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Spaghetti Squash Meatball Casserole

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
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. Bake: 30 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
1 serving: 362 calories, 16g fat (6g saturated fat), 69mg cholesterol, 618mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 7g fiber), 26g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 starch, 1 fat.


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  • Debra
    Jul 9, 2020

    this casserole is absolutely delicious. I actually am a big spaghetti and meatball fanatic. and everybody loves it when I make spaghetti and meatballs. but this casserole has become my new favorite. it's so flavorful and it's so incredibly rich with collard greens and vegetables like tomatoes it's amazing to have this dish. I cannot recommend it enough. it is marvellous and it is lighter but you do not miss the noodles. and I say that as a pasta lover. this is addition its own right and it is wonderful.

  • demandy
    Jun 7, 2020

    We have made this a few times, it’s delicious. Wish it were a bit quicker, perhaps experimenting with cooking the beef and seasonings rather than making meatballs. But it’s worth it, I always wish I had doubled it because we eat it all.

  • Bev
    Nov 12, 2019

    The meatballs look extremely dry! I'd absolutely have to recreate the meatball recipe and cook them partially so they don't overcook in the oven. Other than that, it looks like it has potential.

  • MissCarol44
    Nov 4, 2019

    I watched the video and appreciate it when you show how recipes are done. The only thing I will do differently is buy already made meatballs at our local store as they are delicious. Recipe is a winner already with us and will make it this week! I have gone through your casserole recipes and look forward to making alot of them during the winter months here in the Northeast :) P.S. A thank you to many of the cooks out there who give good inputs to improve.

  • SHOK
    Oct 9, 2019

    I would like to add a hint to those who use this recipe. Do not try to cut the squash lengthwise before it is cooked because it is very hard and you will likely only end up cutting yourself instead! The easiest way to cut it before you cook it is to cut around the middle where the tough ends are not there. This sounds like a good meal to try since we do like spaghetti squash and just froze five gallons of it for later use this winter!

  • Nicole
    Jun 4, 2019

    This looks yummy, but my family is not big on veggies especially zucchini; so I am going to use actual spaghetti noodles instead. I may also yield a few spices that I am unfamiliar with.

  • Teresa
    Jan 26, 2019

    One of the best spaghetti squash recipe I have found yet. Highly recommend others to try!!! Thanks for sharing.

  • janglecat
    Nov 20, 2018

    No comment left