One of our favorite comfort food dinners is spaghetti and meatballs. We're crazy about this lightened-up, healthier version featuring so many veggies. The same beloved flavors with more nutritious ingredients! — Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas
Recommended: How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
VERIFIED BY Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 1 medium spaghetti squash (about 4 pounds)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 cups chopped collard greens
- 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
- 1 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
- 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup pasta sauce
- 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Cut squash lengthwise in half; discard seeds. Place halves on a microwave-safe plate, cut side down. Microwave, uncovered, on high until tender, 15-20 minutes. Cool slightly.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Mix 1/4 teaspoon salt with remaining seasonings; add to beef, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls. In a large skillet, brown meatballs over medium heat; remove from pan.
- In same pan, heat oil over medium heat; saute onion until tender, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in collard greens, spinach, ricotta cheese and remaining salt; remove from heat.
- Using a fork, separate strands of spaghetti squash; stir into greens mixture. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Top with tomatoes, meatballs, sauce and cheese. Bake, uncovered, until meatballs are cooked through, 30-35 minutes. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Spaghetti Squash Meatball Casserole in Healthy Cooking Annual Recipes Annual 2018, p129