Gather ‘round the table for Healthy Spaghetti & Meatballs: a Recipe Redux twist on the classic dish without any nuts, soy, gluten or lactose – but all of the delicious Italian-inspired flavors!
One of my favorite things to do in the kitchen is recreate some of my favorite meals in a healthier, allergen-free way, so I was pumped when this month’s Recipe Redux theme was announced as “Back to the Dinner Table.”
After the hustle and bustle of the holiday/vacation season, August is the time many families get ‘back to routine.’ Show us your favorite recipe to help families get ‘back to the dinner table.’ It might be a favorite family recipe from your childhood that you’ve ReDuxed; or maybe it’s your family’s current favorite. Let’s all gather back at the table!
Growing up, my mom, dad, sister and I would have dinner together every night. No matter how busy we were or how much we wanted to run off and watch our favorite TV shows, we always sat down at the table to eat. That is something I plan to do forever and ever. In fact, Will and I sit down to our little table in our Brooklyn apartment each night to eat and chat about our days. I know… we’re adorable. Moving on…
My favorite dish growing up was my mom’s spaghetti and meatballs. She makes the meanest spaghetti sauce. We’re not even Italian. It’s legit. Whenever it was my turn to pick dinner, this was always my go-to. I still adore this dish, but my wheat allergy means I can no longer have the delicious noodles. Will and I also try not to have red meat too often, so instead of the classic dish, I created Healthy Spaghetti & Meatballs – i.e. turkey meatballs with yellow squash zoodles!
My handy dandy crockpot (my savior this summer) helps to make the turkey meatballs incredibly easy to whip up. It also saves me from standing over the stove forever or having the oven warm my apartment to a balmy 450 degrees.
I admit the sauce is not as good as my mom’s. Her sauce requires a pot and a stove, which I just can’t do in my non-air conditioned apartment in the summer. However, come cooler temps, I’ll be sure to make that sauce and share the recipe with you ‘cause it’s the cat’s pajamas (<- – yep, I said it.)
As for the zoodles, no boiling required! Just use a peeler or a spiralizer to get them ready. Have them raw or toss them in a pan and sauté for a minute or so to soften up a bit. Then you’re good to go! Healthy, allergen-free goodness ready for consumption.
- 1 large egg
- 2 lbs lean ground turkey
- 2/3 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (or crushed Rice Crispies!)
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese + more for serving (yes, it's lactose-free!)
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 4 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large onion, sliced
- two 28-oz cans crushed tomatoes
- 3 yellow squash
- Beat the egg in a large bowl. Then mix in ground turkey, bread crumbs, 2 Tbsp olive oil, Parmesan cheese and spices until throughly combined.
- Roll into desired-sized meatballs (mine yielded about 25-30 meatballs).
- Place the onion on the bottom of the crockpot. Layer with 1 can of crushed tomatoes.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Slightly brown the meatballs on all sides (1 minute-ish per side) and then place on top of the onions and tomatoes in the crockpot. Browning the meatballs will help hold them together as they cook. Otherwise, you might end up with a meat sauce vs. meatballs.
- Top the meatballs with the remaining can of crushed tomatoes. Cover and cook on low for 6.5 hours.
- Just before the meatballs are done, spiralize your squash. If you like softer noodles, toss them in a skillet with a bit of olive oil for a few minutes - otherwise, enjoy them "al dente."
- Divide the zoodles between 6-8 plates, top with meatballs/sauce and eat up!
Do you sit down for dinner every night?
What was your favorite dish growing up?