Zucchini Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Zucchini Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

This is a great recipe to shake up an old classic using your SpiraLife veggie slicer. We use our spiral slicer for all sorts of spiralizer recipes but this one is one of the simplest and most favorite!

My mother used to make this spaghetti and meat sauce recipe with pasta noodles for us often when we were kids. It was actually the first recipe that I remember learning to make and I was sometimes tasked with cooking it for the family. We were never much of a meatballs family and never grew up on the sweet pasta sauce that some grew up with. This was what our family grew up with and loved. Our recipe has no sugar and has a good balance of onion and spices to mellow out the sweetness of the tomato. We almost always served it topped with parmesan cheese with a slice of garlic bread and a side of steamed zucchini chunks. My mom always had a veggie side with every meal.

This spaghetti recipe was fast, easy and hearty stuff that a kid of 10 could learn to prepare on his own and, in fact, I recommend that if you have little ones, this might be one of the first meals your guys learn to make. It is fun, easy and will become a family classic. When you send them off to college, I’ll bet you’ll worry a bit less knowing they have this recipe in their arsenal.

Growing older and trying to eat less starch on occasion, I do recall times when I’d have the meat sauce on top of those pieces of zucchini instead. I find it neat to have now come full circle in replacing those zucchini chunks with zucchini noodles. The same old meal but in a new and different, healthier way.

You can even customize it using ground beef or ground turkey. I like ground beef and try to get about 80% lean as the fat gives it good flavor and keeps it from drying out. I’m not too worried when it comes to animal fat as this is the stuff that is good for us. It is the processed factory-made fat that you want to avoid. Of course, if you have been instructed by a doctor to watch your fat intake, you can go leaner, just watch that you don’t overcook the meat as it could end up dry and lacking flavor.

However, my husband doesn’t eat beef, as a personal choice, so we generally just stick to the ground turkey these days and I also watch that it doesn’t dry out while at the same time cooks all the way through. The tomato sauce will help to add back some of the moisture and a good olive oil keeps the meat from sticking and drying too much.

This recipe is very filling without bloating and saves very well if you keep the meat and the noodles separate. You can also make a double batch of the meat sauce and spiral up a second zucchini for lunch at the office or a super-fast dinner the next night. You can even freeze the meat sauce for reheating later. Try a batch this week! Also great are my Spiraled Greek Cucumber Salad (my favorite!) and my SpiraLife “Anti” Pasta Salad. Good as side salads or add grilled chicken to make a meal out of them. Enjoy!

Zucchini Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
 
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Ingredients
  • 2 zucchini, spiraled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey or beef
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasonings
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 14-oz cans tomato sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 14-oz can pitted black olives
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium high heat.
  2. Brown onions until softened.
  3. Add ground meat and brown with onions, breaking meat up into pieces with your spatula.
  4. Add garlic powder, Italian Seasonings, salt and pepper and combine with meat mixture.
  5. Once meat is fully cooked, add tomato sauce and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine
  6. and simmer several minutes until heated.
  7. Add black olives, simmering until heated through.
  8. Add zucchini to plates and top with meat sauce and Parmesan cheese.Serve immediately with a nice, crusty garlic bread.
Notes
Add extra seasonings to suit your tastes. You can also use ripe young green olives as we used in the above photograph. These are harder to find. They are not the same as the green olives found in martinis and the taste quite delicious and buttery, similar to black olives.

 

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