This Zucchini Spaghetti with Homemade Meat Sauce is a delicious and hearty meal your family will LOVE! It’s low carb, grain-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free if you omit the cheese. The meat sauce is cooked up quickly and is served over lightened up zucchini noodles making for a healthy weeknight dinner!
Zucchini Spaghetti Recipe
This Zucchini Spaghetti is ultimate comfort food, but lightened up of course! Zucchini noodles are especially delicious during those summer months when they are abundant and you are looking for clever ways to use them up. Serving them with this quick meat sauce is perfect for an easy weeknight dinner when you are looking for something comforting, flavorful and simple!
What I love about this dish is that these days it is easily to find zucchini noodles pre-made in the store, so you can skip the step of spiralizing your zucchinis if you buy them. Additionally this meat sauce is super quick. While yes, traditional meat sauce is simmered for hours, this meat sauce is made specifically for an easy weeknight dinner thanks to the addition of tomato sauce. Look for a good quality brand with no strange ingredients or added sugar.
Tips for Using and Cooking Zucchini Noodles
Zucchini noodles are a great healthy and nutrient-dense substitute for regular pasta. Do they taste exactly the same? No, they’re zucchini. But most people who make this swap are happily satisfied to eat the zoodles, as they are known, topped with whatever sauce you are using. Below are some tips on how to best enjoy zucchini noodles!
You can eat them raw! Eating the zucchini noodles while raw will make for the firmest (and not soggy) zucchini noodles. Just toss with a touch of olive oil and salt and pepper before serving with your sauce.
If you are cooking them, don’t overcook them! The longer you cook zucchini noodles the softer and soggy they become! Cook for just a few minutes and stop cooking them before they actually looked cook. The zucchini will continue to cook a bit once they are off heat.
You can drain the noodles a bit before you serve them. Once cooked, set over a colander for a few minutes.
Sauce the noodles after they are cooked!
If you like this classic comfort food lightened up, check out these recipes:
Transfer zucchini noodles to a plate, and top with meat sauce, fresh basil, and parmesan if using. Serve hot.
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This Chicken Enchilada Spaghetti Squash Casserole is comfort food lightened up! All the classic flavors of your favorite chicken enchiladas, including refried beans, made healthier with spaghetti squash as its base. This gluten-free and dairy-free meal is the ultimate family favorite meal that is great for meal prep, too. Made in partnership with Tuttorosso Tomatoes!
Chicken Enchilada Spaghetti Squash Casserole
This Enchilada casserole is the ultimate gluten-free casserole! This healthy and hearty enchilada casserole made with spaghetti squash has all the Mexican flavor you love that is a definite crowd favorite. This recipe has loads of veggies, shredded chicken, homemade refried beans, spaghetti squash and is so comforting.
Cook The Spaghetti Squash: Preheat oven to 375ºF and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Cut spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Brush inside with oil. Place facedown on baking sheet and add 1 tablespoon or so of water to the baking sheet. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until you can pierce with a fork. Once done, scrape out squash into spaghetti stands and set aside.
While cooking, sauté the veggies:
Make the enchilada sauce: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the arrowroot flour and stir constantly for 1 minute. Stir in the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and salt. Then add the tomato sauce and gradually add the chicken broth, whisking to remove any clumps. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce is reduced by about half and can coat the back of a spoon.
Make the Refried Beans: Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add in garlic and spices and let cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Drain the liquid from the beans and rinse well, then add the beans to the saucepan. Turn down heat and stir well. Add in lime juice and water. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. Take off heat and mash well using a potato masher or fork. Set aside until ready to serve.
Assemble and bake:
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This post is sponsored by Tuttorosso Tomatoes. All thoughts and opinions are always 100% my own! I love the integrity of their products and think you’ll love them too. Thank you for continuing to support LCK and the brands I work with!
Have an abundance of tomatoes right now? The perfect way to use them up is to make Tomato Sauce from Fresh Tomatoes! This Freezer Friendly Tomato Sauce is a labor of love, but so so worth it! The perfect way to make use of all of these fresh tomatoes during tomato season!
Tomato Sauce From Fresh Tomatoes Recipe
This time of year is one of my favorites. Tomatoes on EVERYTHING. A few years ago I visited tomato farms and really gained an appreciation for them. So many variations, so many flavor profiles. I can eat the little grape tomatoes like candy, no joke. Plus, they are gorgeous, too!
How to Make Homemade Tomato Sauce
First you’ll want to process the fresh tomatoes, if using! You’ll need to take the skin off, core them and puree or mash them down.
Then you’ll sauté your aromatics, or the onion and garlic.
Add in your spices and toast them until they are fragrant and have released there oils.
Then add in those fresh tomatoes and cook low and slow for at least two hours!
You can use the sauce immediately or storage for later!
How to Take the Skins off of Fresh Tomatoes
Probably the trickiest part of making fresh tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes is taking off the skin! It isn’t a hard process, but it does add an extra step.
To take the skin off of fresh tomatoes you’ll need to blanch the tomatoes in boiling water. Once that is down the skin will peel right off! To blanch them: Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Working in batches, drop the tomatoes in the water for 1 minute. Carefully take tomatoes out and place in a large bowl. Let tomatoes cool. Once cool, carefully peel off skins.
SO, while it’s a little bit of a process, it’s for sure worth it. It’ll be some of the best tomato sauce you’ve ever had. Plus, you’ll feel good knowing you didn’t waste those farm fresh tomatoes! Can it if you’d like, or if you’re lazy like me… go for the freezer option!
If you like this tomato recipe, check out these others:
Optional: 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/4 cup lemon juice if canning!
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Working in batches, drop the tomatoes in the water for 1 minute. Carefully take tomatoes out and place in a large bowl. Let tomatoes cool. Once cool, carefully peel off skins.
Core the tomatoes and place in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth, or pulse until desired consistency is reached if you want a chunkier sauce. Set aside.
In a large pot, heat extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent.
Add in dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir for 30 seconds, just until fragrant. Pour in tomato puree and stir well.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and let cook for 2 hours, or until thickened and reduced. Add lemon juice if using. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
Take sauce off heat and cool down to room temperature. Pour into freezer friendly plastic containers and freezer!
*Tomato sauce will last in the freezer for 4-6 months.
*Feel free to can this tomato sauce instead of freezing it! If you do so, make sure to take out the extra-virgin olive oil from this recipe. Oil is known to higher the probability of potential strains of botulism when canning. Also, make sure to up the amount of lemon juice to 1/4 cup! The lemon juice will increase the acidity in this sauce to safe levels for canning.
Here is a great go-to recipe when wanting to can your tomato sauce:
10-11 pounds tomato, skinned and pureed
2 teaspoons sea salt, more to taste
2 teaspoons black pepper, more to taste
1 teaspoon dried basil, more to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano, more to taste
1/4 cup lemon juice
Place all ingredients into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer until thick. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed! Let cool.
Pour into sterilized canning jars and twist on sterilized lids until very secure. Place jars in a pot of boiling water for 30 minutes. Let cool completely on the counter. Make sure that the lids have sealed completely. If the lid pops up when pressed, the canning process did not work properly. Store in your pantry for up to one year!
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