Spaghetti squash and meatballs are the perfect combination in these low carb, gluten free bowls, made with keto meatballs and topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. They're healthy, flavorful and easy to make in under an hour!
Spaghetti squash is one of those magical low carb pasta substitutes you need in your life. After cooking the squash, use a fork to scoop the inside into strands that look very similar to spaghetti noodles! The flavor is mild enough to go with all of your favorite sauces and pasta toppings.
While I love it as a side dish, spaghetti squash makes an excellent base for bowls. This Italian bowl brings out all the best spaghetti and meatball feels without the extra carbohydrates.
Prepare this easy recipe for a comforting dinner. And be sure to make extra to meal prep easy lunches!
For the meatballs
- Ground beef - a fat content of 80/20 is recommended for this recipe in order to create the juiciest, most tender meatballs.
- Onion - use a cheese grater to get the finest onion bits, this way they will mix evenly through the meat and help add to the moisture.
- Garlic - fresh garlic cloves are best to crush and mix in for the best flavor. However, jarred minced garlic will also work.
- Italian seasoning - click the link to the left to learn how to mix up your own easy seasoning blend in minutes, or feel free to use your favorite store bought brand.
- Sea salt
- Spaghetti squash - try to find a squash that is about 4-5 pounds. Look for one with smooth skin without any cracks or soft spots, you also want it to feel heavy for its size when you pick it up.
- Olive oil - extra virgin olive oil is best for its mild flavor. You can also use any other mild oil you have on hand.
- Marinara sauce - click the link for an easy homemade recipe made with canned tomatoes and seasonings. Or, choose your favorite store bought spaghetti sauce.
- Mozzarella cheese - it is best to freshly shred a block of mozzarella. But you can also use a bag of shredded cheese to save time.
- Parmesan cheese
- Black pepper
- Prepare the spaghetti squash.
- Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds from the center with a fork. Coat the inside with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper all over.
- Place the seasoned halved cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 30 minutes.
- Use a fork to scrape the flesh away from the skin creating the noodles.
- Pro tip! You can also check out this guide for how to cook spaghetti squash in the microwave, oven or air fryer. If you’re short on time, the microwave is a great option to make this recipe in under 30 minutes!
- Make the meatballs.
- Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl.
- Roll into 24 evenly sized meatballs.
- Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet with space between each meatball.
- Broil on the middle rack of the oven for 7 minutes.
- Note: check out this post for Keto Meatballs for even more tips and tricks on how to make these meatballs, and freeze them for later.
- Build the bowls.
- Divide the shredded spaghetti squash between 4 bowls.
- Add 6 meatballs to each bowl.
- Pour the marinara sauce over the squash and meatballs, then top with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
- Put the bowls under the broiler in the oven to melt the cheese, then serve!
Tips and tricks
- Prepare the spaghetti squash in your Instant Pot! Roasting gives a great flavor but takes a little extra work, this method doesn't require any cutting!
- Wash the spaghetti squash and poke holes all over with a fork or knife.
- Insert the steaming rack into the pressure cooker and set the squash on top. Pour in 1 cup of water.
- Seal the lid and pressure cook on high for 18 minutes, then do a quick release.
- Carefully check that it's tender enough for a knife to slide through to the middle with no resistance.
- Slice in half, remove the seeds, and shred the noodles!
- Spice up the bowls by adding red pepper flakes on top for extra flavor and no extra carbs!
- Pack in extra nutrition. Include other veggies or greens like spinach, kale, bell peppers or mushrooms.
- Dress it up! Sprinkle fresh basil or parsley over the top for extra fresh flavor.
Make it vegan
- Use these vegan meatballs, instead of keto meatballs.
- Omit the parmesan and mozzarella cheese, and simply serve the meatballs over the spaghetti squash topped with sauce.
- Or replace the parmesan and mozzarella cheese, with vegan alternatives.
Meal prep it
- For storage:
- Bake the spaghetti squash and meatballs, and make the marinara sauce, if using homemade.
- Divide the shredded spaghetti squash between 4 storage containers.
- Top with the meatballs, sauce, and cheese.
- Keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- To reheat and eat
- Remove the lid and microwave for 2-3 minutes, or until the bowls are warm and the cheese is melted.
More low carb recipes
Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs
- 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
- ¼ cup grated onion
- 6 garlic cloves crushed
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 large spaghetti squash 4-5 lbs in size
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.
- Use a fork to remove the seeds from inside the squash.
- Brush the inside of the squash with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place each side of the squash cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and use a fork to pull the spaghetti squash “noodles” from the shell.
- Divide the squash between 4 oven-safe bowls and set aside.
- Turn the oven from bake to broil on high.
- Mix all of the ingredients for the meatballs together in a bowl.
- Roll the meatball mixture into 24 small balls.
- Place the meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet and into the oven on the middle rack.
- Broil for 7 minutes.
- Remove the meatballs from the oven and add 6 meatballs to each of the bowls of spaghetti squash.
- Cover the meatballs with marinara sauce, parmesan cheese, then mozzarella cheese.
- Place all of the spaghetti squash meatball bowls on a baking sheet and back into the oven under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until the mozzarella is melted.
- Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
- The nutritional information shown is for 1 cup of spaghetti squash per bowl. Each additional cup of spaghetti squash will add 7 total carbs and 5.5 net carbs to each bowl.
- In a hurry? Use this guide for how to cook spaghetti squash in the microwave to make this recipe in under 30 minutes!
- To make this recipe vegan, use these vegan meatballs, instead of keto meatballs. Omit the parmesan and mozzarella cheese, and simply serve the meatballs over the spaghetti squash topped with sauce.