These Whole30 Spaghetti and Meatballs are a Whole30-compliant and paleo twist on the classic comfort food. Complete with meaty, flavorful meatballs, homemade tomato sauce and “al dente” zucchini noodles, this easy recipe is the perfect Whole30 and paleo dinner for the whole family.
Guys, I am over the moon about having Erin write a post for 40 Aprons. She’s a dear friend of mine and I think our year-long friendship is about to reach a whole new level of depth: Because she’s basically telling me that I can have Spaghetti and Meatballs without ruining my Whole30 diet! Yes, Erin is definitely the kind of friend you want! Make sure to check out her blog for seasonal recipes and tips on entertaining guests! Take it away, Erin – Cheryl
Hi, y’all! I’m Erin, and I blog over at The Speckled Palate.
I’m a casual (read: lazy) entertainer by nature… and while I’m not a Whole30 blogger, I’ve shared several Whole30-friendly recipes in the past year because part of entertaining is meeting your guests dietary needs, as well as your own.
I’m here to tell you that YES, you can totally entertain (read: host a guests for dinner—nothing fancy here, y’all) while doing a Whole30, and it can be fabulously delicious.
A little backstory: My husband and I did our first Whole30 more than a year ago after Cheryl told me all about how it changed her way of eating. We viewed it as a reset to eating whole, delicious foods without depriving ourselves.
By month’s end, we both felt amazing! And ever since then, we try to eat Whole30 meals weekly, even though we haven’t done a Whole30 in a while.
Which brings me to Whole30 entertaining… y’all can do this!
And when entertaining while doing the Whole30, I’m more inclined to make a meal I love, love, love that I am to make appetizers and canapés for my guests to enjoy.
Which brings us to these Whole30 Spaghetti and Meatballs.
Not only are they perfect for entertaining, but these Whole30 Spaghetti and Meatballs of my favorite comfort food turned into a Whole30-compliant dish…
It was a smashing success.
Yes, the spaghetti is zucchini noodles, so it’s not *really* spaghetti. I know.
Yes, the meatballs have some almond meal instead of bread. I know.
But if you can get over that, you’ll realize the flavors are spot on. The longer you let ‘em simmer, the more flavorful they’re gonna be.
Won’t this Whole30 spaghetti and meatballs make me miss the real thing?
Well, I can’t speak for you, but I can tell you what happened with our family: The three of us gobbled our food down in silence—our 3-year-old included—as my husband and I occasionally made statements that were along the lines of, “OMG SO GOOD.”
It’s not spaghetti and meatballs, but it has the same comforting elements and flavors as the well-loved non-Whole30-compliant dish.
Also, as we were eating this dish, my husband and I both said we’d wished we’d invited our friend with celiac for dinner because we knew he’d love it.
What if I have a nut allergy?
You can very easily leave out the almond meal if you have a nut allergy. The meatballs will have a little bit of a different texture, but the overall flavor will not change!
How can I make the zucchini noodles if I don’t have a spiralizer?
Before I had a spiralizer, I used my trusty vegetable peeler. Yes, it’ll take a whole heck of a lot more time, but you can peel the zucchini into thin “noodles.”
That said, if you’re a fan of spiralized anything and don’t have a spiralizer, I highly recommend it. We use ours weekly on ALL the veggies and fruits!
What kinds of tools do I need to make these Whole30 Spaghetti and Meatballs?
Y’all ready to check this goodness out?
Scroll on down to learn how simple it is to make at home!
Whole30 Spaghetti and Meatballs
For the “spaghetti”:
- 4 zucchini medium
- ½ tablespoon kosher salt
For the meatballs:
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. 85% lean ground beef
- 1 lb. 93% lean ground pork
- 1.5 cups onion chopped (about 1 large onion)
- 3 large garlic cloves minced
- ½ cup almond meal
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons fresh basil or 1 teaspoons dried
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano or 1 tablespoon dried
- 1 teaspoon black
- freshly ground
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon fennel
Make the Meatballs + Sauce
- Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat with a tablespoon or two of oil.
- In a large glass bowl, combine the ground beef and pork. Add in the chopped onion, garlic cloves, almond meal, egg and spices.
- Using your hands, mix the meatball ingredients until combined.
- When the meatballs have been combined, use a ¼ cup measuring cup to measure out the meatballs. Scoop the meatballs, then form them into balls with your hands.
- When the meatballs have been formed, place them in the Dutch oven. (I like to do the meatballs in two batches so the pan doesn’t get crowded.)
- Sear the meatballs on all sides.
- When the meatballs are browned on all sides, remove from the pan, and place onto a plate lined with paper towels to soak up any excess fat. Repeat until all meatballs have been cooked.
- Use the leftover fat in the Dutch oven to cook the sauce. Turn down the heat to medium-low.
- Add the onion and garlic to the Dutch oven. Cook until the onion becomes translucent.
- Add the tomato puree and water to the pan. Season with the oregano, peppers and salt.
- Turn down the heat to low.
- Add the meatballs back into the sauce and simmer for 1-2 hours.
Make the “Spaghetti”
- While the sauce simmers, it’s time to make the zucchini noodles.
- Using the Spiralizer with the spaghetti cut attachment (or a vegetable peeler), spiralize the zucchini.
- Sprinkle the spiralized zucchini with salt.
- Let the zoodles sit for an hour. (The salt will pull water from zucchini, and they’ll be crispier!)
- After an hour, pat dry zucchini with paper towels.
- Toss in the sauce to cook just slightly, then serve with the meatballs.
Have you ever completed a Whole30?
Would you like to try these Whole30 Spaghetti and Meatballs?