Open Accessibility Menu

Spaghetti Switch Hitters

One of my favorite things to do in the kitchen is take a family favorite dish and re-create it into a healthier, more nutritious meal option that we all can enjoy. Cooking for picky-eaters is a challenge- I can relate! When you find a recipe that disguises vegetables, closely resembles a classic they love and tastes good- we call that a home run. In our house, this recipe is at the top of the batting list.

I have a lot of kitchen gadgets, tools and dishes that I adore- my muffin tin is at the top of the list. You simply can’t go wrong cooking with a muffin tin! It’s a simple solution to decrease cooking time as well as help with portion control with a variety of dishes and casseroles that are easy to over indulge on. I also have a theory that all foods made in a muffin tin come out cute- even my meatloaf. *More evidence to support this theory in the future.

These Spaghetti and Meatball Cups are a great weeknight recipe that can be put on the table in 30 minutes or less. By substituting spaghetti squash for pasta noodles you’ll be slashing calories as well as adding a serving of vegetables (and the crown goes wild).

Step up to the plate and take a swing at re-inventing your family’s favorite not-so-healthy meal. You never know when you’ll hit a grand slam!

Here’s one of mine- share yours with us!

Spaghetti Switch Hitters


  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 lb. Lean Ground Beef or Ground Turkey
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dried Parsley
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dried Basil
  • 1/2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup No Sugar Added Marinara Sauce
  • Fresh Sliced Mushrooms- optional
  • Shredded Cheese


1. Slice spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds. Place face down on a microwaveable plate and cook on high for 8-10 minutes. Tip- I like to add a little bit of water to the bottom of my plate to create steam while the squash cooks.

Two squash spaghetti squash halves

Two spaghetti squash halves face down

2. Preheat oven to 425°.

3. Next combine ground beef, herbs and garlic in a medium sized bowl. (I used my hands to mix here- have the kiddos wash up and help with this step!)

Raw ground beef patties

4. Form ground beef into 12 meatballs.

Spaghetti squash halves de-seeded

5. Remove squash from microwave and flip over, allowing to cool.

6. Heat olive oil in the bottom of a frying pan over medium heat. Add meatballs and brown each side, rotating occasionally.

7. Add marinara (and fresh mushrooms if you’re using them). Reduce heat and let simmer.

Ground beef, sauce, and garlic in a saucepanFork shredding spaghetti squash

8. Next, carefully string the spaghetti squash by dragging a fork across the flesh.

9. Spray the muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray and fill each cup full with spaghetti squash, pressing down firmly in the middle to create a hole for a meatball.

Saucepan with ingredients next to cupcake pan full of shredded squashPlacing ground beef on shredded squash

10. Add one meatball to each cup and sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Each cupcake tin has one meatball on a bed of spaghetti squash

11. Bake for 20 minutes or until the internal cooking temperature of each meatball meets 160°. Serve with a side of warm marinara.

Cooked meatballs on top of cooked spaghetti squash