Paleo Spaghetti Squash and Amped Up Meatballs

The old-school favorite, spaghetti and meatballs, is a major challenge to the paleo enthusiast. The carb-heavy spaghetti, the breadcrumbs[, milk and cheese in the meatballs, and the added sugar in canned tomato sauce are all off-limits. Try using nutrient-rich spaghetti squash as your "noodle" and turn up the flavor of grass-fed beef meatballs with tamari, tomato paste, garlic and cayenne pepper.]

Total Time:
1 hr 50 min
25 min
10 min
1 hr 15 min

6 servings

  • Spaghetti Squash and Tomato Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • One 3-pound spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup minced onions
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 3/4 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • Meatballs:
  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon tamari
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Pinch ground black pepper
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large egg
Watch how to make this recipe.
  • For the squash and sauce: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and place a rack in the middle of the oven.

  • Rub 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil on each cut-side of the squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the squash cut-side up on a baking sheet and roast until fork tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  • To test for doneness, insert a knife into the squash; it's ready when the knife goes through with little resistance. Cool the squash for at least 10 minutes. Scrape the tines of a fork lengthwise along the flesh of the squash to pull out the long, thin strands.

  • While the squash cooks, make the sauce. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the carrots and celery, and cook until the carrots are fork-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, red pepper and bay leaf. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for at least 25 minutes (the longer the better), stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.

  • For the meatballs: Combine the ground beef, flour, tamari, tomato paste, salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic and egg in a large bowl. Form about 40 bite-size (1-inch in diameter) meatballs. Place the meatballs in the sauce and simmer until firm to the touch and cooked through, about 15 minutes.

  • Plate the spaghetti squash on serving plates and top with the tomato sauce and meatballs to serve.

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