Stupid Easy Paleo Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs

| March 14, 2013 | 64 Comments More

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I had been playing with the idea of doing a spaghetti squash and meatballs dish in the slow cooker (at the same time) for a while now. I decided to take a stab at it making it as easy as humanly possible. The verdict is that it worked out perfectly and will now be a lazy go-to meal for me. The squash cooked perfectly and scooped out easily as well. Exciting stuff.

 

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I only used a few non-pantry items. Easy right?

 

What you need:

  • One medium spaghetti squash.
  • One pound of ground Italian sausage.
  • One can of tomato sauce, I used a 14 ounce can.
  • 2 tbsp of hot pepper relish (optional).
  • 4 to 6 cloves of garlic, whole.
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil.
  • Italian seasoning (Oregano, Basil, Thyme) to taste, I used about 2 tsp

 

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What it looks like going in…

 

 

How you make it:

  1. Make sure you use a large 6 quart slow cooker for this recipe. 
  2. Dump your tomato sauce, olive oil, garlic, hot pepper relish and Italian seasoning into your slow cooker and stir well.
  3. Cut your squash in half and scoop out the seeds.
  4. Place your 2 squash halves face down into your slow cooker.
  5. Roll your ground sausage into meatballs, then fit as many as you can in the sauce around the squash. I was able to work in about a half pound worth.
  6. Cook on High for 3 hours or cook on low for 5 hours.
  7. Use a large fork to pull the “spaghetti” out of your squash, then top with your meatballs and sauce.
  8. Garnish with parsley if you feel fancy, and enjoy!

 

The finished product.

The finished product.

 

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Comments (64)

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  1. Judy says:

    Thanks so much for posting this. YUMMY. I can’t wait to make it.

  2. Raquel says:

    Was it hard to cut through the uncooked squash? How did you go about it?

  3. Betsy Braddock Palmer says:

    How many servings does this receipe make?

  4. Mae says:

    I just bought a spaghetti squash for the very first time ever and yours is the first recipe I intend to try for it! :)

  5. Erin says:

    Can you do half of this recipe in a smaller crockpot? I only have a 3-quart crockpot (I live alone and mostly cook for myself, so I don’t need a huge one!), so do you think it would work to just half the whole recipe?

  6. Christine says:

    What a great meal! I’ve roasted spaghetti squash and made meatballs in tomato sauce on the stovetop, but never in the crock pot. This came out great! I can never get spaghetti squash cooked just right in the oven, it’s either too hard or too squishy. I was worried that it might be mushy in the crock pot, but it came out perfectly! My only complaint was that the sauce was runny…but that was my fault since I added an extra can of tomato sauce to be able to cover the full pound of meatballs. Next time I might throw a splash of red wine to the sauce!

  7. Chantell says:

    This rocked! Two of my three boys loved it, and the other one loved the sauce and meatballs. I added some ground beef (85% lean) to the sausage to make it go farther. We will keep this one around! Oh, I forgot, its a good idea to scoop out the squash and let it drain a little more before serving it. EXCELLENT!

  8. Gail B says:

    OMG! This is so good! I didn’t have the pepper relish so I put in chili pepper seeds and from the way my mouth is burning… I put in too much! LMAO… I was able to shove the whole pound of sausage in my pot and because we stepped out of the house I think I may have slow cooked this on low for at least 8 hours. Still fantastic and the squash wasn’t yucky cruncy! Thanks so much for a fab reipe!

  9. Michelle says:

    Where can I get the red pepper relish?

    • Jason says:

      You don’t need the red pepper relish, yet most any large supermarket will have it, usually in the international asile with other Italian goods.

  10. Simon says:

    Hi. I’ve only just found this site through my g/fs pinterest…. am I missing something here? How is spaghetti allowed on the Paleo diet? Or (from loads of recipes) rice?

    • Jason says:

      It’s not literally spaghetti, just spaghetti squash. Also I do not include rice in my recipes, yet I do use cauliflower as a substitute. Hope this helps…

  11. Jamie says:

    Has this been tried with a ground turkey? Sausage has so much fat

  12. Marian says:

    OMG! This was amazing. Even my 5 year old devoured it and asked for seconds. This has defintiely earned a permanent spot in our dinner rotation. Thanks!

  13. Josie says:

    What are the nutritional facts for this? I’m doing weight watchers but I really want to try this.

  14. Liese says:

    I adore my Crockpots i own three.
    I will have to try this.. i may even try taking the ‘rind’ off the Spaghetti Squash, like you would with a butternut…

  15. Catherine says:

    This is in cooking right now! Must.make.more.Crockpot recipes! Thanks for sharing!

  16. James Carter says:

    Just finished loading the crock pot, can’t wait to eat this. I cheated and used a premade all natural spaghetti sauce because I didn’t have tomato sauce on hand.

    This is my first spaghetti squash and my first crock pot meal. My wife usually does the slow cooking :)

  17. Joe says:

    Good Stuff!
    First experience with spaghetti squash and I must say this tastes better to me than regular pasta ever has.
    Great recipie

  18. Jill says:

    I crammed TWO spaghetti squashes in my 6qt crockpot… hoping this is a hit with my 4 kids tonight! :) Love your site and am excited about trying a few more things.

  19. Lindsay says:

    This looks delicious! Will it come out ok if I leave on love for 8-9 hours instead of 5? I work all day and usually cook
    In the pot all day until I get home (don’t have a programmable crock pot)

  20. Han says:

    This was excellent. Super easy and delicious!

  21. Kim says:

    Put this together the other night and left for hubby to throw on low. Let me just easy…. EASY and YUM! It was delicious.

  22. Kim says:

    I made this tonight with ground buffalo instead of sausage, and it was really good! This is the first Paleo meal I’ve ever made (intentionally, at least), since I’ve been considering whether to try out this lifestyle, and this recipe is definitely swaying me towards yes!

  23. Angela says:

    Trying to make this with ground turkey, but the meat balls seem to be too squishy to hold shape. Was trying to avoid using rice in them for shape. Any advice? I’m starting to think even if the meatballs don’t hold shape, it can just be a meat sauce, right?

    • Laura says:

      I put the meatballs in a skillet briefly just to brown it a little. After a minute or two, I threw them in the crockpot and they came out really good! Not squishy at all.

  24. Lisa C says:

    Thank you for this recipe! I didn’t have the relish so added red wine – perfect! Always wanted to cook up a squash, but without the oven (in AZ, no oven in summer). This was perfect. we’ll be having this as a regular meal.

  25. Salina says:

    I bought spaghetti squash especially for this recipe and I’m so excited to try it. It really simplifies squash cooking.

  26. Donna Johnson says:

    I like the spaggetti squash and the meatballs I am making this soon

  27. tracy says:

    I love this recipe because I can get it going and not have to worry about it and dinner is all set after a busy day of being mom/taxi driver to my 4 kids!

  28. Melissa says:

    Love this recipe although I changed it a tad to be AIP compliant. I also used ground chicken and a more garlicky creamy sauce with coconut milk to sub for tomato sauce to make it nightshade free!

  29. Joanne says:

    I’m gonna be making this recipe in the next few days. I can’t wait!

  30. mere says:

    Made this today. Extremely easy and it came out great. Thank you for sharing this recipe I would have never have thought to make spaghetti squash in the crock pot.

  31. Robert Owens says:

    I came across this recipe of yours today by spotting the photograph posted somewhere. We have had spaghetti squash and meatballs previously, but I never made it in the slow cooker.

    Your recipe makes this way too easy. :) Next time I will make my own sauce and jazz it up a bit, but my goodness, this was as simple as could be. Three hours on high was just right.

    Thank you for sharing this.

  32. Valerie says:

    Great recipe and easy! My spaghetti squash was huge, so I used my dutch oven instead of the crock pot and it turned out great. To make it even easier, I bought premade meatballs from the meat counter at Whole Foods. Perfect!

  33. Caki says:

    Is it important to wash the squash really well since it’s cooking in the sauce? I’m not sure how much I should be scrubbing it…

    Thanks!

  34. Linda W says:

    I have a 5 quart round slow cooker so I was wondering if I could cut the squash up into quarters so that it fits better? Does that change the cooking any? This sounds like a wonderful recipe – easy, quick, all in one pot, cooks while you do something else.

    Thanks!

  35. Juan E says:

    This looks great. I can’t wait to try. One question I have is how do I pull the spaghetti out of the squash with a fork. Any help describing that process would be great.

  36. Melly says:

    Just made this. Made meatballs out of ground beef I had (added some herbs, spices and an egg). I didn’t have the red pepper relish, but had something similar so used that. And I had left over tomato sauce from another meal. My first time making spaghetti squash!
    It was really unique — had to get used to it a bit. But after a few bites we did and found the whole thing quite yummy and delish. Thanks!

  37. Stephanie says:

    Okay, so I LOVE spaghetti squash and this sounds like an awesome dish, especially since it is done in the crock pot; however how is this paleo? Canned tomato sauce and the jarred relish are not considered paleo, as it has tons of refined salts, its processed and it has other ingredients that are not natural.

    • Jason says:

      I respect your opinion to form your own evaluation of what is considered strict paleo or not. In your instance, you can simply replace the canned tomato sauce with fresh pureed tomatoes, and then pickle and dice your own hot relish, and perhaps even make your own farm fresh sausage.

      The main concept here is that the squash will work in the crock pot, I hope you try it with your own ingredients and let me know how it comes out!

  38. Eileen says:

    I take it you can substitute any kind of meat for this. Wonder if anyone has tried different meats like a mixture of ground beef and turkey, etc?

  39. Codi says:

    I didn’t use the relish but I couldn’t imagine it making this dish any better. Holy yum!! This was absolutely delicious. Thank you for sharing! I have a 2 year old, five year old and noodle loving husband AND this was a hit. Win!

  40. Christy says:

    I made this tonight with great results! I used turkey sausage (in thick slices) instead of making meatballs, and they came out tender and yummy. Thanks for sharing!

  41. Liza says:

    Complimenti!!! This was the best version of spaghetti squash and meatballs I’ve ever tried — and the easiest!!! I love the sauce, and intend to reuse it whenever I need an awesome marinara-type sauce.

    I have to admit I was skeptical about the hot pepper relish, and had to scrutinize the italian section of my grocery store to find it, but it was THE BOMB! I love this soooo much! Thank you!!!

    I tried to dip all of my meatballs in the sauce and put them wherever (even if there wasn’t enough sauce to cover them while cooking). Totally worked!

  42. Lorri says:

    AMAZING! I loaded the crockpot this morning. Eating a delicious, late lunch. I used grass fed beef (1 lb) and about 1/4 lb sausage. I will definitely make this on a regular basis. SO VERY EASY AND DELICIOUS!

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