Spaghetti squash became a real favorite during my Whole30 this January! I made two recipes and learned a lot about working with this magnificent vegetable. The spaghetti and meatball dish pictured above was absolutely delicious! I found the recipe on the emeals app and modified it to suit my liking. I’ll post the recipe at the bottom of this page.
I used chicken tenderloins and covered them with the homemade pesto. They were cooked in a glass Pyrex at 400 for roughly 12 minutes. The pesto makes the chicken so tender! I recommend doing this all the time and serving the chicken over your favorite side dish.
This pesto spaghetti squash was definitely an experiment. I made the pesto from PaleoRunningMomma.com‘s recipe and it was pretty easy to make! You’ll need a really good food processor though! I found that the spaghetti squash absorbed the pesto so quickly! I had to keep adding more and it still looked more yellow than green! I sautéed the tomatoes, cut up the chicken, mixed it all together, added more pesto (which I mixed with my hands), and found it to be rather tasty! My inspiration for this recipe came from PaleoRunningMomma.com as well. Her pictures are prettier than mine. Lol.
Both of these recipes were tasty, but I did learn that I need to pay more attention when choosing a spaghetti squash. The one I used for the pesto recipe was not nearly as tasty. I had a feeling something wasn’t quite right when my fork did not easily pierce the skin of the squash. It was probably not ripe enough. Apparently it’s important to look for skin that is dull and not shiny. I’ll be testing the skin with my finger nail next time to see if I can easily pierce it.
Spaghetti and Meatballs
This dish was SUPER easy to make and delicious. This is an emeals recipe that I got from their app. I learned that Fire Roasted canned tomatoes are excellent and add so much flavor!
Here is my version of the recipe:
- 2 spaghetti squash
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
- 1 lb organic ground turkey
- 1/2 (5-oz) pkg uncured pepperoni, diced *It’s really hard to find a Whole30 option with no added sugar. Took me a few stores.
- 1 (8-oz) pkg sliced mushrooms, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 3 or 4 (14.5-oz) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- avocado oil
- salt and pepper
- Prep the squash first because they take the longest. Note: I overheated my microwave trying to cook these the first time, so I’m using the oven from now on!
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Cut spaghetti squash in half. Scoop out seeds and stringy bits and discard.
- Drizzle the cut side with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place cut sides down on baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes or just until tender.
- Let cool for at least 5 minutes. Flip spaghetti squash over and gently run a fork down the squash to separate into strands.
- Put “spaghetti” strands in a bowl, toss with olive oil, garlic powder, and onion powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until later.
- Sauté the onion in a large pan with avocado oil until translucent (about 7 minutes). Pour into a large mixing bowl when ready.
- Combine beef, turkey, pepperoni, mushrooms, Italian seasoning, and egg with cooked onion; shape into 1 1/2 inch meatballs.
- Melt oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat; add meatballs, and cook 4 minutes or until browned and no longer pink in centers, rotating often. Remove from skillet; keep warm. Do not overcook because you’ll be heating them again later!
- Add tomatoes to a skillet; bring to a boil, and simmer 15 minutes or until slightly thickened. Return meatballs to skillet; cover and simmer 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
- Portion out spaghetti squash into bowls and cover with meatballs and sauce.
- Sprinkle basil on top. Enjoy!