Whole Food Makeovers: Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs is one of my all-time favorite meals.

So, please trust me when I say that I took this whole food makeover very seriously!   

I used spaghetti squash instead of pasta and packed 3 surprising whole food ingredients into the meatballs.

If you are looking for a clean-eating, easy, and family friendly dish this one’s for you! 

This Whole Food Makeover: Spaghetti and Meatballs is just what you need if you are eating a low carb or gluten free diet. Our clean eating recipe uses ground turkey or beef and a store bought marinara sauce. You can use whole wheat pasta or spaghetti squash or a mix of the two. Our makeovers are for families who want dinners and meals that are packed with as many whole foods as possible!

By: Sammi Ricke

I would eat different versions of meatballs every day of my life. No joke!

I love to use different varieties of ground meat, spices, vegetables, and sauces to transform the humble meatball into whatever flavor suits my fancy.

My very favorite way to eat meatballs is with marinara sauce and pasta, but I really do try hard to limit how much pasta my family consumes.

This Whole Food Makeover of my favorite meatball dish is so appealing because it has all the flavor you would expect without all the carbohydrates and calories!

This Whole Food Makeover: Spaghetti and Meatballs is just what you need if you are eating a low carb or gluten free diet. Our clean eating recipe uses ground turkey or beef and a store bought marinara sauce. You can use whole wheat pasta or spaghetti squash or a mix of the two. Our makeovers are for families who want dinners and meals that are packed with as many whole foods as possible!

The meatballs alone have 3 whole food ingredients and are incredibly simple to assemble.

The secret ingredient is the finely shredded zucchini, but don’t tell your kids!

My children gobbled these little meatballs up like nobody’s business, and were none the wiser.

This is our third whole food makeover and, if you have been following along, I am sure you are starting to see a pattern.

featuread whole food family

What did our Meatloaf Makeover, Sloppy Joe Makeover, and now this Spaghetti and Meatball Makeover all have in common?

We added vegetables to our protein dish, not only increasing the moisture and flavor, but also increasing the nutritional value.

One of the easiest ways to bump up the whole food count in your favorite family recipes is by adding a variety of different vegetables to your meat dishes.

My favorite veggies to add are finely shredded carrot or zucchini and finely diced onion or bell peppers.

I add these vegetables to most of our protein dishes and the kiddos rarely even notice!  Even when they do spot a bit of green where it “doesn’t belong”, the food tastes so good they rarely put up much of a fight.

This Whole Food Makeover: Spaghetti and Meatballs is just what you need if you are eating a low carb or gluten free diet. Our clean eating recipe uses ground turkey or beef and a store bought marinara sauce. You can use whole wheat pasta or spaghetti squash or a mix of the two. Our makeovers are for families who want dinners and meals that are packed with as many whole foods as possible!

As you can see from the photos, I used spaghetti squash as the pasta. If you have not tried to substitute spaghetti squash in place of regular pasta, the time is NOW! Plus, that is just one more whole food you are adding to your plate.

Because kids can be a little tricky when it comes to switching from whole wheat pasta to a vegetable version of noodles, I would suggest mixing the spaghetti squash strands with a whole wheat durum thin spaghetti. You can find these pastas at your local grocery stores, HERE is a similar example of the ones we use.

 

Of course, if you are sensitive to gluten, spaghetti squash noodles are a perfect option!

 

If you are still wary of trying to replace pasta with a vegetable, I would encourage you to check out these other whole food pasta options.

Also, I prefer to bake a double batch of meatballs and freeze what we don’t use. I can then use the frozen cooked meatballs in another batch of spaghetti and meatballs or in a completely new dish!

While most versions of spaghetti are made with enriched pasta, a jar of spaghetti sauce, and ground beef with a side of garlic bread, we have transformed this American favorite into one healthy and dare I say, DELICIOUS homemade dish with at least 5 WHOLE FOOD INGREDIENTS. If you are wanting the best clean eating, easy, and family friendly dish this one's for you! www.groundedandsurrounded.com/recipe/whole-food-mak…-and-meatballs/

Our Whole Food Family Spaghetti and Meatballs contains at least 5 WHOLE FOOD INGREDIENTS. If you want to bump that number up to 7 or even 10, here are some delicious whole food side dishes to serve with this recipe:

 1. Serve with a side salad, think spinach, cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, and sliced almonds. If you are tired of the same old boring salads, be sure to download our FREE Digital Cookbook with 14 unique salad recipes in it.{Bumps up the whole food count to 10+}

2. Prepare these simple skillet green beans along with a 5 Ingredient Drop Bisquit.  {Bumps up the whole food count to 7}

3. These baked cabbage steaks are one of my favorites and are very simple to prepare.  I also enjoy making this creative ranch hummus dip to serve with with a few pita chips and a colorful variety of dippable veggies! {Bumps up the whole food count to 7+}

We hope you enjoy this spaghetti and meatball makeover and decide to join us for the rest of the “Whole Food Family” Series.

Be sure to connect with us on social media and join our mailing list so you don’t miss a thing.  And don’t forget…..

You can transform the health of your family one whole food at a time!

Here are some other great whole food recipes to inspire you in the kitchen:

Looking for a unique, yet simple salad to prepare for your next meal or family get together? Well, you found it! Serve this healthy and whole food recipe warm or cold! Oh, the delicious flavors in this salad! You better print extra copies of this recipe because all your guests will be asking for it! groundedandsurrounded.com
Spinach, Roasted Eggplant, and Pecan Salad
1000-1
Apple Cereal (Grain & Dairy Free)
This healthy chicken is so versatile that I use it in everything from enchiladas and taco salads to chicken lasagna and Greek inspired salads. I love having this already cooked protein in my fridge during the week to top salads or use in tacos for a quick and easy meal. This recipe would be perfect to double and put half in the freezer! Plus, it's gluten-free too! groundedandsurrounded.com
The One and Only Crock Pot Chicken

 

Whole Food Makeovers: Spaghetti and Meatballs
Print Recipe
While most versions of spaghetti are made with enriched pasta, a jar of spaghetti sauce, and ground beef with a side of garlic bread, we have transformed this American favorite into one healthy and dare I say, DELICIOUS homemade dish with at least 5 WHOLE FOOD INGREDIENTS. If you are wanting the best clean eating, easy, and family friendly dish this one's for you! Find more "healthified" recipes at groundedandsurrounded.com
    Servings
    4 people
    Servings
    4 people
    Whole Food Makeovers: Spaghetti and Meatballs
    Print Recipe
    While most versions of spaghetti are made with enriched pasta, a jar of spaghetti sauce, and ground beef with a side of garlic bread, we have transformed this American favorite into one healthy and dare I say, DELICIOUS homemade dish with at least 5 WHOLE FOOD INGREDIENTS. If you are wanting the best clean eating, easy, and family friendly dish this one's for you! Find more "healthified" recipes at groundedandsurrounded.com
      Servings
      4 people
      Servings
      4 people
      Ingredients
      Meatballs
      • 1 lb ground turkey
      • 1 cup finely shredded zucchini [squeezed dry]
      • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
      • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning mix
      • 1 tsp sea salt
      • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
      Spaghetti Sauce
      • 1 - 25oz jar spaghetti sauce
      • 1 small onion, diced
      Pasta
      • 1 spaghetti squash and/or
      • 1 box 100% whole wheat thin spaghetti
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      Meatballs
      1. Preheat oven 400. Grate zucchini over a kitchen towel and wring out as much water as possible. Place all meatball ingredients in a large bowl and combine.
      2. Use a 2 Tbsp batter scoop to form small meatballs and place on silicone lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through. Set aside.
      Spaghetti Squash
      1. Cut spaghetti squash in half. Place half of the spaghetti squash, cut side down, in an 8x8 glass pan. Put enough water in the pan to just barely cover the bottom. Cook in microwave for 10 minutes. The squash should be softened to the touch. Carefully, remove from pan, it will be hot. Place other half of squash in pan and repeat. You may need to add more water to glass pan. [Or you can roast spaghetti squash whole in the oven like Sarah does.]
      2. Once the squash is cooked, allow to cool enough that you can handle it then take the tines of a fork and scrape the inside of the squash. Place “spaghetti strands” into a bowl.
      Spaghetti Sauce
      1. In a large saute pan, saute diced onion for 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Then pour in spaghetti sauce and reduce to low-medium heat.
      2. Gently place the baked meatballs in sauce and allow the sauce and meatballs to cook for 10 minutes, covered. The sauce should come to a low simmer and then turn your heat off. Leave the lid on to keep the sauce warm until your pasta or spaghetti squash is done.
      Pasta (optional)
      1. While the spaghetti sauce is warming, bring a medium pot of water to a boil and cook your pasta according to the package instructions.
      2. Place either spaghetti squash strands, pasta, or a mix of the two "pastas" on a plate and top with meatballs and ad additional spoonful of sauce. Add a little grated Parmesan cheese and sliced green onions if desired!
      Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

      3 thoughts on “Whole Food Makeovers: Spaghetti and Meatballs

      1. Your Spaghetti and Meatballs look awesome – and I love how you have made this recipe over to be healthier! Pinned and sharing. Thank you for being a part of the Hearth and Soul hop.

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *