The Best Spaghetti (Squash) & Meatballs
One of my favorite meatball recipe because it’s so simple and easy to make. Unfortunately, while on Keto, I had to give up pasta (I found a substitute, YAMS!).
I cooked spaghetti squash instead of pasta, which is more carb friendly. I make the spaghetti squash using my favorite method, the Instant Pot. I know it’s not a fair substitution, but if you haven’t had spaghetti squash before, definitely give it a try.
The Best Spaghetti (Squash) & MeatballsCourse: RecipesCuisine: Mexican
Keto & Pasta aren’t usually best of friends. We use spagetti squash & meatballs for this easy to make keto-friendly recipe.
- Meatball Spice Mix
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tps Ground Coriander
1 tsp Dried Oregano
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Cumin
2 tsp Chili powder
- Ground Meat & Other
1 lb Ground Pork
1 lb Ground Beef
1 Tbs Cooking of oil
16 Oz (400 grams) Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1/2 cup Grated Parmesean Cheese
1 Whole spaghetti squash
- Prep Meatballs
- Prep the Spice Mix: Mix together Garlic Powder, Black Pepper, Salt, Cumin, Chili powder, Ground Coriander, and Dried Oregano.
- Prep the Ground Meat: Mix the pork and the beef evenly in large bowl. I usually let the meat get to room temp before mixing.
- Make Meatballs
- Shape ground meat into meat balls, about 1 inch in diameter. You can use an ice cream scoop to get a uniformly even sized meatballs.
- Heat skillet to Medium & add cooking oil. Once heated (you’ll see puffs of white smoke), add meatballs. You may have to do it in batches if you have a lot.
- Brown meatballs until almost cooked all the way through. Add fire roasted tomatoes and let it simmer until meatballs are fully cooked, abut 3-5 minutes.
- Serve meatballs on top of spaghetting squash and add garnish.
- Make Spaghetti Squash
- Carefully split the spaghetti squash in half, length wise. Scrape out the seeds and fiberous material with a spoon. Cutting the squash in half can be tricky because of the tough / slick outer skin. I normall cut the stem end of the squash so it’s flush even. This gives me a good base to cut the squash right down the middle.
- Salt & Pepper the squash to taste. You can cook the squash all at once, or keep the other half for another meal. Squash keeps in the fridge well.
- Instant Pot Method: I’ve cooked spaghetti squash three different ways, in the microve, smart oven or my favorite method, the Intant Pot (IP). Place 1/4 cup of water in the instant pot and use the Intant Pot rack so squash is not touching the bottom of the pot. Set to Manual -> Pressure High – 20 Minutes.
- Microwave Method: Use a microwave safe dish that will fit the squash. Fill the dish with about 3/4 cup of water, the exact amount isn’t important; you just want the squashes to be partially submerged and to have enough water to create steam in the microwave. Set microwave for 5 minutes on HIGH. Check the softness of squash, you should be able to poke it with a fork easily. Add 2-3 minutes if needed.
- Oven Method (longest method): Set oven to 400F (204C). Poke a few holes on the skin side of the squash with a fork. Place parchment paper (optional) + squash on a baking sheet. Once oven is at 400F (204C), place baking sheet in the oven and set timer for 35-40 minutes.
- Once the squash is cooked through, scrape the inside gently with a fork and it will start to fall apart into noodles.
Instant Pot & Why It’s Perfect for the Keto Diet
If you don’t have an Instant Pot, maybe it’s time to give it a chance? Like most people, ‘pressure cooking’ anything is a scary proposition. But hear me out, the Instant Pot is such a versatile multi-cooker that I got rid of my crockpot & pressure cooker in the same week I bought the Instant Pot.
The possibilities of what you can do with the IP are limitless, and it’s perfect for starting your keto diet, here’s why.
- Cooking Made Faster: Cook anything, whole chicken, vegetables, roast, yogurt, and the list goes on. It does everything faster.
- Cooking Made Easier: Have you checked Pinterest for Instant Pot recipes? It’s insane. People love this versatile multi-cooker, it’s made cooks out of non-cookers. Throw everything in the pot, set the time and you’re good to go!
- Save money: Cooking at home can be a huge hassle, especially if you don’t consider yourself a good ‘cook’ or you don’t know how to cook. That’s OK. But the Instant Pot is a great tool to teach you how to cook well and save money at the same time.
- Recipes Galore: If you can think of a recipe, it’s probably been done in an Instant Pot.
One of the biggest barries to people having a successful diet is that cooking at home can be daunting. I think the Instant Pot is a great kitchen tool, but also a wise investment in yourself & your health. The biggest benefit of owning an Instant Pot is the ease in which you can make great tasting food.