One-Pot Zoodles and Meatballs

 

If you have a new baby in tow, this is a quick and easy dinner recipe that only leaves you with one pot to clean. Clutch. You also get all the flavor of delicious spaghetti, with an extra serving of veggies and a bit on the lighter side. To save room for some dark chocolate of course ;)

Zoodles with Meatballs_overhead.jpg

One-Pot Zoodles & Meatballs

ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1 lb spicy Italian chicken sausage,  no casing 
  • 1 egg

Or get pre-made frozen meatballs

Marinara sauce and Zucchini

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper 
  • 2 tsp dried oregano 
  • 1 (~26-ounce) jar marinara sauce (~3 cups)
  • 4 medium zucchini if spiralizing your own, or 4 cups of pre-made zoodles
  • Grated Parmesan cheese & fresh basil for serving

preparation

  1. In a large bowl, mix up the sausage with an egg, then roll the sausage into about 12 meatballs. (If using premade meatballs, skip this step.)
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the meatballs to lightly brown (~3-5 min).  
  3. Add the onion and garlic, season with salt & red pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, ~3-5 minutes.
  4. Add the marinara sauce and oregano.
  5. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce is slightly thicker ~15 minutes. 
  6. Add the zoodles to the pot, tossing often until the zucchini just starts to soften, ~1 minute. 
  7. Serve topped with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese & fresh basil. 

recipe notes

  1. If saving extras to reheat, don’t cook more than 2 min. to prevent zucchini from getting mushy. I like my noodles crunchy, so I toss the noodles in the marinara then immediately turn off the heat. (The zoodles release a lot of water that thins out the sauce.)
  2. Zucchini releases water, so to make sure you don't end up with a thin sauce, simmer the marinara until it seems like the sauce is too thick before adding the zucchini. Once you add the zoodles, the liquid released will dilute the sauce into the perfect consistency.
  • Another strategy to keep the sauce from getting too diluted is to add extra flavor- add more salt & seasonings than you typically would for "real" pasta.