Turkey Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash, Arugula, and Pesto (gluten free, egg free, dairy free)

My lunch was the envy of coworkers today.  Juicy turkey meatballs, fragrant pesto, bright green arugula over threads of yellow squash - perfect lunch for a sunny spring day.  And SUPER easy.  I threw it together quickly this morning before work.  Last night I cooked some spaghetti squash, and had that ready to go. This morning, it was as easy as 1-2-3: throw some cooked spaghetti squash in a container, top with leftover frozen turkey meatballs and frozen cubes of pesto I made a few weeks ago, and put some arugula in a bag to add later.  Lunch time came, I heated it up, added the torn arugula, and it was ready in minutes.  I love easy lunches.

It would be even better prepared fresh and served immediately to friends and family!  Either make the pesto yourself (lots of recipes exist online - or try mine!) or purchase one of the many jarred, pre-prepared varieties available at your local grocer.  Pesto freezes like a dream - just use an ice cube tray, or, silicon candy mold or ice cube tray.  SIlicon is the easiest, especially for sauces.  Freeze into measured cubes and then transfer to a freezer bag for longer storage.  Easy!!!

Spaghetti squash makes a great, low-carb pasta replacement.  Since it has a very mild flavor, it picks up whatever seasonings you put it with.  If you've never tried it, I totally recommend it - instead of thick, orange flesh like regular winter squash, its flesh is yellow and separates like spaghetti once cooked.  I use it like pasta, add it to casseroles and soups, and have even been know to roll it up in nori with oil-packed sardines and fresh herbs...


serves 2

2 c cooked spaghetti squash (about 1/2 large squash)
1/2  lb ground turkey
1 garlic clove, minced
2 T onion, minced
1 T olive oil
dash ground mustard
dash dried/fresh basil
dash sea salt/fresh cracked pepper
a couple handfuls arugula, roughly torn
2-4 T pesto, to taste (jarred or fresh)
  1. Half squash and scoop out seeds.  Then, cook squash by preferred method.  Bake at 350, covered and with a little water in the pan, for about an hour OR place in a microwave safe dish with a little water, cover, and microwave for 8-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your squash.  Spaghetti squash is done when you can easily separate the strands of squash with a fork.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine turkey, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, basil, and mustard until well mixed.  Grab little chunks of meat and roll into balls about 1 1/2 inch in diameter.  
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat and coat with a little oil.  Place meatballs in skillet and brown, stirring occassionally.  Cover skillet and let meatballs cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occassionally, until they are no longer pink the middle.
  4. Once meatballs and spaghetti squash are done, toss in a large bowl with arugula and pesto sauce.
  5. Serve!