Spaghetti & Meatballs – a classic American comfort food. I grew up eating a lot of spaghetti, and I still love it from time to time. My love for comforting spaghetti and healthified vegetarian/vegan dishes came together in this recipe: Spaghetti Squash with Lentil “Meatballs.”
Spaghetti squash is often referred to as “vegetable spaghetti.” It’s a variety of winter squash that can be baked, steamed, boiled or microwaved – so it’s super versatile and EASY. People often use it as a substitute for regular spaghetti because it’s lower in carbs and most importantly, higher in nutrients! When you scrape the flesh of spaghetti squash out of the fruit, it comes out in strands or ribbons….hence the “spaghetti” in its name!
I used lentil balls in place of meatballs in this recipe to make it plant-based, to once again inspire you to eat more veggies 🙂 For all of you meat lovers out there, I encourage you to just give these a TRY. Lentils are a source of plant-based protein and they also provide some fiber, so they’ll fill you up and keep you satisfied. I love lentils for their earthy flavor. In this recipe, they are made into “balls” by combining with coconut flour and ground flaxseed (healthy fats, yay!).
Vegetarian & vegan dishes are often thought of as “not filling,” but let me tell you….this recipe is hearty and contains a good balance of protein, fat and carbs. These are the three macronutrients that your body needs for energy, and ideally your meals and snacks should contain all three.
Broccoli and Brussels sprouts are included in this recipe for extra nutrients. Feel free to substitute any other types of vegetable that you love!
- 1 small-sized spaghetti squash
- 2½ cups broccoli florets, chopped
- 2 cups shaved brussels sprouts
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 cups lentils, cooked
- ¼ cup onion, diced
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp garlic
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- ⅔ cup marinara sauce
- Optional: Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cut spaghetti squash in half, scrape out the seeds, and place upside down on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes - 1 hour, until tender when pierced with a fork.
- Combine broccoli florets, Brussels sprouts, olive oil and 1 tbsp garlic powder together and roast in the oven along with spaghetti squash for 25-30 minutes.
- While spaghetti squash, broccoli florets and Brussels sprouts are baking, mix lentils, onions, coconut flour, flaxseed, tomato paste, 1 tbsp garlic and Italian seasoning together in a medium bowl until well-combined. Then, use your hands to roll into "balls," (you can make them as big or as small as you want them). Place the "balls" on another baking sheet, sprinkle with parmesan cheese (if desired) and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
- When you take the lentil balls out of the oven, let them cool for a few minutes, which will allow them to firm up.
- When all veggies are done baking, add marinara sauce to the spaghetti squash. Combine the squash with the roasted broccoli and Brussels sprouts, and add the lentil balls on top.
- The recipe makes 2-4 servings (1-2 cups per serving) depending on how hungry you are!