Put a fun twist on pasta night with these mini spaghetti squash nests filled with meatballs!
If you’re craving spaghetti and meatballs, these portion-sized nests made in a muffin tin are your guilt-free answer. Drizzled with low-sugar Paleo marinara sauce and garnished with fresh basil, these baked spaghetti squash nests are perfect for meal prep or entertaining.
Spaghetti squash is nature’s angel hair pasta. Its delicate strands and lightly sweet taste complements savory recipes well. Plus, unlike regular pasta, spaghetti squash is rich in vitamins C, A, potassium and calcium.
The meatballs in this recipe are a Paleo recipe using 80% lean grass-fed beef. A bit of fat is necessary to keep the meatballs juicy and full of flavor. Almond meal is a grain-free alternative to using breadcrumbs and adds fiber to the meatballs.
Start by cutting the squash in half lengthwise and removing the seeds using a large spoon. Bake the squash cut side down for 30-35 minutes depending on the size of your squash. The squash will be too hot to handle right out of the oven, so allow it to cool for 10 minutes before using a fork to gently remove the strands into a bowl. While the squash cools, mix all the meatball ingredients together, roll them up and bake for 25 minutes, until browned and fully cooked.
To prep the nests, add an egg white to the cooled squash and stir to coat. The egg white acts as a glue to help hold the squash together when it’s baked, so do not skip this step! Next, scoop the squash into muffin tins and use your fingertips to form the nests, making sure to leave a space to add a meatball later. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Gently remove the squash nests from the muffin tins and fill each one with a meatball. Top with Paleo marinara and fresh basil, and serve!
Meatballs in Spaghetti Squash Nests
Meatballs in Spaghetti Squash Nests
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Mixing bowl
- Muffin tin
For the Spaghetti Squash Nests:
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 1 large egg white
- 1 t olive oil for greasing
- 1 cup Paleo Marinara
- Fresh chopped basil for garnish
For the Meatballs:
- 1 lb 80% lean grass-fed beef
- 1/3 cup almond meal
- 1 pasture-raised egg
- 1/4 cup curly parsley, finely chopped
- 1 t dried basil
- 1 t dried oregano
- 1 t garlic minced
- 1/2 t sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Slice the spaghetti squash lengthwise in half and scoop out the seeds.
- Place the halves cut side down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and use a fork to remove the strands of squash. Set aside to cool completely.
- Combine all the meatball ingredients together and form into medium-sized balls. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet 1 inch apart. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- While the meatballs bake, grease 12 muffin tins with olive oil. Stir the egg white in a mixing bowl with the squash. Scoop the squash into the muffin tins and use your fingertips to form the squash to the sides, creating a small nest in the center. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Remove the squash nests from the tins using a butter knife. Fill the center of each with a meatball. Spoon the marinara over the top and garnish with fresh basil.
Watch the Recipe Video Below!
Looking for Paleo ingredients? Here’s what we recommend:
Almond meal (Barney)
(You’ll Also Love: No-Noodle Beef and Spaghetti Squash Soup)
Snacking due to cravings is one of the
biggest roadblocks to weight loss. With Paleo
snacks like Macadamia chocolate snack balls,
pistachio muffins, and fig & walnut biscuits,
that roadblock will be GONE.
Snacking due to cravings is one
of the biggest roadblocks to
weight loss. With Paleo snacks
like Macadamia chocolate snack
balls, pistachio muffins, and fig &
walnut biscuits, that roadblock
will be GONE.