Spaghetti and Meatball Bites

“OMG Juli. Spaghetti isn’t allowed on the paleo diet. Pasta is the devil.” Yes reader, yes it is. Spawn of satan that dough in noodle form is. That’s why it tastes so good and you feel instantly sick after you eat it. I miss “make your own pasta” at Macaroni Grill. Holy balls could I get down with that back in the day. And I would eat like 3 loaves of their fantastic bread before my doughy noodles even hit my dinner table. And I would have dessert. Lordy.

These aren’t real noodles. These are spaghetti squash noodles. And I love them.

Guess what happened today?! I tried to act like I knew what I was doing in kickball, reached my arms out for a ball coming “right at me”, and completely missed the ball. I mean, it wasn’t really even near me. I have no sense of how to catch things. Or where a flying object is in space. Or how to catch a ball, really. But then I caught the ball later, and redeemed myself. Thanks gosh. I think my team still kinda likes me.

I think I’m going to play in the park this weekend. And when I say play, I mean read in the park. I want to read “Catching Fire” and get through the entire book. It won’t happen because I’m a very slow reader and very easily distracted by the half naked bodies galloping through the park, but I will try my best.

I also want to bake a cake. Not just any cake though. I want this cake to have bacon in it. Don’t tell me you just said ew. If so, you’re dumb. Because it will be beautiful. I just know it.


Spaghetti and Meatball Bites

  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x


  • 1 medium spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed
  • 1lb Tropical Traditions Grass Fed Ground Beef
  • 1 (14oz) can tomato sauce
  • 3 egg whites, whisked
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fat of choice (I used bacon fat)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, use a spoon to remove the seeds and excess threads.
  3. Place spaghetti squash cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes. Make sure not to overcook!!
  4. Add your ground beef to a large bowl and add 1/2 tablespoon of parsley, basil, and thyme and a bit of salt and pepper. Combine.
  5. Make your ground beef into small bite-sized meatballs.
  6. Now place a large skillet under medium heat, add your fat then small meatballs.
  7. Then add your can of tomato sauce, extra herbs, and salt and pepper.
  8. After meatballs have cooked for about 3-4 minutes, flip them and let them simmer in the sauce.
  9. While the meatballs are cooking through, remove your spaghetti squash from oven and use a fork to dethread the squash.
  10. Turn oven down to 350 degrees.
  11. Place silicone cups in your muffin tin then add your spaghetti squash threads to eat silicone cup, pressing down in the middle of the cup for the meatball to sit.
  12. Once the meatballs are done cooking, remove them from the sauce, and place each one in a muffin tin.
  13. Now pour just a little bit of beaten egg white on top of each muffin, spaghetti squash and the meatball.
  14. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until egg is completely cooked through.
  15. Add extra sauce to a bowl and dip your spaghetti and meatball bites in the sauce! BOOM!


You may have some leftover meatballs depending what size you make them. I just ate them while my other bites cooked. Obviously.

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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


126 thoughts on “Spaghetti and Meatball Bites”

  1. These are adorable and I can’t wait to see your bacon cake. I just made a bacon and sea salt chocolate chip cookie (posted it on monday on my blog). OMG. Fantastic.

  2. Hi Julie, totally going to make these this week, great recipe!…quick question…after the squash is cooked, do you turn the oven down to bake the meatball/squash muffins? Or keep at 425 for 18min? Thanks! Lynn

    1. I cook my spaghetti squash in the microwave. Pierce it well with a large fork and cook on high until it softens. Slice it open – let it cool for a bit and scrape out the squash with a fork!

  3. I’m also reading Catching Fire ~ and I put bacon in a GF chocolate cake last week. And it ROCKED! You go girl.

  4. Can I just say, wow, Juli (and obviously we’re on a first name basis ‘cuz I read your blog), lol. You are so freeeaking funny 🙂 Just thought I’d share. You and I sound like we may have been some sick twins separated at birth. I could’ve written this blog post… if I were slightly funnier, and were not the single mom of a “spirited” toddler…. Anyways, CF for me tomorrow! Thanks for the laughs (AND RECIPES), I make at least one of your recipes a week, and 75%+, which is a lot for a toddler, my lil guy eats up every last drop! Keep on keepin’ on. You are AWESOME girl! (and an inspiration.. ok enough of the sappy truthful talk), I’m goin to bed! Rock on!

  5. Hi Juli
    I love your blog and this recipe looks incredible. I use spaghetti squash all of the time. Do you have a cookbook published. If so, where can I get it and if not, You need to publish one!
    Thanks again for sharing, your hilarious. I thoroughtly enjoy your humour.

    Kathy Scott,
    Camlachie, Ontario.

  6. These are so creative! But I got a little distracted by the bacon in the cake idea…. I think I need that. My friend baked me cupcakes sprinkled with bacon for my birthday last year… yeah, just as awesome as they sound.

  7. So there I was in the grocery yesterday, looking at the spaghetti squash wondering if I wanted one or not. I voted kicking myself!

    right, back to the store I go 🙂

    I’m with everyone else…make the cake! Do it!

  8. Bacon Cake!!! Chocolate, of course…..but could it be maple flavored….or incorporate sweet potatoes? Anxiously waiting with fork poised in hand for that recipe!

  9. I can’t wait to see how this cake comes out (followed by trying it myself). Staring at half naked people in the park would totally distract me too, but Catching Fire is a good book!

  10. Oh please make a cake and post the recipe! Since I won’t be eating my sugary gluten bomb wedding cake on my first anniversary, I want to make a replacement! And keep on catching those balls!

  11. Brilliant…. simply brilliant 🙂 and hey… a girl could crumble a bit of bacon and toss it in the meatball portion… ** winks **

  12. YUM! Speaking of Bacon cakey goodness…. There’s a donut shop in Portland, OR called Voodoo Donuts and they make Bacon Maple Bar. If only we can recreate it to make it Paleo friendly.. 😉

  13. K, so I was just about to tell you about this cake, but it sounds like you already know:0) Blueberry Bacon Breakfast Cake from How Sweet It Is……Yes pls!

  14. Any recommendations on silicone baking cups for a muffin pan? How easy are they to keep clean?

    Sounds like a brilliant idea… one that’ll save me the frustration of hand scouring bits of cooked meat and egg out of my worn-out muffin pans.

  15. This is on the menu for next week! Sounds deelightful!

    Andrew, you can get silicone baking cups at most gourmet stores. Also, you can get them online at Just type in silicone baking cups in the search option. They currently have a set of 12 Wilton liners for $7.98. 🙂

  16. These look amazing! Sadly, through the powers of Paleomg, I have recently learned I am ALLERGIC to spaghetti squash! Hives, swollen lips, itchy mouth, it has happened twice immediately post spaghetti squash consumption. I’m 30 years old and have no other allergies (in fact I can get down on some butternut and summer squash) has anyone else encountered this? I may still try this one with spinach instead of squash.

    1. I always eat my “pasta” sauce over baby spinach, makes me not miss pasta. I never really got on the spaghetti squash kick, perhaps I’ve just never had it cooked right? I don’t bother trying again cuz it rocks on spinach!

    2. Meg,
      I too recently have discovered that I could possibly be allergic to spaghetti squash. I’ve eaten it in the past with no problems and then suddenly, wham, itchy palms, feet, hives, swollen eyelids. I don’t have any other allergies & am about the same age. Don’t know if I should stay away from other sqashes. Any advice?

  17. Oh these are adorable!! Thanks, I bet I could charm my teenage girl with ’em.

    I wasn’t fond of spaghetti squash the last time I had it. I seriously wonder if the problem is it tastes like squash. I was tempted to wonder what would happen if I fed it to the food processor when raw and then simmered it in a spicy sauce of some kind. Then it wouldn’t taste like squash anymore but would still be an interesting ‘textural addition’ to something. I might try it. It would be better if you did since I am lazy and clearly, given you spend all day training and working out, you are not. 🙂


  18. Do you pour the egg whites once you have place the meatball on top of the muffin or before. Sorry I wasn’t sure.

      1. I just made these without silicon muffin liners= worked fine! Didn’t bother with paper- just sprayed the muffin tin with some oil.

        came out great!!!

  19. Made these last night and they were phenomenal! Had leftovers tonight and they were still great! Love your recipes…keep them coming!

  20. You might be a genius. I have thought that more than once while reading your site. True story. Also, if you make a paleo cake with bacon in it, you will be my hero. I had a (cheat) crazy brownie with ice cream, candied bacon and chocolate/bourbon/bacon sauce on it. I nearly died. For good reasons. And then for bad ones.

    You might find it hilarious that you misuse the word “eat” under point eleven above.

    Also, you need to know that you are only the second food blogger who I read more than once a week and treat as a go-to for recipe ideas. The only other one is the Smitten Kitchen, your antithesis, and my go-to in pre-paleo days for sweets. I have made several of your dishes (and none of the sweets even!) and they have all been excellent. You rock. You might also be literally saving my live. <3

  21. Juli, where do you find spaghetti squash this time of year? I’m down here in Colorado Springs with no luck … Whole Foods doesn’t carry it until the fall!

  22. Really a clever idea. The spaghetti squash is rapidly becoming a favorite in our home. (even the midgets like it) It really tastes great with the tomato sauce and meat balls.

    Side note: next time I will not mess with baking cup step/egg on top step. I think it just dried out the meat balls and squash….and made more dishes to wash.

  23. Made these for friends over the weekend. Added some finely chopped garlic and onion to the meatballs – HUGE hit! Well done. 🙂 Will be making them again.

  24. I do not possess silicone cups…sooo….what if i just lightly oiled the muffin tin? thoughts?’re awesome Juli! And your headbands…do they go smaller towards the back of the head?

    totally random tidbit thoughts lol

  25. I made this again last night but I put the spaghetti squash (after cooked) on a greased 8×10 Pyrex. Then placed meatballs on top and cooked. When done cooking topped it all off with remaining sauce. Awesome! Solves issue if you don’t have proper silicone cupcake holders.

  26. Wow!! Fantastic recipe!! Every recipe I have made from your blog has rocked!!! Thanks for sharing!!

  27. Loved these! I did not use silicone, just oiled the pan, and they popped right out. My three year olds and hubby loved too! Thank you so much!

  28. I don’t own a muffin tin or any silicone cups (of any kind), i’m a guy. Any alternative suggestions? guess i could just mix the egg whites w/ the spag squash & cook in the bacon fat kind of like potato pancakes…

      1. fine but i’ll never admit i bought one.

        i did manage to totally f this simple recipe up the other night too. I used some grass fed ground beef (never cooked with it before & it’s considerably different than reg ground beef, even the 93-7 or whatever the ratio is). I used the same measurements of spices/herbs but apparently nowhere enough salt & I sea salted the shit out the beef, so i thought. then i just got lazy & baked the squash, dug it out of the skin & threw it in a bowl & just poured the meatballs & sauce over it. Also, i didn’t have tomato sauce so i thought i’d improvise w/ a can of diced tom & tom puree (FAIL).
        Don’t judge me, the wod that day was a total bitch & the last thing i wanted to do was go home & cook.

  29. Can’t wait to try this! But wait..this serves 12?! Or makes 12 little muffins? Because seriously…I might eat them all in one sitting myself.

  30. Made these for dinner tonight!! Even my 8 yr old enjoyed!! used pork instead of beef for OOOOOHHHHHHH so good!!! TFS!!

  31. These were good! I think my oven slightly ruined them though since it decided to have a mind of it’s own. 🙁 First time making spaghetti squash too and I enjoyed it!

  32. Hey Juli!
    I made these last weekend and I had an issue. I made them using my silicone muffin cups; however, the spaghetti squash did not want to stay together. When I tried to get them out, they would just start falling apart. I loved how they tasted, I just need to figure out how to get them to stick together.

  33. Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with this recipe, I just thought for anyone as anal as I am, I’d share some… I used 2 medium squashes and once cooked I added the 3 egg whited to the “spaghetti” directly and stirred it in. I made the ball (approximately) 1.5 TBSP (makes 24 balls) then put just under 1/4 cup spaghetti/egg mixture into greased muffin tins (filled 22 holes). So, drats, I had to eat 2 meatballs. Anyway, doing it this way made 22 awesome bites.

    1. I too was wondering about mixing the egg whites with the squash first. I think I’ll do it that way next time. Did it hold together better, Sammy?

      I also added some sautéed garlic and shallots, Italian seasoning, and basil (along with the other spices) to the meat before I formed the meatballs. So yummy!!! It’s funny to me that after four-plus years of following PaleOMG, this is the first time I’ve tried this recipe. Thanks, Juli!

  34. YUM! Made this last night, just added sauteed green peppers/garlic/onion to the sauce. I must say that this was my 1st attempt at cooking spaghetti squash. Umm … yums!! And your method (425° / 25 min.) is WAY easier than any other way I found on the internet. Thanks so much for sharing!

    5 stars (I can’t leave a rating from my phone apparently…lol)

  35. Made this tonight! First paleorecipe that wasn’t just grilled protein and a side of veggies. So easy and so good! Fiven stars!

  36. Made these last night. They weren’t as pretty, and I didn’t use fat, but they tasted great! Thanks for the recipe!

  37. I’m absolutely devastated, I’m in Western Australia and have the same problem as Emma in Melbourne – can’t find anywhere that sells spaghetti squash! I’m making it my mission for the weekend to scout all the local markets, but so far I’ve checked 8 boutique grocery stores with no luck 🙁
    Is there anything that can be used as a substitute?

  38. Thanks for this recipe. Can’t wait to try it, though I know we will love it. You and I would never mesh in person, but I love your recipes. I suppose we would mesh if we only talked about food. I’m new to the paleo lifestyle, and I turn to your blog often for ideas. Thanks!

  39. OMGosh I am so excited to make these tonight. It looks so kid friendly I think the kiddos will love them. Im even more excited to make the Coconut Bites for my Mr. Amazing this weekend. I plan on having my desserts first 🙂 BTW you are hysterical. Keep up the great reads!

  40. This looks awesome! Do you think these would freeze well. I’m doing some extra cooking for my parents at the moment and need good freezable recipes. Thanks!

  41. My first paleo meal and it was delicious! I even ate the leftovers which is something I never do.

  42. A healthy & FUN dish for the entire family. My girls (age 9) helped with the entire process. We had 3 tins leftover, so our 3 dogs ate Paleo, too, tonight! 🙂

  43. OMG meatballs!! These are awesome. Me and my fellow crossfitters at crossfit surge absolutely love the OMG menu! (we are having a get together and nearly all of us are using your recipes to contribute to the spread).
    To be honest, these were really fun to make. I used to bake a lot before I went paleo and I’ve missed it until today. Julie, you’ve inspired me to find ways to make all of my paleo prep more like the traditional baking experience. You’re awesome!


  44. Hey Juli. The silicone mufffins cups in this recipe… are they mini’s or regular size? I’m trying to order them and I want to make sure I buy the right item. Thanks.

  45. Made these lovely little things last night 🙂 LOVED IT!!! I’m transitioning over to paleo and have to say that recipes like this will make things a lot easier! THANKS!

  46. I loved this dish but found that the spagitti squash was a bit moist. I am going to cook it in the cup cake pan first to get it a little crunchier then add the meatballs.

  47. Any idea of how many calories, carbs, fat content, etc. these have? I’m just embarking on a weight loss challenge with a friend, and I’d love to try a new recipe that I can enjoy without any guilt.
    Spaghetti and meatballs is one of my favorite meals of all time!!

  48. These were delicious. I made them tonight and they came out great! I am really enjoying your blog and look forward to making more of your recipes in the future. Thanks!

  49. I love your recipes, but lately I’ve been having trouble with the “print” function. When I hit it, it only opens the page on another tab. Am I doing something wrong? Also, I’m a Pampered Chef freak and love my stoneware–could we use those with this recipe as well? Thanks! (I have printed many of your recipes, it just takes me extra steps to transfer it into word processing.)

    1. Hey Tammy! I’ve heard some people having that same issue, but we haven’t seemed to be able to fix it. I’ll keep trying to! As for the stoneware, I’m not sure, I’ve never used that!

  50. attempted to make these with acorn squash instead of spaghetti. As expected it didnt work. Still have some yummy meatballs though!!

  51. This is freaking ingenious!! I can’t wait to try this one! As I sit here and read your blog, I wish I had a paleo army to cook for – I want to make everything NOW!!!! I can’t wait for your cookbook to come out. I am so much more book oriented in the kitchen, and your pix kick serious ass!!

  52. Tried this tonight, it’s freaking awesome!

    I am on day 2 of paleo after 26 years of not eating vegetables, I am slowly moving my way into a healthier lifestyle (after having lost 100 lbs.) and now need to make cleaner food choices to maintain – so I am giving new things a try, and spaghetti squash seemed like an ok transition, and I was right, this meal was fantastic!

  53. I am going to try them tonight. Some without egg / some with and egg replacer and whatever else I can think of. Maybe coconut flour and some water. I hope they bind together I love the idea of this as a finger food.

  54. FREAKING AMAZBALLS!! Holy Mary Mother of God. Seriously. No, SERIOUSLY! Where is that freaking 6th star? I just LOVE your site. Everything I’ve made has been “why haven’t we been eating like this forever?! I want to shoot myself for being so stupid and shopping in the middle of the grocery store.”

  55. I was so excited about these and made them tonight. The taste was just fine, but there was so much liquid in the cups after they finished baking that they didn’t hold their shape at all, just mushed out all over the plate. Any idea what I could do different?

  56. This is genius! I may actually be able to convince my 7 year old that spaghetti squash tastes good…and that he shouldn’t run away gagging every time I make it. haha 🙂

  57. Thank-you all over the place!
    I’m new to the Paleo world and thought I’d give this a go. I have huge respect for those that can fork a spaghetti squash while it’s hot out of the oven… My fingers suffered a bit. Verbal referrals being spread like verbal diarrhea.

  58. Just made these. Cheated and used frozen meatballs and regular spaghetti sauce, but my first time ever making spaghetti squash, but they turned out GREAT!!! I now have a new quick go to recipe!!! I’ll let you know if they pass my picky eater’s test.

  59. Go buy a spiral slicer (on Amazon) and start cutting your own noodles using a zucchini. Great as a pasta substitute, can cut long ribbons for “lasagna” and can cut many kinds of veggies and fruit.

  60. I just made these and they’re amazing! They did come out watery, though. If your spaghetti squash seems a bit wet after you’ve taken the fork to it and dethreaded (is that a word? meh) it, I’d recommend squeezing/soaking any excess water out of the spaghetti squash before you bake it. Thanks for another great recipe Juli! I love your site and I’ve made quite a few things from here- they all tasted amazing!

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