A lightened up version of spaghetti and meatballs using spaghetti squash and bean balls. It’s gluten-free, flavorful and hearty!
Roast Squash: Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds and place in roasting pan or baking dish, cut side up. If you like you can coat with a thin layer of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt & pepper. Add about 1/4 inch of water to the dish and bake on bottom rack for 45 – 50 minutes. (You will be adding the bean balls to the middle rack about half way through.) EDIT: Alternately, you can place squash cut side down (without oil and seasonings), add 1/4 inch of water to the dish and bake the same as above (this has been my preferred method lately). For a step by step guide: How To Cook Spaghetti Squash
Mix bean balls: Start assembling the bean balls. Saute onions, mushrooms and garlic over medium heat for 5 minutes and let cool. If using the nuts/seeds, place in food processor first and pulse until coarsely ground, and continue. Also, if using old fashioned oats place them in the with the nuts to chop then up a bit. In food processor place beans, sauteed veggies, oats and herbs and spices. Pulse until just combined. Taste for seasoning adding anything extra you may like. I added in some fresh chopped basil I had on hand.
Shape and bake: Roll into balls, about 1 1/2 – 2 inches, and place on a baking sheet. I was able to get 9 jumbo sized bean balls. Put in the oven on the middle rack for the remaining 25-30 minutes of the squash cooking time, they should get at least 20 minutes. Remove both when time is up and let cool. OR…you can also cook the balls in a saute pan using a little olive oil over medium to medium high heat, turning often enough so that all sides brown (I used the oven method here).
Get ready to serve: In the meantime, heat your sauce. When ready to assemble, using a fork scrape the insides of the squash horizontally all the way around. It will pull easily from the sides resembling ‘noodles’. You will have more squash noodles than you might expect, enough to serve two with one good sized squash.
Serve: In individual bowls serve squash ‘noodles’ topped with bean balls, sauce, fresh cracked pepper, salt and some chopped fresh parsley or basil. A nice dusting of Almond Parmesan will also enhance this dish!
Serves 3 – 4
Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to five days. Leftovers were great!
If you don’t have quick oats, use regular oats but process gently into a very rough flour. Also, replace the oats with breadcrumbs if you prefer.
Try dipping your bean balls in the sauce just before serving, this will greatly enhance the visual appeal as well giving it a nice flavorful coating.
Sub in zucchini noodles, gently heated, or any pasta of choice if spaghetti squash is not available.