Low Carb/Macro Friendly Meatball Casserole

Even though we love to cook, recreating the classics like this meatball casserole are some of our favorites. We have found that so many of us think that if we want to “eat healthier” or if we are “dieting” (which by the way I hate both of those) that we can’t have foods like this and we cut it out and consider it a “bad food” or a “no” food.

That’s great if you don’t like these foods, but if you love a good meatball casserole then cutting it out is a sad day and won’t help you to stay compliant when changing your lifestyle. This healthier macro friendly meatball casserole will give you all the feels of the real thing! With just a few tweaks from the original recipe, you can fit this into any plan.

How to make the Low Carb/Macro Friendly Meatball Casserole

Start by cooking the spaghetti squash. There are a few different ways you can cook your spaghetti squash depending on time.

  1. Microwave: If you are short on time you can poke holes in the squash and place in a microwave safe dish and microwave until done. Just check every 5 minutes or so, when I can give it a good squeeze and it’s soft then I consider it done.
  2. Instapot: Cut the squash in half and scrape out the seeds. Add a cup of water and then place your squash in the instapot. Cook on high pressure for 7 minutes. Once finished cooking carefully open the vent for a quick release. Once the steam is gone and the vent has gone back down, you can open the pot.
  3. Oven: Poke 5-6 holes in the squash and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour – possibly more if the squash is big. Then slice in half and scrape out the seeds.
  4. Microwave and Oven: Poke 5-6 holes in the squash and microwave for 5-10 minutes. Just enough for the squash to be soft enough to cut in half. Once you can cut in half and scrape the seeds out, put in the oven and roast at 350 degrees for 40-60 minutes depending on the size of the squash.

Once you squash is cooked, using a fork scrape into a bowl and set aside. The great thing about this part is that you can do this the day of or a couple days ahead of time. The squash will be fine in the fridge for a few days.

**note** you want to let the squash cool for 10-15 minutes before handling it. The squash is hot and holds heat well. I have toasted my fingers a few times while in a rush.

Making the Meatballs

The meatballs need to be cooked before adding them to the casserole. This meatball recipe is awesome because it’s easy easy easy! All you need is Sweet Italian sausage and ground beef (could use chicken or turkey). My favorite sausage is from Niman Ranch. I normally buy this brand from Butcher Box or Imperfect Foods. I love this brand because good quality and tastes amazing!

Put the sausage and ground beef into a large bowl and use your hands to combine them both together. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grab a baking sheet and place parchment paper on it. Once thoroughly combined use your hands to make them into meatballs. I am usually able to make approximately 28 meatballs. Bake the meatballs for 20 minutes

While the meatballs are cooking, grab a 13×9 baking dish. Take 1/4 cup of your marinara sauce and spread evenly along the bottom.

Next up put the squash in the pan on top of the marinara sauce and spread evenly.

When the meatballs are done set them evenly on top of the squash.

Pour the remaining jar of marinara sauce over the top of the meatballs.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until you see the sauce start to bubble along the side. Then sprinkle 1.5 cups of shredded cheese over the top and bake until cheese is melted.

Once cheese is melted you are ready to take out, serve and eat! You could add fresh herbs to the top and serve with a nice green salad.

This low carb meatball casserole is great for feeding a crowd and I love to make a big batch and have leftovers for those soccer nights when there isn’t time to cook. This recipe is 100% kid approved, they love it squash and all.

If you like this recipe check out:

Happy Cooking 💖💖

Low Carb / Macro Friendly Meatball Casserole

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Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 10
Calories: 358kcal

Equipment

  • Baking sheets
  • 13×9 baking dish
  • Large bowl

Ingredients

  • 800 grams Cooked spaghetti squash 1 Med/large spaghetti squashed cooked
  • 453.59 grams Sweet Italian Sausage 1lb sausage – I like the brand Niman Ranch
  • 453.59 grams Grass Fed Ground Beef 1lb ground beef
  • 907 grams Marinara Sauce 1 32oz Jar of sauce, I used Classico Organic from Costco
  • 154 grams Shredded Mozzarella Cheese 1.5 cups shredded cheese
  • Fresh Herbs on Top (optional)

Instructions

  • Cook the spaghetti squash – I started mine in the microwave for 5-10 minutes to soften it up enough to cut in half and scrape the seeds out. Then I roasted in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until I could stick a fork all the way in. **Note below I gave different options for cooking the squash depending on your time**
  • Be careful when you take the squash out, they hold heat really well so let them cool for 10-15 minutes before working with them.
  • While the squash is cooking grab a baking sheet and line with parchment paper.
  • Add the sausage and burger to a large bowl.
  • Using your hands mix them together. Once the meats are mixed together, start rolling them into meatballs. I get approximately 28 meatballs.
  • Put the meatballs on the parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
  • While the meatballs are cooking use a fork to scrape the spaghetti squash out and into a bowl. Now you are ready to start assembling the casserole.
  • Take 1/4 cup of your marinara sauce and spread evenly along the bottom of a 13X9 baking dish.
  • Then add your spaghetti squash and spread evenly throughout the pan.
  • Using tongs place the meatballs evenly on the spaghetti squash.
  • Pour the rest of your marinara sauce over the top of the meatballs.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until you start to see bubbling along the sides.
  • Sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake another 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  • Once cheese is melted…enjoy! Sprinkle with fresh herbs if you have them.

Notes

**Different ways to cook the squash depending on time**
  1. Microwave: If you are short on time you can poke holes in the squash and place in a microwave safe dish and microwave until done. Just check every 5 minutes or so, when I can give it a good squeeze and it’s soft then I consider it done.
  2. Instapot: Cut the squash in half and scrape out the seeds. Add a cup of water and then place your squash in the instapot. Cook on high pressure for 7 minutes. Once finished cooking carefully open the vent for a quick release. Once the steam is gone and the vent has gone back down, you can open the pot.
  3. Oven: Poke 5-6 holes in the squash and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour – possibly more if the squash is big. Then slice in half and scrape out the seeds.
  4. Microwave and Oven: Poke 5-6 holes in the squash and microwave for 5-10 minutes. Just enough for the squash to be soft enough to cut in half. Once you can cut in half and scrape the seeds out, put in the oven and roast at 350 degrees for 40-60 minutes depending on the size of the squash.
**note the macros will be a little different depending on your sauce/sausage etc….**
**if making gluten free, make sure your sauce is gluten free**

Nutrition

Serving: 277grams | Sodium: 943mg | Calcium: 119mg | Vitamin C: 8mg | Vitamin A: 565IU | Sugar: 6g | Fiber: 2g | Potassium: 610mg | Cholesterol: 79mg | Calories: 358kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Fat: 27g | Protein: 19g | Carbohydrates: 9g | Iron: 3mg

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