If you love Vegan Spaghetti Squash Recipes, be sure to add this Vegan Spaghetti Squash with chickpea meatballs to your meal prep list. This easy vegan dinner recipe is delicious and healthy too. See post tips for how to cook spaghetti squash easily.
It’s a bit of a stretch to call these meatballs. I know that.
Because the meatballs in this dish are made with great northern beans. Although you could use chickpeas or cannellini beans, navy beans, or pretty much whatever beans you want. However, I would advise sticking to the white beans to keep the flavor profile intact.
Ah, I digress.
Do you take offense to me calling these meatballs when in fact, there is no animal meat involved?
I could have called them beanballs. However, I don’t find that too appetizing. Do you?
Besides, could we not argue that the word meat has more than one meaning? In fact, Dictionary.com provides a second definition of the word meat as the edible part of anything, such as a fruit or nut.
I think beans are covered in that category.
OK. Now that we’re on the same page regarding the meatballs, let’s move on. Because there’s a lot of greatness to discuss today’s Vegan Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs recipe.
How to Make Spaghetti Squash
Do you feel intimidated when you think about how to cook spaghetti squash? I’m here to walk you through the steps. It’s actually very easy. Once you go through the process of cooking spaghetti squash once, you’ll get the hang of it and be a pro!
Step One: Prepare the Squash
First, cut the Spaghetti Squash in half, lengthwise. That’s no easy feat because like many uncooked squashes, the spaghetti squash is on the firm side. Here’s a favorite tip for cutting the spaghetti squash in half.
To soften the squash, score around the sides of it (where you will be cutting it in half). Then place it in the microwave and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. This will soften the squash to make it easier to cut. Allow it to cool until it’s cool enough to handle, and then cut the squash in half.
Then use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff inside.
Now, let’s talk about how to bake spaghetti squash. There’s a couple of processes you can use for baking spaghetti squash:
- Oven Roasting: Place both halves cut-side down on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 – 40 minutes, until a knife inserted in the side proves that the spaghetti squash is tender.
- Microwave: The process is similar. Place both halves, cut-side down, in a microwave-safe dish (like pyrex). Add a cup of water to the pan (to help steam the squash as it cooks). Then, place the dish in the microwave and cook for 5 – 10 minutes (depending on the size of your squash and the wattage of your microwave). Cook until tender. You can tell if it’s tender, by sticking a knife in the side of the squash.
Once the spaghetti squash is cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool until cool enough to handle. Place 3 – 4 paper towels on the counter. Then use a large spoon to scrape the spaghetti squash onto the paper towels. Squeeze the spaghetti squash between the paper towels to remove some of the excess liquid.
Step Two: Prepare the Chickpea Meatballs
Drain the can of beans and pour them in a food processor with the dehydrated onions, garlic powder, flax seeds, nutritional yeast flakes, and seasoning. Pulse until just combined, only a few seconds. You can scrape down the sides of the bowl and then pulse again. Just be sure to leave some pieces of the beans intact.
This makes a very sticky batter. You will want to use some kind of scoop (I used a cookie dough scooper) to create the balls. Place the bean balls on parchment-lined pan. Place the bean meatballs in the oven, along side the spaghetti squash. Cook for 25 – 30 minutes.
Step Three: Prepare the Casserole
Place the squeezed spaghetti squash into a casserole dish. Add the chia seeds. Stir gently to distribute the chia seeds throughout. These help soak up any extra liquids released from the spaghetti squash. Pour the spaghetti sauce on top.
Remove the pan of bean meatballs from the oven. Use tongs to transfer them on top of the spaghetti squash. Top with vegan mozzarella shreds. Return to the oven and bake another 10 minutes or so, until the cheese has melted.
Spaghetti Squash Bake
I love this strategy of eating healthy meals during the week and saving indulgences for the weekend. This spaghetti squash casserole could actually fit in either category because although it’s nice and healthy, it also has an indulgent feel to it.
When you’re ready for this tasty vegan spaghetti squash recipe, you can use any variety of sauces. You can use the red sauce as the recipe suggests, or even a tasty Vegan Alfredo Sauce.
But let’s talk a little about how easy to bake a spaghetti squash and transform it into this tasty casserole. I cook the spaghetti squash in the oven so that I can throw the bean meatballs in a separate pan to cook at the same time. As I love to say, might as well bake two loves while the oven’s hot.
Is Spaghetti Squash Healthy?
Spaghetti Squash is what we refer to as a winter squash. Most people think of these squashes as very starchy and therefore lacking nutrients. But, come to find out, winter squash offers a lot of great nutrients, like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Fiber, Potassium and more.
The point here is that spaghetti squash is a good thing to include in your diet. I used to balk a little at the taste, but with proper preparation, I’ve grown to love it. Shawn has been known to be a picky eater too (he still won’t eat green beans or mushrooms), and he likes this Vegan Spaghetti Squash recipe too.
The bean meatballs add fiber, flavor, and substance to this recipe. Each bite has a little something special about it.
Did you know the average person has over 10,000 taste buds? That’s a lot of tasting. And we each have our own preferences as a result too. I can hit a wide swath of those taste buds with this Vegan Spaghetti Squash Recipe, but I’m not going to catch them all. So, that’s one reason I highly recommend being experimental and trying your hand at adapting recipes. Here are some ways I would suggest changing this one around:
- I could see adding some raw walnuts to the beanballs, for a heartier flavor
- Increase or reduce the pasta sauce based on your preferences
- You can skip the vegan mozzarella shreds and sprinkle with Vegan Parmesan instead
- I could see adding some fresh, minced garlic to the spaghetti squash
- If you want this recipe to be really easy, use store-bought vegan meatballs instead of the bean meatballs
So, have fun with this recipe, and please your taste buds! I definitely recommend serving this Vegan Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs recipe with some Vegan Cheesy Pull-apart Bread. It’s another easy recipe that will have your family excited to get to the dinner table.
Vegan Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs
- Heat your oven to 375°F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper.
- Cut the Spaghetti Squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Place both halves face down on one of the lined baking pans. Place this in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a knife inserted in the side proves that the spaghetti squash is tender.
- Drain the can of beans. Place the beans in a food processor with the dehydrated onions, garlic powder, flax seeds, nutritional yeast flakes, Italian seasoning, and sage. Pulse until combined, only a few seconds. It should leave some pieces of the beans intact.
- This makes a very sticky batter. You will want to use some kind of scoop (I used a cookie dough scooper) to create balls. Place the beanballs on the second parchment-lined pan. Place the bean meatballs in the oven, alongside the spaghetti squash. Cook for 25 – 30 minutes.
- Once the spaghetti squash is tender, remove from the oven and allow to cool for several minutes, until cool enough to handle. Place 3 to 4 paper towels on the counter. Then use a large spoon to scrape the spaghetti squash onto the paper towels. Squeeze the spaghetti squash a little to remove excess fluids.
- Place the squeezed spaghetti squash into a casserole dish. Add the chia seeds and stir gently to distribute (these help soak up any extra liquids released from the spaghetti squash). Pour the spaghetti sauce on top.
- Remove the pan of bean meatballs from the oven. Use tongs to transfer them on top of the spaghetti squash. Top with vegan mozzarella shreds. Return to the oven and bake another 10 minutes or so, until the cheese has melted.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
If you love vegan and vegetarian spaghetti squash recipes, try my Vegan Spaghetti Squash Casserole too!
Whatever spaghetti squash you’re twirling around your fork, enjoy!