Someone recently told me I have an amazing ability to find the silver lining. Until I was told, I hadn’t noticed. Kind of like when you are car shopping and all of the sudden, you can only see that car on the road and had no idea how many there were! I affectionately own my new found ability and want to share one of my favorite Pandemic Silver Linings with You.
Spaghetti Squash + Meatball (ish) Casserole
Whole Spaghetti Squash
Your Favorite Pesto
Roma or Cherry Tomatoes
Whole Bulb of Garlic (of course!)
1# Meat (or meatless) Ground of Choice
Trader Joes 21 Seasoning Salute
Fresh Basil or Parsley for garnish
I love this recipe for it’s versatility. My friend Dawn, and inventor of this delicious recipe, makes her meatballs with ground turkey. I make mine with meatless grounds. She loves canned mushrooms and I reach for fresh baby bella’s. Sometimes I roast the whole bulb of garlic to include in the casserole. Sometimes I don’t. The point is, you can absolutely tailor this recipe to you and your family. I make it a little different every single time. My favorite part? It reheats sooooooooo well!
Cut your squash in half and BE CAREFUL! Clean out the guts and place on a cookie sheet. Drizzle the cut sides up with EVOO and top with lots of chopped garlic and TJ 21 Salute Seasoning. I love to leave this sit, as is, while the oven preheats to marinate a bit. Once preheated to 350 degrees, flip your squash face down and throw it in. After 45 - 60 minutes (totally depends on the size of your squash) test it. Press on the back side of the squash to make sure it is soft. That is when it is ready. During the roasting, I recommend enjoying a lovely craft brew while assembling your meatless balls. Dawn recommends wine while making your turkey balls. Do you :) You will not believe how good your kitchen is going to smell! This is about the time Mr. C walks in asking what‘s for dinner.
Assemble your balls: Mix your meat of choice with 1/4 c chopped red onion, TJ21, finely chopped or minced garlic, and any other seasoning you want. Our friend Amy likes to add an egg. Spoon onto a cookie sheet, making about 16 balls. Bake 25 - 30 minutes on 350 degrees. If you plan it right, you can throw them in for the last half of your squash roasting.
Once the squash is done and cool (I am so impatient and usually make a lot of noise during this phase), fork out the insides into a bowl and mix in the pesto to taste, mushrooms, chopped tomatoes, and cheeses. I totally eyeball and use what I have and want. Perhaps start with 1/2 cup of each cheese, being sure to leave some for garnish.
Spray a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick spray. Place the mix into it and spread it out. Place the meatballs so they are about half way down into the casserole. You can certainly top with more cheese if you want and are okay with the extra calories because...well...cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
Serve it up and enjoy!
Nutrition: The following numbers are based on using ground turkey for the meatballs, 1tbsp of pesto, and 1 total cup of cheese
9 grams of fat
12 grams of carbohydrates
25 grams of protein
And yes, this recipe designed by Dawn, owner of A Healthy Core and my dear friend is indeed a silver lining. Reconnecting with her, our friends Amy and Lucy every weekday has been life saving for me. I’m not sure where I would be today without their support and our love for Spaghetti Squash Meatball (ish) Casserole.