Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti squash

spaghetti squash

I had heard of the spaghetti squash and been looking for one for a long time. They are not easy to find in the UK. Until to my delight I spotted one in my local grocers last week. Whoop!

I had heard that when cooked, the squash broke down into spaghetti like fibres but to be honest I was sceptical how good a spaghetti substitute the squash would be.

How wrong I was!

I sliced the squash in half, scraped out the seeds and placing them cut side down in a roasting dish, cooked them in the oven for an hour. I then used a fork to scrape out the insides and, voila, spaghetti-like strands that tasted mildly sweet and held their form when I mixed in some homemade pesto, seasoning and grated parmesan

They made a perfect accompaniment to some turkey meatballs -tasty but light compared to pasta. I shall be buying a spaghetti squash whenever they are in the shops from now on!


Turkey Meatballs and spaghetti squash


For the Spaghetti Squash

  • 1 spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthways, seeds removed
  • half cut of water
  • 1.5 tbs pesto (recipe below)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • freshly grated parmesan

For the meatballs:

  • 500g minced turkey
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs basil chopped
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbs sweet paprika
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce:

  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 100g cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 cherry peppers, finely sliced
  • 0.5 tbs tomato puree
  • 1 tbs basil chopped
  • 1 tbs sweet paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 200ml stock
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the pesto:

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tbs basil chopped
  • 1 tbs toasted ground almonds
  • rind of 1 lemon
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tbs grated parmesan (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste



For the Spaghetti Squash

  1. Preheat oven to 150C
  2. Place the Squash halves cut side down in a large roasting tin
  3. Pour in the half cup of water
  4. Bake for 1 hour until the skins are soft when you press down
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool enough to hold
  6. using a fork, scrape the flesh downwards into strands, into a large bowl
  7. Stir in the pesto, seasoning and parmesan

For the meatballs:

  1. Put the turkey into a large bowl
  2. Add all the rest of the ingredients and mix together with your hands until well combined
  3. With (clean) wet hands, form the meat balls and place in a container
  4. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes – 2 hours for flavours to infuse, and the mixture to firm up (meanwhile make the sauce)
  5. Preheat oven to 170C
  6. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and brown the meatballs on each side
  7. Place the browned meatballs in an ovenproof dish, pour over the tomato sauce and bake for 20 minutes

For the sauce:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onions until soft and caramelised
  2. Add the garlic, herbs, seasoning and tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes
  3. Add the tomato puree, stock and bay leaf and bring to the boil
  4. Turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes
  5. Remove the bay leaf and blitz till smooth using a hand blender

For the Pesto:

  1. Put all the ingredients in a bowl (except the olive oil) and blitz till as smooth a paste as you desire
  2. Stir in the olive oil and serve immediately or keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator

One comment on “Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti squash

  1. I just baked a spaghetti squash and packed it away to use this weekend! I’ll have to try your meatball recipe. A tip on baking the squash–you can just throw it in whole at 400 (F) for an hour and then cut it open and scoop out the innards. So much easier than when its raw and hard as a rock! 🙂

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