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My October Trilogy of Races is almost over…exciting, but I am a bit sad too! Tonight, I am going to Zias, Saint Louis’s Best Italian Restaurant in the Hill, with a few friends who are running the STL Rock N Roll Half Marathon tomorrow as well! Therefore, I decided to make a different Italian style pasta dinner last night using my crockpot! I wanted to make a healthier version of spaghetti and meatballs by using quinoa in my meatball mixture (instead of bread crumbs) and spaghetti squash for my “pasta”. Don’t worry, I got enough carbohydrates with warm seduction bread and a piece of my banana pumpkin bread topped with Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter (I froze about 2/3 of my banana pumpkin bread loaf and defrost a piece when I want to enjoy it!)

Week 4 Crockpot Meal: Turkey Quinoa Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash


Turkey Meatballs:

  • 1 pound of 93% lean ground turkey meat
  • 1 egg, beated
  • 2/3 cup of cooked quinoa (can substitute bread crumbs)
  • 1 Tablespoon of dried oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons of dried basil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of dried onion powder
  • 4 gloves of crushed garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black cracked pepper

Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 gloves of crushed garlic
  • 1 white sweet onion, sliced
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes (with basil, oregano, and garlic)
  • 1/2 can of tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil


  • 1 spaghetti squash


Meatballs and Tomato Sauce

  1. Prepare meatball ingredients (cook quinoa, beat egg, and crush garlic) and mix all the meatball ingredients into a bowl.
  2. Roll mixture in your hands to make 1/8 cup size meatballs.
  3. In a pan, sauté garlic in olive oil (from tomato sauce ingredients) and brown the outside of the meatballs.

    Uncooked meatballs

    Cooked meatballs

  4. Place the sliced onions on the bottom of the crockpot.
  5. Add one can of diced tomatoes on top of the onions.
  6. Place the meatballs in the crockpot on top of the onions and diced tomatoes.
  7. Add the rest of the tomato sauce ingredients and give the mixture a few stirs.
  8. Cook the meatballs in the crockpot on HIGH for 3 hours (Low for 5-6 hours).
  9. Meatballs and tomato sauce will be ready to be served on top of the spaghetti!

Squash Spaghetti

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half. Scoop out the seeds/guts.
  3. Place halves facing down in a 9 by 13″ pan.
  4. Add 1/4 inch of water
  5. Place pan in the oven and cook for 1 hour.
  6. Scoop out spaghetti with a fork.

    You can’t screw up spaghetti squash! unlike overcooking pasta….I am not going to lie I have done a few times :/

* Substitute HALF spaghetti squash/HALF pasta OR  ALL regular/wheat pasta of course

You can always add steamed veggies too! I added broccoli….my favorite!

Meatball Recipe adapted by combining two turkey meatball recipes (1, 2).


SPAGHETTI SQUASH is a great way to get another vegetable into your daily intake in order to meet the recommended servings of vegetables per day (1 serving = 1 cup raw OR 1/2 cup cooked)! Click here to find out how many vegetables you should be eating per day for your age, gender, and level of physical activity.  

Here is the comparison between 1 cup of cooked regular spaghetti and spaghetti squash, if are watching your calorie and carbohydrate intake:

1 cup of spaghetti regular pasta= 220 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 43 grams of carbohydrates.

1 cup of cooked Spaghetti Squash = 42 calories, 0 grams of fat, and 10 grams of  carbohydrates

You are lucky, spaghetti squash is a vegetable in season right now! You should try it! Look for future posts on sweet, spicy, and savory spaghetti squash recipes :)

Good Luck to all the STL Rock N Roll Runners tomorrow! You will rock! And don’t forget to roll through the finish line with a big smile and your arms in the air!

Click here to view all the crockpot meals completed in CROCKPOT CHALLENGE 1!