Spaghetti and Meatballs – Vegan and Gluten Free

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Is this really a recipe? I don’t know, but I’m going to say it is. The reason why I say this is because this is the simplest vegan spaghetti dish you can make, as you are basically preparing the noodles. The rest of the ingredients you can buy from the store and put together already made.

One of the biggest concerns I get with vegan dishes is the amount of preparation time that goes into it. While, yes, for some dishes there is a lot of prep work, for the most part this work is chopping or peeling vegetables and sauteing. Nothing different than if you were making mashed potatoes or fajitas.

This recipe, however, takes away all of that. I use store-bought frozen chickpea balls and canned organic, low sodium tomato sauce. This takes away half the work for you, to where all you are focused on is preparing the spaghetti squash noodles. These noodles are delicious, and the  addition of mushrooms, onions, and garlic, give it a perfect taste for your pasta dish.

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So without further ado…let us begin!

You will need:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 pack bella mushrooms (8 oz)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • optional: 1 to 2 cups grated fresh carrot
  • 1 jar organic tomato sauce (your choice)
  • 1 bag frozen vegan chickpea balls (or any other vegan meatball you prefer)

Step 1:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Using a large knife, cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise and open. Scoop out the seeds, grease a large pan and place the seeds on the side of the pan (these taste great when roasted). Add some salt and pepper to the spaghetti squash, then place onto the tray, flat side down. Poke holes all around the top of the squash peel, then place in the oven. Bake flat side down for about 15 minutes, then turn over and bake flat side up for another 10.

Note: the seeds will be ready in about 10 to 15 minutes, so be sure to take them out before they burn

Step 2:

After you place the spaghetti squash in the oven, you also want to cook the meatballs. Depending on what type you use, they usually take about 20 minutes to bake, so be sure to time your baking to line up with the spaghetti squash.

Step 3:

While the spaghetti squash and chickpea balls are baking, you want to prep your vegetables. Slice the bella mushrooms in half, mince the garlic and chop the onion. Add 1/2 a tablespoon of coconut oil to the pan, and sautee the onions and garlic until they are golden brown. Remove from pan and put in a large bowl.

Step 4:

Add the other 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil to the pan, and saute the mushrooms on high heat until they’ve reached your desired texture. Some people like them crispier on the outside but not as cooked, while others like theirs a little more sauteed. This will take 5 to 8 minutes. Once the mushrooms are done, add to the large bowl with the onion and the garlic.

Step 5:

By this time, your spaghetti squash should be done cooking. Take out of the oven and set aside to cool for about 5 to 10 minutes. Once the squash is cool, take a fork and run it down the inside lengthwise. You will see the spaghetti squash noodles come right out. You will most likely be holding the peel with your hands, so make sure the outside is cooled down enough so it does not burn your fingers.

Once the squash noodles are scraped out of the peel, place them into a pan with the other tablespoon of coconut oil. Saute the noodles with some salt and pepper for about 5 to 10 minutes. The noodles will get to be a very light golden brown texture.

Towards the end, add the mushrooms, onions and garlic in the pan and saute everything together for a couple minutes, then transfer back into the large bowl. Add the fresh grated carrot and mix together. This give some great color and extra texture.

Step 5:

Now, all you do is plate your meal! Take a couple spoonfuls of the spaghetti noodles and place on a plate. Add the store-bought tomato sauce on top, and add a couple of chickpea balls. And there you have it, a beautiful, vegan spaghetti squash meal!

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Note: If you are in rush, you don’t even need to heat up the tomato sauce. The chickpea balls and spaghetti squash noodles are already hot, and they will heat up the sauce for you. If you want to heat the sauce, then do so in a pot on low heat.

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For an extra special addition, add some fresh basil to the dish. It brings everything together and makes your dish taste amazing!

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Of course, you can always add a glass of wine too. Spaghetti and red wine go together so well!

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If it’s a beautiful day outside, enjoy your meal on your patio! Take a look around you and savor every bite!

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Enjoy!

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