Italian Meatballs and Sauce – Recipe

This recipe is GAPS, paleo, traditional, and real foods friendly.

Little Boy enjoyed having his meatball "egg" in a "nest" of spaghetti squash.

I made meatballs for the first time ever last week and they were so well-received that I made them again last night. I got a recipe from my friend Cassie, changed it a little according to what I had on hand and the sauce I would be serving it with, and it turned out delicious. For my sauce, I loosely followed my meat sauce recipe, without the meat, of course. We have these aboard spaghetti squash since we aren’t eating grains right now, but of course you can serve it over real spaghetti noodles, too (ideally made from sprouted flour or rice flour). Measurements are approximate.


2 to 2 1/2 pounds ground beef (pastured/grassfed)

3 Tbsp tamari (grain-free soy sauce)

4 cloves garlic, pressed

2 eggs (pastured)

1 Tbsp oregano

1 tsp basil

salt & pepper

In an 8×8 or 9×9 inch baking dish, mix together all ingredients except beef. Salt should be enough to sprinkle a layer over the whole pan, and pepper approximately 5 cranks on the pepper grinder (sorry I can’t be more precise!). Then add beef and work the seasoned egg mixture into the meet. Shape into 16 meatballs in the same pan. Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes or until done (I put it in with my baking squash at 350 F, so it takes longer).


1/2 onion, finely diced

2 T clarified butter

4 cloves garlic, pressed

14 oz canned diced tomatoes (you can use fresh peeled and deseeded tomatoes, too, but will need to cook them longer)

 6 oz tomato paste

1/2 cup bone broth (optional)

1 Tbsp oregano

1 tsp basil

salt & pepper

Sauté onions in butter on medium to medium low heat until translucent. Reduce heat a little and add garlic; cook for a couple of minutes. Add tomatoes and tomato paste. Add water or more broth if necessary for desired consistency. Add spices and simmer for 15 minutes. A little natural sweetener can be added (maybe a teaspoon?) if sauce is too acidic-tasting. Feel free to add more or less garlic and onion according to your taste preferences.

Cooking Order

If doing spaghetti squash, start baking it right away, as it takes about an hour, maybe a little longer. Halve the squash, place in a baking dish with about a quarter inch or so of water. Bake in 350 F oven for about one hour or until it gives easily when pressed on.

As soon as squash is in the oven, begin the meatballs. Put meatballs in oven after squash has been in oven for about 30 minutes since they may take as long as 45 minutes to bake at 350 F. The squash will retain it’s heat if you have to take it out of the oven before the meatballs are done. You can always crank the heat up to 400 F to quickly finish the meatballs once the squash is out.

After meatballs are in the oven, begin the sauce. With luck, all three items will be done at the same time, but if the sauce is early, just keep it on low until ready to serve.




6 thoughts on “Italian Meatballs and Sauce – Recipe

  1. How do you like squash noodles? I have tried them raw and HATED them. Do they get too watery when baked? I think I’ll have to try this – it’s probably better than the raw version! 🙂

    1. Um, yeah, I do not recommend eating raw squash, lol. Some things are just meant to be cooked. The spaghetti squash does get really juicy. Sometimes I drain the juice off my plate before eating it, but it’s not too bad. Alternatively, you can pre-scoop the squash and put it to drain in a sieve first, or even a serving dish and just let the juices sink to the bottom of the dish. I remember pasta tasting yummier than the squash, but then pasta always made me bloated, so I like the way I feel eating the squash better. Nice way to eat more veggies, too 😉

      1. Yeah, I love the idea of trying to replace some of my pasta-eating with squash! I eat a LOT of pasta! 🙂 I was on a raw kick two or three years ago and that’s when I tried forcing myself to eat those “zoodles.” I truly hated them! I will definitely try your recipe!

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