Tomato Sauce (try to get low-sodium if you can find it)
- 2 cups of rganic spinach
- 1/2 cup of whole wheat breadcrumbs or gluten free ( I used these)
- 1/c cup of reduced fat grated Parmesean Cheese, plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup of organic skim milk
- 1 pound of lean ground turkey
- 2 organic egg whites
- 3/4 tsp of course salt
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 425F
Cut the spaghetti squash in half with a sharp knife and scoop out all the seeds (tip: place the squash in the microwave for 3-5 minutes to soften it before cutting). If you are unsure how to cut the squash, watch this video.
Once the squash is cleaned out spray with olive oil. Season with salt pepper and 1 Tbsp of garlic. Lay flat on a baking dish, with the open flesh facing up. Bake for 45 -55 min. Check to make sure fork can pierce the flesh easily and shred it. Shred squash with fork and set aside in a bowl.
While the squash is cooking begin making the meatballs. Combine ground turkey, parsley and 1 tbsp of garlic. Whisk together egg whites and milk and add to ground turkey. Finally add bread crumbs, parmesean, salt and pepper. Mix together and form 1.5 inch balls.
Add turkey meatballs to a hot oiled skillet. Place meatballs in pan and brown all sides, rotating every 1-2 minutes.
In another pan add pasta sauce and bring to a simmer. Add browned meatballs and spinach. Cover and let simmer until spinach is wilted and meatballs are cooked through.
Add meatballs, spinach and pasta sauce to the spaghetti squash. Top with parmesean cheese and enjoy!