This comforting and savory low-carb vegan meatballs and spaghetti will leave you feeling satisfied and satiated. Plus, this recipe is high in vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, and potassium! Instead of wheat-based pasta, I opted to use a tasty gluten-free and low-carbohydrate alternative, spaghetti squash!
How to Master Spaghetti Squash
The key to achieving 'al-dente' roasted spaghetti squash pasta is to not overcook it. In fact, remove it before it's completely cooked and let it rest on a sheet pan to finish, ensuring the ‘to the tooth’ pasta-like texture.
Utilize this technique to prepare spaghetti squash bowls or lasagna! During the warmer months try it out as a cold ‘noodle’ bowl, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
How to Make a Better Vegan Meatball
Achieving the perfect vegan meatball is all about mixing methods and ingredient choices. Vegan meatballs are tricky when utilizing only vegetables and often there is a lot of added bread-crumbs or starch.
Classic meatballs contain a 'panade', a mixture of starch, panko or breadcrumbs, and liquid, dairy-based or stock. This helps prevent meatball 'shrinkage' and acts as a binder.
Luckily we don't have to worry about shrinkage with these vegan meatballs, the plant-based beyond beef patties give it structure and a whopping 20 grams of protein per serving!
Often restaurant kitchens delicately whip the meatball mix in a stand mixer for superior texture and even distribution of flavor. For this recipe, we put some of the hardier ingredients into a food processor and then gently fold them into our Beyond beef to achieve the perfect consistency.
Mise en Place is a French term for "everything in its place" and in the culinary realm refers to the setup before cooking. Make sure you have all your ingredients, and cookware, and take a breath before starting the cooking process.
How to Make Vegan Spaghetti Squash Pasta & Beyond Cauliflower Meatballs
Prep time: 18 minutes
Cook time: 30-40 minutes
Servings: 4 each, 5-6 meatballs per serving
- 1-2 Medium Spaghetti Squash
- 1 (25 oz) Jar Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce, store-bought or homemade
For the meatballs (makes about 22 1-inch meatballs)
- 1 lb. Beyond Meat Burger
- 1/2 Cup Cauliflower, florets
- ⅓ Cup lentils, canned, drained
- 2 Each Garlic Clove
- 1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
- 2 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley
- 2 Tablespoon Fresh Basil
- 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Pinch of Black Pepper and Sea Salt
- Knife & Cutting Board
- Medium Bowl
- Sheet Tray lined with Foil
- Spatula & Tongs
- Medium Saute Pan
- Small Food Processor
Step 1: Start your squash
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with foil. Cut Spaghetti Squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
Optional: Rub the inside of each half with oil and place cut-side down onto a sheet tray lined with foil.
Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the tray from the oven and let the squash continue to sit on the hot tray for an additional 5 minutes. This step is the ‘carry-over’ cooking process, the squash will continue to steam itself once removed from the oven.
Once it’s done use a fork to scrape out the inside “spaghetti” from the shells into a bowl and set aside in a warm place or pan.
If you aren’t using the squash right away, cool down the shredded ‘pasta’ in the fridge and store for up to 5 days.
While the squash is roasting move on to step 2
Step 2: Prepare the meatballs
In the bowl of a small food processor place the garlic, onion, fresh herbs, lentils, and whole pieces of cauliflower. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
If you don’t have a food processor, no worries! Purchase cauliflower rice pre-prepared and use 1-2 tablespoons each of dried garlic powder and onion powder, then experiment with dried herbs for added flavor.
Another way is to use a grater to ‘grate’ your cauliflower into rice and chop the fresh garlic and herbs. The lentils can be easily smashed with a fork and then folded into everything with the beyond meat.
In a separate bowl mix the chopped ingredients into the beyond meat using a spatula until evenly combined. Form into 1” balls and set aside on a plate or sheet tray. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
As a guide use a tablespoon measure to scoop your 1” meatballs; scoop and a half will typically yield a 1-inch meatball.
Step 3: Cook the meatballs and add the sauce
Preheat a medium-sized non-stick skillet over medium heat for 1 minute, then add oil of your choice or spray with a 1-second spray of coconut oil. Gently place Meatballs into the pan and let sear for 5 minutes, turning occasionally until lightly browned.
Add your pasta sauce and simmer for 20 minutes.
You can also bake the meatballs in a 425 degree oven for 25 minutes.
Step 4: Finish and Plate
Combine the meatballs and marinara sauce with your spaghetti squash and top with vegan parmesan cheese and fresh herbs as desired, then dig in!
Serve this recipe with your favorite Trifecta A La Carte mushrooms to increase fiber content and keep your stomach and body happy.
Consuming a nutritionally balanced plant-based vegan diet can sometimes require a bit of effort. Be sure to prioritize an intentionally stocked pantry and fridge with variety and value.
Want to load up on more amazing plant-based recipes like this? Perfect your vegan meal plan with this free meal prep toolkit. A step-by-step guide that includes meal planning templates, plant-based whole food lists, and RD advice for a healthy vegan lifestyle.