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The Best Paleo "Spaghetti" and Meatballs

Are you ready for the most delicious meatball and tomato sauce you've ever tasted? Perfectly seasoned, low(ish)-carb and absolutely satisfying, you will love this Paleo, gluten-free version of "spaghetti" and meatballs!

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Kid-friendly, Paleo
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Simmer Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings 20
Calories 250 kcal
Author Emily Stauch

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef 20% fat, if possible
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 Tbsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 28 oz. tomato sauce
  • 12 oz. tomato paste
  • 2 cups water
  • 46 oz. tomato juice
  • 13.75 oz. crushed tomatoes

Meatballs

  • 1 lb. ground beef 20% fat, if possible
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1.5 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • 2 tsp. sea salt more to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 gelatin egg 1 Tbs. gelatin + 3 Tbs. water
  • 1/4 cups water

Base

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • sea salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

Sauce

  1. Heat a 7-8 quart dutch oven over medium heat. Add olive oil to pan then ground beef. Cook until browned.

  2. Push meat to the sides of the pan and add the onion to the middle. Cook until releasing juices and beginning to soften and brown. 

  3. Bloom fresh garlic and all dried spices in the cooked onion. This means toss the garlic and dried spices in all at the same time, stir and cook for 30-45 seconds or until fragrant.

  4. Add all liquid ingredients to the pan and stir to thoroughly mix. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low so all bubbling stops. Cook at a low temp, just under a simmer, for 2-3 hours. After an hour of cooking, taste for seasoning and adjust.

  5. Begin the rest of the instructions 1 hour before mealtime.

Base

  1. Preheat oven to 450° and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Using a very sharp knife, cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out seeds and membrane.

  3. Pour olive oil over the cut halves of the squash then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use your hands or a pastry brush to spread out over the flesh of the squash.

  4. Place cut side down on the baking sheet and roast until completely soft, 30-45 minutes.

  5. Once cooked, allow to cool on the counter then use a fork to shred into noodle-like filaments. 

Meatballs

  1. Once the squash is in the oven, begin mixing the meatballs.

  2. Using a large mixing bowl, add ground beef, pork, and dried seasoning (basil, oregano, garlic, onion, coconut flour, water, and salt & pepper). Whisk together the water and gelatin, pour over meat and seasoning, add the additional 1/4 cup water then mix meat mixture with hands immediately.

  3. Use a medium size cookie/ice cream scoop to portion the meat into even sized meatballs. 

  4. Drop meatballs into the sauce when about 30 minutes until mealtime. Cover all meatballs in sauce, raise heat to a simmer then cook until the internal temperature read with an instant-read thermometer reaches 165°, about 20-30 minutes.

Serve shredded spaghetti squash covered in delicious meatball bolognese sauce! Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

The sauce will make about 20 servings. One large spaghetti squash has about 6 servings. I usually make fresh vegetable noodles when I reheat the sauce. Spaghetti squash, sweet potato, zucchini, and butternut squash noodles are all good options!

One serving with spaghetti squash as the base contains 20 grams of carbohydrate, 17 net carbs.