January 23, 2022

Turkey-Apple Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash

Traditional spaghetti and meatballs receive a significant makeover in this one-hour main dish recipe! Instead of regular pasta, we use low-calorie, low-carb spaghetti squash, and we substitute homemade turkey-apple meatballs for the beef meatballs, which are higher in saturated fat. Fall dinners don't get much better than these Turkey Apple Meatballs. Their warmth and comfort are enhanced by a subtle hint of spice that reminds you that the season has changed. Yet even better, you can have them on your table in 60 minutes after returning home from a day of exciting fall activities! Not only that, but they're also paleo, gluten-free, and kid-friendly to boot! It's a nutritious meal that the entire family will enjoy.

Ready time: 25 minutes, Cook Time: 35 minutes, Total Time: 1 hour, Servings: 4

Ingredients: - 

  • 1 (about 3 lb.) spaghetti squash
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 small-size onion, chopped, divided
  • 1 cup shredded apple, cored
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • ¼ tsp. ground pepper
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • 1-lb. ground turkey breast
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 3 cups chopped peeled eggplant
  • 2 cups bottled pasta sauce, light chunky style
  • 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions: - 

  • Dice the Squash in half lengthwise; remove the seeds and strings. In a microwave-safe baking dish, place one half cut side down. Prick the skin all over with a fork. 
  • Microwave on High for 6–7 minutes until tender when pierced with a fork; remove from baking dish carefully. Repeat with the leftover squash half. Cool the Squash slightly. Grate and separate the squash puree into strands using a fork. (You should have nearly four cups.) Place aside.
  • Cook over medium heat in the large-size nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. Cook for 5 minutes, then add mushrooms and half of the onion. In the large-size mixing bowl, transfer mushroom mixture. Combine apple, thyme, pepper, and salt.   
  • Combine turkey breasts thoroughly. Form mixture into 1/2 meatballs, approximately 2 inches in diameter each.
  • Warm 2 tsp of the oil in the same skillet over moderate heat. Include meatballs. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes until the meatballs are no longer pink (165 degrees F), occasionally turning to ensure even browning. Reduce heat if meatballs begin to brown too quickly.
  • Meanwhile, in the large-size nonstick saucepan over medium heat, cook the eggplant and remaining onion in the leftover 2 teaspoons oil for 5 to 10 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally. Incorporate the pasta sauce.

To serve: 

  • Distribute reserved Squash evenly between four serving plates.
  • Serve meatballs and sauce mixture on top. Parmesan cheese, if desired.

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