|Roasted Spaghetti Squash served with a simple homemade tomato sauce and chicken sausage meatballs is a quick and healthy dinner.|
I'm not sure why I was a little slow to warm up to the idea of spaghetti squash as a replacement for pasta, because I certainly enjoyed it when I made Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin and Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Parmesan. Whatever the reason (and I can't blame everything on moving, can I?) this is the very first time I've ever cooked spaghetti squash to serve with tomato sauce, and it was really quite delish. It's true you don't get the feel of biting into al dente spaghetti, but the trade-off for a low-glycemic Italian dinner is a pretty good one. In this recipe I used Sabatino's Roasted Garlic and Basil Chicken Meatballs, which is another one of my Costco finds, but you can use any kind of chicken or turkey meatballs that appeal to you.
Maybe the hardest part of this recipe is cutting the spaghetti squash into four sections so you can season it and so it will roast a little faster. Some people recommend microwaving it for a few minutes to make it easier to cut through the skin, but I haven't had to do that. I seasoned the squash with Italian Herb Blend from The Spice House, and roasted it at 400F/200C for about 50 minutes.
While the squash cooks make the sauce. Start by sauteeing a generous amount of freshly minced garlic in olive oil.
While the sauce simmers, brown the meatballs. (My apologies for requiring you to dirty two pans, but I really think you need to get the sauce simmering before you cook the meatballs.)
The spaghetti squash is done when it strings apart easily with a fork, but is still firm enough to stay together in strings of "spaghetti."
I used a medium-large spaghetti squash, which made four servings, with each person getting 3 chicken meatballs and a generous amount of sauce. Serve with freshly-grated Parmesan if you have some!
(Makes 4 servings; recipe created by Kalyn when she discovered Sabatino's Roasted Garlic and Basil Chicken Meatballs at Costco and decided to experiment with it.)
Ingredients for Squash:
1 medium-large spaghetti squash
olive oil mister, to spray the squash (or you can brush it with olive oil if you don't have a mister.)
1 T Italian Herb Blend (I like Italian Herb Blend from The Spice House.)
Ingredients for Sauce and Meatballs:
2 T freshly minced garlic (do not use garlic from a jar)
1 T + 2 tsp. olive oil
2 cans (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes
1 small can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tsp. Italian Herb Blend
1/4 tsp. ground fennel
12 meatballs (Use chicken or turkey meatballs for the South Beach Diet. I used Sabatino's Roasted Garlic and Basil Chicken Meatballs.)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)
Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and then cut each half lengthwise again to make four pieces. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil or non-stick spray and put the spaghetti squash on the baking sheet. Spray or brush the top side of each squash with olive oil and then sprinkle each piece with about 3/4 teaspoon of Italian Herb Blend. Roast the squash until it strings apart easily with a fork, about 50 minutes.
While the squash cooks, heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and saute the minced garlic just until it starts to barely show some color. (Don't overcook the garlic or it will be bitter.) Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken stock, 2 tsp. Italian Herb Blend, and ground fennel and let the sauce come to a simmer.
In another large frying pan, heat the 2 tsp. of olive oil and cook the meatballs until they are nicely browned on all sides. When meatballs are browned, add them to the sauce and continue to simmer over low heat.
When the spaghetti squash is done, scrape each piece with a fork to shred the squash apart into "spaghetti," discarding the skin. Arrange the shredded squash on four plates, top each one with 3 meatballs, and spoon sauce over the top. Serve hot, with freshly grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
South Beach Suggestions:
Spaghetti squash is such a low-glycemic food that it's even approved for Phase One of the South Beach Diet. The Sabatino's Roasted Garlic and Basil Chicken Meatballs have 8 grams of fat (2 grams saturated fat) and 2 carbs in the serving size of 3 meatballs I used, which I think makes this a good choice for any phase of the South Beach Diet.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.
More Tasty Ideas with Spaghetti Squash:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Oven Baked Stuffed Squash Boats ~ Dine and Dish
Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Spaghetti Squash New Mexican with Black Beans and Lime ~ Gluten Free Goddess
Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Parmesan ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Spaghetti Squash with Sausage ~ White on Rice Couple
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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