Spaghetti Squash with Mushroom Marinara and Turkey Meatballs

Our first sugar/cheese/grain/chips/wine free weekend is almost over and I must admit, it was not as awful as I had anticipated. According to the Whole30 guidebook, I’m currently in the “Kill Everything” stage of the program, but really we had the best Saturday.

And to answer your next question, yes, it would have been ten times better with a bottle of wine. Just shove it, okay?

Connor and I have been married a full eight months and finally booked our honeymoon. In the 5+ years we’ve been in together, we’ve traveled together twice: Vegas and our friend’s wedding near Waco, TX. To say we’re excited to finally have a vacation all to ourselves could be the most obvious sentence ever written. But really, I think even the most seasoned traveler would be excited to go here-Playa de Muro in Mallorca, one of Spain’s Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean.


So, after the most productive (and most expensive) day we’ve had in awhile, I would have done anything to celebrate with a glass of Spanish wine. Literally anything. Instead, we realized we had less than 11 weeks to get our beach bodies in shape and fully embraced our Whole30 meal plan.

This is definitely one of those recipes you want to save for a Saturday or Sunday when you have a little more time to prepare it. But by golly does it look pretty and impressive when you serve it. Worth it.

Spaghetti Squash with Mushroom Marinara and Herbed Turkey Meatballs

Makes: 4 servings
Prep: 20-30 Minutes
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes

Here’s what you’ll need:
For the Spaghetti Squash

  • 2 spaghetti squashes
  • Fresh basil for serving
  • sea salt
  • black pepper

For the meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the Marinara:

  • (1) 28 oz. can peeled roma tomatoes
  • (1) 8 oz. can pureed tomatoes
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 cup portobello mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Here’s How:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Cut the spaghetti squashes in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place the halved squashes on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground turkey with the rest of the meatball spices until thoroughly combined. Feel free to add in some extra spices-I felt this was a little light on oregano.
  3. spaghettiHeat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Roll the meat into TBSP sized balls and add meatballs to the skillet. You will have to work in batches (this makes a good amount of meatballs!). I also found that it was easier to start by covering the skillet to make sure the turkey cooks through, then to uncover and brown for the last few minutes. Once fully cooked, transfer to a plate while the other batches cook.
  4. In a large saucepan, heat a TBSP of EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent (about 7-8 minutes).
  5. Add the garlic and sauté until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  6. Pour in the tomatoes, breaking them up with a potato masher or spoon. Add the parsley, basil, and meatballs and bring to a low simmer. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Note: Taste the sauce a few times and don’t be afraid to add additional spices! I love using real basil but always feel like I end up throwing half of it away…by all means, go at it!
  7. Add the meatballs to the sauce and keep warm on low until the squash is fully cooked-I reserved a few meatballs to serve on top.
  8. Once the squash has finished roasting, take them out of the oven and let cool for 10 minutes or until you’re able to handle them.
  9. Scrape the “noodles” out of the squashes. Top with marinara and meatballs, then garnish with fresh basil.

This looks way more intense than it actually was, but the end result was so worth it. I also loved that we have a really great, healthy lunch ready for Monday. Monday is when I might actually enter that “Kill Everything” stage. Not because of Whole30, but because #Monday.

10 weeks and six weeks. But who’s counting?


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