Spicy Ground Turkey Meatballs With Spaghetti Squash (Paleo I Whole30)
The best make-ahead meal prep recipe! These homemade, veggie turkey meatballs come with a spicy kick. Made with ground turkey, almond flour, and spices, they’re then baked in the oven to juicy perfection. Packed with protein, they make a fueling snack or fast weeknight dinner served on top of spaghetti squash!
I saw this meme the other day that mentioned something about how once you hit thirty you lose out on all your favorite carbs and start eating cauliflower for the base of meals instead. It made me smile because it's somewhat true!
In my teen years and early twenties, I lived off of high (processed) carbohydrate meals. And I felt like crap. I made the switch towards healthy eating a bit earlier than lots of people (read about my journey here) but the base of my meals has definitely changed!
It's not that I hate carbs- far from it! But I do like to focus on making sure I get enough protein & nutrients.</span
Ingredients You Need
These paleo meatballs are made with a base of ground turkey. Though beef would work as well.
They contain a blend of spices including cayenne pepper and jalapeno to give them a flavorful, spicy kick and shredded carrots to amp up your veggie intake.
Though most meatball recipes use flour to bind, this recipe uses almond flour (not to be mistaken for almond meal). Learn the difference between the two here.
While this doesn't bind them exactly like a traditional flour (or even coconut flour) does, it helps keep them juicy from baking in the oven.
Step By Step Photos
Are These A Meal or A Snack?
This turkey meatballs recipe works as both!
The meatballs by themselves have a nutritional breakdown of 31grams of protein and 5 grams of carbohydrates per five balls.
This makes them an easy, high-protein snack recipe by themselves.
However, they also make a great, 30-minute dinner recipe as well. If using them for dinner, cook the meatballs separately in the oven and place them on top of your favorite noodles & sauce or in this case spaghetti squash & veggies.
How To Make The Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti squash is a great low-carb option to replace pasta.
It can be made a variety of ways (here's a great blog with better detail on how to make spaghetti squash and a few other awesome recipes) but for this recipe it's just boiled and drained.
Make sure to full drain the squash (press it into a strainer once you shred it) as it does retain a lot of water and can make the dish "soupy".
Better yet, if you're using this recipe as a meal prep recipe, cook the squash ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge where most of the water will come out.
How To Meal Prep The Recipe
Want to make dinnertime, even more, hacks to make meal prep easier simple? Prep your meatballs and the squash ahead of time! One of my staples is to always have cooked rice or grain in the fridge (like quinoa for these meal-prep friendly quinoa and veggie wraps)
While it's not necessary but it does save twenty-five minutes after work.
We've even made them in big batches and frozen them (freeze raw!) as part of my postpartum meal prep! Indeed, meatballs make the easiest meal prep recipe.
30 Healthy Dinner Ideas In Under 30 Minutes
If you’re looking for even easier, healthy dinner recipes, check out The Busy Moms E-Cookbook,- simple dinners for busy moms where I’ve gathered 30 healthy dinner recipes that can be made in thirty minutes or less.
From easy vegan tacos to beef and quinoa chili, simple chicken pasta to a bok choy and mushroom bowl. These dinner recipes share a few things in common:
- They are healthy and simple to make
- All of the recipes are dairy-free or could easily be made dairy-free
- The majority of the recipes are gluten-free
- All of the recipes are real-food based and focus on nutrients not fillers
- They’re all tasty!
To make dinner-time even LESS stressful, I’ve also included several bonus tips on food prep, pantry staples, and how to make healthy eating simple. Grab your copy of The Busy Mom’s E-Cookbook
Important Teaching Tips
You need to let the meatball mixture sit for a couple of minutes. This lets the almond flour absorb the wetness of the meatballs a bit more.
These meatballs work on top of anything (salad, as a snack, on top of pasta) but they will fall apart if you try to cook them IN a sauce.
Make sure to let the spaghetti squash drain fully before using it. Otherwise, the dish ends up "soupy".
The meatball recipe makes roughly 20 meatballs.
A Hack To Cook Meatballs (No Grease!)
The biggest meatball hack you'll ever learn silicone pyramid baking mat.
I now use a red silicone mat to cook the meatballs (which you can see in the video for these teriyaki meatballs). After years of cooking meatballs either directly on the pan (in which they sit in the grease- ew) or having to pre-cook the grease off before baking them, my mom got me this mat.
And it was a game-changer.
It allows the grease from the meatballs to drain off so they're not sitting in it. Furthermore, it's silicone so super easy to clean. Honestly, it's been one of the things I use most in the kitchen!
Frequently Asked Questions About Ground Turkey Meatballs
Make sure to add something that will help hold them together (a flour like a coconut flour or in this case almond flour) as well as to massage your meat. You also want to make sure that you don't add too much "stuff" to the mixture and that what you do add is chopped finely. This makes the meatballs able to stick together better.
Breadcrumbs are the popular choice when making homemade meatballs but they're not necessary. In fact, any flour will normally work to help absorb the grease and bind the meatballs together.
Turkey is a very delicate meat. So while you do need to massage the meat in order to get it to bind, you don't want to over-mush it.
typically, any gluten-free flour will work with homemade meatballs. This includes gluten-free all-purpose flour, oat flour, coconut flour, and of course, almond flour.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
More Easy Dinner Recipes You'll Enjoy
- 30-minute teriyaki meatball bowls
- Easy chicken fajita bowls
- 15-minute chicken pesto pasta
- Sweet peach curry
- Maple balsamic crockpot chicken
- Stovetop venison chili
- 30-minute dinner ideas
- Healthy dinner recipes
Grab your printable
Easy, Spicy, Turkey Meatballs recipe (Paleo & Whole30)
Cook The Meatballs
For the dish
These homemade, ground turkey meatballs make a delicious, and healthy weeknight dinner recipe! They're low carb and whole30 based using real food ingredients. They have a bit of a kick to them to boost your immune system which makes them perfect for a dinnertime kick.