Spaghetti & Chicken Meatballs

How much do you love pasta? I know I really miss burying my face in a big bowl of noodles. But it’s not an option for diabetics or low-carbers. So we turned to spaghetti squash. It has all the comfort and visuals of pasta without all the carbs. We’re always looking for tasty ways to cut the carbs and find more flavor. And this dish delivers! Combine it with a vegetable packed salad and you’ll be full, satisfied, and can feel good about your New Years resolutions.

1 lb Ground Chicken
1 Large Egg
1/4 Cup Panko
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
1 tsp Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
Dash of Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 Cups Marinara Sauce (we chose a sauce with only 8g carbs for 1/2 Cup)
3-3.5 lbs Spaghetti Squash

Note: If you are using one large squash you can cook it in 20 minutes. If you are using 2 smaller squash as indicated in this recipe you’ll probably have to cook it in 2 batches due to the size of a normal microwave. Either way, split the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Using a sharp knife poke slits all over the skin of the squash. Place squash halves, cut-side down, in a glass baking dish and pour about half an inch of water into the dish. Microwave for 15-20 minutes, until the squash is tender when poked with a knife. The length of times depends on the size of the squash and the power of your microwave. The squash will be very soft when it’s fully cooked. Carefully remove the squash and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

While the squash cooks, lightly spray a 9×13 glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside. Then combine ground chicken, egg, Panko, half the parmesan cheese, oil, and spices in a large mixing bowl and mix until combined. Or mix by hand. Using a small scoop roll the meat mixture into 32 evenly-sized meatballs and place them in the baking dish, spacing evenly. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes until they are lightly browned and internal temperature reaches 165˚F.

Using a clean kitchen towel hold the squash, cut-side up and shred the squash into spaghetti strands with a fork. Place the shredded squash in a colander so that any excess liquid drains and your “noodles” aren’t soggy. You should end up with approximately 6 cups of squash.

Heat sauce on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Assemble each serving by placing 1-1/2 cups of squash in a bowl and topping with 8 meatballs and 1/2 cup of sauce and 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese.

Serves 4 – Approximately 11.4g net carbs per serving.

Note: A Life Well Eaten follows diabetic educator guidelines for determining net carbs.
Suggested formula is total carbs minus half the fiber, i.e. 16g carbs and 4g fiber would be 14g net carbs. The food industry determines net carbs as total carbs minus fiber which would come in at 12g net carbs.