Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Roasted Spaghetti Squash Recipe with Homemade Tomato-Garlic Sauce and Chicken Sausage Meatballs

Roasted Spaghetti Squash, served with a simple homemade tomato sauce and chicken sausage meatballs
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.

Then add tomatoes, tomato sauce, ground fennel, Italian herb blend, and chicken stock and simmer.

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.)

When the meatballs are very well browned, add them to the sauce and continue to simmer.

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."

By now the sauce should be thickened and reduced quite a bit.

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!


Roasted Spaghetti Squash Recipe with Homemade Tomato-Garlic Sauce and Chicken Sausage Meatballs
(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)

Instructions:
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.

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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.

Nutritional Information?
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.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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14 comments:

  1. I've never paired spaghetti squash with pasta sauce either! Not sure why but it might have something to do with the fact that I've always thought of it as it's own thing and not necessarily as a pasta substitute. This dish sounds delicious though! Total comfort food!

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  2. I don't cook with spaghetti squash often enough, and every time I do, I remember how good it is. Funny, but I've never made it as "spaghetti and meatballs". This looks delicious.

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  3. Joanne and Lydia, I was impressed with how much I enjoyed this; glad I finally tried the spaghetti squash as pasta.

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  4. This is one of my favorite healthy comfort food meals! Except I usually do lean beef meatballs. Love the addition of the seasononing on the squash while it cooks!

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  5. Spaghetti squash is on the menu for tonight. Now I'm wishing I had some sausage to serve with it.

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  6. I do have a spaghetti squash sitting on the counter....hmmm.

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  7. I love that I may be inspiring people to try new things with their spaghetti squash.

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  8. Love, love, love spaghetti squash! Now if I could only turn my kids onto it as well. Now I'll have to try the chicken meatballs, as opposed to our traditional turkey meatballs. I'm curious though - what's the difference when using ground chicken?

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  9. Carolyn, not sure what you mean by that question. These are pre-made meatballs. If I made my own I would definitely use turkey.

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  10. Hi Kayln, I first tried spaghetti squash with a red sauce years ago when looking for ways to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey and I came upon this recipe. I make this all the time now, and it always impresses. If it's not after a holiday, I use ground turkey - or sometimes beans for a vegetarian option. I realize this comment won't be published, due to the link to the recipe with is on another page. But I wanted to share it with you anyways, as I thought you would really enjoy it! Take care!

    http://www.fabulousfoods.com/recipes/spicy-chicken-and-spaghetti-squash-skillet

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  11. Like one of the other posters I also have a spaghetti squash on the counter just waiting to be cooked. �� This recipe looks just like the one to try. I don't think my Costco has the meatballs but I'll check to see. Thanks Kalyn for another great sounding recipe.

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  12. THIS RECIPE is absolute perfection, so delicious! I am completely obsessed with spaghetti squash and these chicken meat balls look like it would compliment it perfectly :)

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  13. Now THIS is a recipe that inspires me to cook spaghetti squash VERY soon! There seem to be a lot of variations one could have on the meatballs as well, which is nice. I wonder how it would taste with legumes instead of the meatballs, for a vegetarian twist?

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  14. Thanks Michelle. And I think this sauce with white beans or lentils would be delicious over the spaghetti squash!

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