Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs Marinara is a really wonderful meal to make for your whole family, plus it’s Whole30, Paleo, and Gluten Free! I like to make the sauce in large batches, then freeze half of it to save for an easy dinner another day!
When I made this Stuffed Whole30 Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs, I was kind of at the end of my rope. The week has been a doozy. Between work, my boys and me getting sick, and staying up all night with a teething baby, I was exhausted. I was beyond exhausted by dinnertime.
But whenever I walk through a week like this, my biggest takeaway is a good reminder to make sure I always have a few clean meals at the ready.
That’s why big-batch recipes like this are in my regular rotation– I can cook once, eat some, and freeze the rest for later. Then, when the inevitable happens.. you know, sick kids, extra projects at work, gigantic meteor propelling toward earth, etc., I can just easily pull these meatballs and squash right out of the freezer for a Whole30, family-friendly dinner.
Recipe Tips: Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs
I’ve been making this recipe since I got married 10 years ago, and I haven’t changed much, except occasionally I switch out the homemade sauce for a store bought compliant one. I like Rao’s Homemade best (Check out my Whole30 Walmart grocery guide post to see a few other compliant sauces!).
When I use a store-bought sauce, I think of it as a NICE thing to do for myself every now and then. I always recommend to take full advantage of compliant convenience items whenever you can, because whatever saves you time and hassle is a good thing! I still love making homemade sauce too, of course. Remember, whatever works for you works just fine!
I have a bunch of family friendly recipes on my blog, like my Whole30 Sloppy Joe Baked Potatoes, and I think this recipe is SUPER family-friendly. All of my kids have gobbled it up, even before they had teeth.
And as an added bonus, my kids really love making the roasted spaghetti squash with me!
Their favorite part is pulling the noodles out once it’s cooked. They take turns fluffing out the squash with a fork, “making” noodles. It’s a great easy activity if you’d like to include your young kids in the cooking process!
Today I roasted the spaghetti squash in the oven, but do you want to cook your squash even faster? Check out my Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash post!
So. Much. Sauce.
Just FYI, I wrote this recipe as a double batch. Why? Because I want you to make a lot. Freeze half of it for an easy meal someday soon. If you don’t want that, then go ahead and half the recipe, but trust me. Meatballs Marinara is something you want to have plenty of!
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Stuffed Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs Marinara
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 8-12 meatballs
- 3 cups marinara sauce *see below
- 8-10 basil leaves
- salt & pepper to taste
Giant Freezable Marinara Sauce
- 56 ounces crushed tomatoes (2 of the larger sized cans)
- 2 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 white onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/2 can anchovies *optional, but be sure it’s compliant
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoons pepper
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 Tablespoon dried basil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1.5 lbs ground beef I usually use 85%
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup almond meal
- 1 Tablespoon coconut flour
- 3 Tablespoon water
- 1/2 white onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed & drained
- 3 Tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoons pepper
- 1 teaspoons olive oil
Make the Spaghetti Squash
- Preheat your oven to 350. Wash squash and cut in half from top to bottom. Scoop out seeds with a large spoon. Place each half face down on a cookie sheet and cover the bottom of the pan with water, about 1/2 cup. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until you can easily slide a knife through. Allow to cool slightly.
- Use two forks to gently pull the squash back from the skin, fluffing it a bit. Pour 1 cup of sauce into each half and mix with the squash. Fill each half with meatballs and top with marinara sauce. Put them face up on the cookie sheet and bake for another 5-10 minutes to be hot for serving.
Cook the Marinara Sauce
- In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Roughly dice and onion and garlic, and add to the pan. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3-4 minutes or until fragrant. Add all ingredients. Bring to a low boil and simmer uncovered 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf. Blend the sauce in a blender until you reach desired consistency.
Make the Baked Meatballs
- Preheat oven to 350. Finely mince the onion, garlic, and parsley. Add all ingredients except the oil to a large bowl. Using your hands, gently mix together until combined. Roll 1/4 cup portions between your hands to make golf ball sized meatballs. Place meatballs on a foil lined cookie sheet, drizzle with oil, and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.