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Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs

In this clever variation on the classic dish, tender strands of spaghetti squash replace the traditional pasta.

  • Servings: 4
Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, September Summer/Fall 2006


For the Spaghetti Squash

  • 2 spaghetti squashes (about 2 pounds each), halved lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes with basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Meatballs

  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1. To prepare the spaghetti, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle cut sides of squashes with oil; season with salt and pepper. Place cut sides up on a baking sheet. Bake until soft to the touch, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.

  2. To prepare the sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for an additional minute. Stir in the tomatoes and oregano; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Keep warm over low heat.

  3. Prepare the meatballs. In a medium bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley, and garlic with a wooden spoon until combined. Add the milk, and stir until incorporated. Add the turkey, egg, salt, and pepper, and mix with your hands until well combined. Form mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls.

  4. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, cook the meatballs until evenly browned, turning often, about 6 minutes. Repeat with remaining meatballs. Transfer meatballs to the sauce, and simmer until cooked through, about 10 minutes.

  5. When the squashes are cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh of each squash with a fork into strands, and place into a large bowl. Serve topped with meatballs and sauce, and sprinkled with cheese, if desired.

Reviews (11)

  • katiebear554 10 Jul, 2012

    LOVE this recipe! My kids and husband love it! Meatballs have tons of flavor :)

  • hfulton 22 Sep, 2011

    Love this recipe. I made it for my boyfriend and I and we absolutely loved it. I added more basil and chilli flakes to the sauce. Very Satisfying!

  • jay1985 27 Jan, 2011

    This recipe required lots of doctoring, but turned out great. The sauce recipe is poor, I used a can of water and the whole can of tomato paste, along with quite a few additional herbs. I also baked the meatballs for heath sake, and they turned out nicely.

  • Marcey 1 Oct, 2008

    this is delicious! my kids loved it, and it was easy to make.

  • sdavisblue 12 Jun, 2008

    This was a beautiful dish with exquisite flavor. I've made it twice and it was a hit with my family and friends. What a wonderful

  • mmsrjs 5 May, 2008


  • jchatch 12 Mar, 2008

    I made this and it was delicious! The turkey meatballs were yummy! I am on Weight Watchers, so this recipe fit in great with my healthy diet. I always have ground turkey on hand and always buy a squash or two, but never thought of putting the 2 together. Very nice! I will make it again.

  • sherrib4 10 Dec, 2007

    The Meatballs were outragious ! Yummy... couldn't get my kids to eat the spaghetti squash - thoug hI thought it was tasty - now I pair it with Whole grain angel hair - a favorite!

  • mmsrjs 29 Nov, 2007

    I love spaghetti squash and cant seem to get enough of it. What kind of minerals etc does it have anyway?

  • kimberlysadowski 14 Nov, 2007

    This is an awesome meal to cut some time down if your busy, use a good jar sauce and cook up some prepared chicken or turkey sauage from your local butcher.

  • kimberlysadowski 14 Nov, 2007

    This is an awesome meal to cut some time down if your busy, use a good jar sauce and cook up some prepared chicken or turkey sauage from your local butcher.

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