I am the queen of obscure kitchen gadgets (and I’m also kind of a hoarder with a “but I need it” mentality) so naturally, when zoodles (zucchini noodles) became a hot trend in the food world, I absolutely NEEDED a zoodler (I think its actually called a spiralizer, but whatever)! These things are seriously so cool and I was actually pretty surprised at how well it worked my first time using it! They make stand-up ones with a hand crank and fancy attachments for KitchenAids that are probably awesome too (if you own a KitchenAid, which I do not) but mine is just a good ol’ hand-held guy and it totally gets the job done.
If you’ve read my most recent food posts, you know Dustin and I are on a major low carb kick these days so my zoodler…or spiralizer, or whatever its called, has definitely come in handy for satisfying those pasta cravings I totally get on the reg. I am a huge fan of spaghetti and meatballs so I thought, why not try it out with zoodles? I’ll admit, I was a little bit skeptical going into the recipe because how can you ever replace actual pasta?! Well the answer is, you can’t. I mean seriously when it all comes down to it, zoodles are still just a vegetable in the shape of noodles and they DO taste as so (don’t let anyone tell you otherwise), but that’s not to say that they weren’t absolutely delicious and the next best thing if we’re talking healthy alternatives. I know, I know, it sounds kind of weird, but seriously guys don’t knock it til’ you try it!
What You Need
- 3 Medium sized zucchini squashes
- 1 can of your favorite pasta sauce (I like a good pomodoro sauce)
- 1 lb ground beef (or ground turkey if you want to be uber healthy)
- 2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup of parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil (you could do chopped fresh basil for more flavor)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
Let’s Get Cooking
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl add your ground beef, minced garlic, diced onion, breadcrumbs, grated parmesan, 2 eggs, and spices. Mix all ingredients together until well combined (I honestly just get in there with my hands and kind of kneed it all together as if it were bread dough or something—messy but affective). Note: Don’t work with the meat TOO much, it could get tough—Just make sure it’s all combined and then leave it alone.
- Take small-ish (maybe ice cream scoop sized) portions of the meat and roll into balls, placing them on a foil lined baking sheet. Continue until you’ve used all of your meat mixture.
- Bake meatballs in oven for about 25 mins or until no longer pink in the middle and slightly crispy on the bottom. Set aside.
- Spiralize your zucchini squash according to your tools instructions (they all work differently to be honest) into a medium sized bowl. Toss zoodles with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and heat in microwave for 1-2 mins just to warm them up and slightly soften them. Note: You could lightly sauté them if you wanted but I like mine a little al dente so they soften up just enough when the hot pasta sauce goes over them (sautéing them makes them a little too mooshy for my taste).
- Heat up your pasta sauce according to package directions. Note: I like to jazz up my store bought pasta sauce with a little chopped spinach, garlic powder, oregano, chili flakes, and turmeric!
- Top your plated zoodles with a few of your baked meatballs, desired amount of sauce, and a little grated parmesan (if desired).
Tried this dish? Let me know what you think in the comments!