You want to know something crazy? One of my favorite dishes my Mom would make growing up was spaghetti. Now that I’m older and realize how quick and easy it is to make I’m sure she LOVED that it was one of my favorites! We had it all the time! It was quick to make, the noodles and sauce could spread out enough to feed our family of 10, and everyone was satisfied.
Want to know something else? We never had meatballs with our spaghetti. We always had ground beef in the sauce, but never meatballs. I grew up thinking that meatballs were a concoction of weird meat and ingredients and that they were extremely hard to make. Well guess what, I’m hear to break the news that although a lot of the store bought meatballs have some pretty gnarly ingredients mixed in with them, when you make them from scratch they can be completely healthy and full of real, wholesome ingredients. The best part? They’re not hard to make at all! And either are the noodles! Let me show you how!
The first steps are really simple. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl except the egg.
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup diced sweet onion
1/4 cup finely chopped baby spinach leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. ground basil
1 rounded Tbsp. coconut flour
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Next, beat the egg and add it to the meat mixture.
Now, here’s the fun part…get in there and mix it up with your hands. That’s right squish it around your fingers so it’s nice and evenly mixed. Don’t be scared. Just remember to wash your hands before AND after! 😉
Once the mixture is combined really well, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 400 F. Roll the meat into 2 inch balls. This recipe usually makes 14-16 meatballs, depending on how big/small you make them. Place on parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes.
The next part is pretty fun too. Have you heard of zoodles? Let me briefly explain.
Zoodles are essentially zucchinis made into spiraled noodles. I got a spiralizer for my birthday and have absolutely LOVED it. If you don’t have one already, just click on the link HERE to get one for yourself. You WON’T regret it! Anyway, back to zoodles. You can easily and deliciously replace your carb and gluten (and little nutrient) loaded pasta noodles for zucchini noodles, (zoodles) to get the same enjoyment and better nutrition out of your spaghetti dish. I love zoodles! So, let me show you how this thing works.
There are three different blades that come with the spiralizer. For the zoodles you’ll want to use the small spiral noodle slicer. You’ll know what I mean when you see it, don’t worry. Next simply slice both ends of the zucchini off with a knife, then place one end of your zucchini on the slicer end, and the other end on the spikey holder end (this is just to keep the zucchini in place and help it rotate evenly).
Slowly turn the handle and, TADA little zucchini ringlets start filling your bowl or plate. Continue to do this until the entire zucchini is used.
Aren’t they pretty?! I think so!
And so curly, which makes them cute. 😉 Cute things are always a better choice.
While you’ve been making zoodles your meatballs have cooked and should look like this when removed from the oven. See all the juice? Yeah, that’s fat and water from the meat, and the egg. It looks really gross but just scrape it off the edges and you’ll be good to go.
To cook the zoodles put a little olive oil in a pan and turn the heat to medium high. Let the noodles sit for a couple minutes with the lid on the pan, stirring occasionally. It really only takes a couple of minutes for the noodles to cook. Be careful not to overcook them or they will get super soggy.
Next grab your favorite marinara sauce (I like the Virginia brand from Costco because it has all real ingredients and zero added sugar), warm it up, pour it on, drop a couple meatballs on top and viola! A masterpiece that is sure to please!
*Note: If you have leftover meatballs, place them in a ziplock freezer bag and keep them in the freezer for those times when you’re a real human being with a ton of stuff to get done and literally only have 10 minutes to come up with something healthy and yummy for your growing family. Not that I’ve ever been in that situation or anything…ok, let’s get real, that’s like every single night of my life! I promise these are perfect for those crazy nights. You and your family will love them! Enjoy!
- 1 lb. ground beef
- ¼ C diced sweet onion
- ¼ C finely chopped baby spinach
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1½ tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp. ground basil
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 1 rounded Tbsp. coconut flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1-2 zucchinis
- Marinara sauce
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- For the meatballs, mix the first 10 ingredients in a bowl until evenly combined.
- Shape into 2 inch round balls and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes
- For the zoodles, spiralize both zucchinis on spiralizer.
- Place about a Tbsp. of olive oil in pan on stove top with heat set to medium high.
- Cook zucchini noodles with lid on pan for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, being careful not to overcook/steam.
- Place zoodles in a bowl, cover with marinara sauce and top with meatballs.