Lentil Meatballs & “Spaghetti”

LM8

I think most of us love comfort food but we usually tend to group comfort food in the unhealthy category. Comfort food makes us feel happy and usually involves a smothering of cheese. This remake of the beloved meatballs and spaghetti offers you a healthy and delicious alternative.

These mock meatballs are formed from lentils, sauteed onions, yogurt, flax meal and a touch of tomato paste. The binding ingredients of breadcrumbs, oats and egg help this mixture to hold its shape when forming. The lentil meatball mixture is combined in a food processor and then refrigerated to allow for easier forming.  These delicious low-fat meatballs are served on top of spaghetti squash “noodles”. Once the squash is roasted, scrape the inner flesh with a fork and it naturally shreds into noodle like strands. Serve with a simple tomato sauce and there you have a dose of healthy comfort food to share.

 Lentils are an excellent protein source and are the third highest source of all the legumes and nuts. There are a whopping 17.9 grams of protein per cup. They are also a good source of energy with the fiber and complex carbohydrates they provide. Spaghetti squash is a great low calorie and low carbohydrate alternative for pasta. It is simple to prepare and can be eaten straight from the cooked squash halves to make for a fun presentation and easy clean up.

Lentil Meatballs & "Spaghetti"
Serves 4
Lentil Meatballs made with oats, sauteed onions & yogurt; served on top of roasted spaghetti squash "noodles".
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
For Roasted Spaghetti Squash "Noodles"
  1. 2 Spaghetti Squash (approximately 2 lbs. each)
  2. 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  3. 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
  4. 3/4 tsp. Cracked Black Pepper
For Lentil Meatballs
  1. 2 C. Cooked Lentils
  2. 1 C. White Onion, medium dice (from 1 small onion)
  3. 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  4. 1 tsp. Fennel seeds
  5. 1/2 C. Fat-Free Plain Yogurt, Organic
  6. 1 Tbsp. Flax meal
  7. 2 Tbsp. Low-Fat Milk, Organic
  8. 1 Free-range Large Egg
  9. 2 Tbsp. Organic Tomato Paste
  10. 1/2 C. + 1/2 C. Panko Breadcrumbs, divided
  11. 1/4 C. + 1/4 C. Rolled Oats, divided
  12. 1/3 C. Grated Parmesan
  13. 2 tsp. Kosher Salt
  14. 3/4 tsp. Cracked Black Pepper
  15. 2 tsp. Olive oil
For Roasted Spaghetti Squash "Noodles"
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Cut the stem off the squash and stand upright on flat cut. Carefully split the squash into two equal halves and scrape the seeds out. Repeat with the second squash.
  3. Drizzle the flesh of each of the halves of squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. Roast for 1 hour. Squash should pierce easily with a knife once tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  5. Once the meatballs are finished baking, scrape the squash with a fork to loosen the strands.
For the Lentil Meatballs
  1. Heat a medium nonstick pan with the 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and saute for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add the minced garlic and saute for 1 -2 more minutes. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, add the yogurt, flax meal and milk and combine well. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor, add the lentils, cooked onion mixture and fennel seeds. Pulse to combine.
  4. To the food processor, add 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup of oats, the grated parmesan cheese, tomato paste, kosher salt and black pepper. Pulse mixture until combined.
  5. Add the yogurt mixture and the egg to the food processor and pulse until mixture is well combined. Scrape mixture into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup of oats to the bowl and stir to combine. The meatball mixture will be sticky and needs to be refrigerated for 20 minutes before forming.
  6. Once mixture has been refrigerated, scoop rounded teaspoons of the meatball mixture and form into 1" balls. Place the meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake meatballs for 8-10 minutes. Turn the meatballs and bake for 5-6 more until crisp and golden.
  8. Serve the meatballs atop a mound of the spaghetti squash "noodles" and top with your favorite tomato sauce.
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