Basic homemade spaghetti and meatballs is the perfect make-ahead meal. Prepare a big batch of sauce in advance to freeze and leave the meatballs, uncooked (to cook for later). This healthy version is a gluten-free, dairy-free recipe anyone can enjoy.
Spaghetti and meatballs. Just hearing those words makes me want to put on my PJs, let my hair down, pour a glass of wine…you get the idea. It’s one of my favorite comfort foods, and something tells me it’s also at the top of your list of foods that help release all kinds of happy hormones into your system.
That’s why I’m SHOCKED that I haven’t shared my go-to recipe here in this “Make Ahead Meals” column. I’m double shocked that my very first post was almost 2 years ago!! Umm…what?!?! 2013 sounds ancient, and yet it feels like it was just yesterday.
Ok. I’m back from reminiscing.
In my defense, perhaps I shied way from sharing my spaghetti sauce recipe because there are TONS of recipes out there, and it’s highly likely that you already have a favorite recipe. Well, it’s 2015 and after 3 years of blogging, I’ve learned to share what I love rather than what I think I should. Without this shift in mindset, I’m pretty sure I would’ve quit blogging a long time ago. All this to say, I’m thrilled to share with you all (finally!) my basic, super easy spaghetti sauce recipe. And because seeing big orbs of meaty goodness floating in the sea of red always.always makes my heart flutter, I’m including a super easy meatball recipe. Hence, this is a super easy meal that not only tastes great but will nourish you in a most satisfying way.
Sauces (minus the cream-based ones) are great for make ahead meals because you can very easily make a HUGE batch with minimal effort. In fact, I highly encourage it as they freeze and reheat beautifully! As for the meatballs, if you intend to freeze some for later, I personally like to freeze them uncooked. Then once it comes time, you can defrost in the fridge the night before, form into a ball and bake.
I developed this recipe for my clients who are gluten and dairy sensitive, but if you prefer to grate some parmesan or whatever cheese right before serving, by all means, go ahead! Also, while you can use the pasta of your choice, if you haven’t tried substituting with spaghetti squash, now is the time. DO IT!
Grain Free Spaghetti and Meatballs
- 1 medium (2 lbs.) spaghetti squash
- 2 lbs. 90% lean ground beef (grass-fed, organic)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 (28 oz.) cans peeled whole tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
- Basil leaves for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375F. Cut squash in half lengthwise, deseed, and remove any visible strings. Place the two halves cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes or until soft (cooking time will depend on the size of your squash).
- In the meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Heat oil in a large sauce pan over med-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste. Add the tomatoes, breaking them upas you go. Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring often. Lower heat and simmer until sauce thickens, about 30 minutes. Season with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Make the meatballs: Add all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well-combined. Shape into 18-20 golf-sized balls. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes.
- Divide spaghetti squash among 4 bowls and top each with sauce and meatballs. Add fresh basil and grated parmesan, if desired.