Crock-Pot Spaghetti Squash & Turkey Meatballs

I have been looking into low-carb recipes lately especially since I bought a Spiralizer. It really has inspired me to cut back on meals that are carb-friendly..I love the feeling of coming home from work and dinner is already made, thanks to my crock-pot! I have been trying to make more use out of it because it is so much easier to use than we all think. I guess I have been timid to use my crock-pot because I haven’t used it much. I can count the meals I’ve made with it on one hand so I am trying to get more practice out of it. Fall is quickly approaching us and you can bet I will be whipping up some comforting soups from my crock-pot by then! Just like all of us food bloggers, I have a Pinterset board full of crock-pot recipes that I have accumulated and I’m looking forward to trying them out!

Crock-Pot Spaghetti Squash & Turkey Meatballs

Crock-Pot Spaghetti Squash & Turkey Meatballs

Looking for tasty, low-carb and wholesome dinner to be ready when you get home? Here you go! All thanks to the crock-pot and this easy recipe.

Ingredients

1 small-medium spaghetti squash

About 4-5 cups of marinara sauce (approx. 1 jar)

2 Tbsp. olive oil

Sprinkle of salt and pepper

Meatballs: makes about 14-16 mini meatballs about the size of a golf ball

Ground Turkey meat

2 cloves of garlic; minced

½ cup breadcrumbs

1 whole egg

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper

½ tsp. onion powder

¼ cup fresh parsley; roughly chopped

¼ cup parmesan cheese; either grated or shredded

Instructions

  1. For the meatballs: Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, mix with your hands. If you are thinking gross- it's not..wash your hands! Your hands do the best job incorporating all of the ingredients together. Roll into about 1 ½ inch size balls.
  2. Time to brown the meatballs! Heat olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan to medium heat. Add about half of the meatballs to the skillet; make sure none of the meatballs are touching each other. You can do this in multiple batches if you need to. Brown meatballs on all sides; about 3 minutes per side. They will brown quickly since they are mini! Remove meatballs and place on a baking sheet lined with a paper towel to drain access fat.
  3. Pour one cup of marinara sauce and a drizzle of olive oil into the bottom of slow cooker. Slice the spaghetti squash in half around it's middle, (not from stem to end). Scoop out the seeds, and place cut-side-down into the crock-pot on the sauce. Arrange the meatballs around the spaghetti squash in the slow cooker, and top the meatballs with one more cup of marinara sauce. Cover crock-pot, and cook on low heat for 3 hours.
  4. Once spaghetti squash is cooked, remove the spaghetti squash with tongs- it will be hot to be careful. Let cool for about 10 minutes then scoop out the insides with a fork. Pull the spaghetti squash strands apart. It will start to resemble spaghetti.
  5. To finish, place spaghetti squash on a dish and top with meatballs and marinara sauce. Sprinkle parmesan cheese and enjoy this low-carb tasty meal!
http://kathrynskitchenblog.com/2017/07/crock-pot-spaghetti-squash-turkey-meatballs/

Too busy for homemade marinara sauce? No problem! It is completely OK to not make everything from scratch all the time. As much as I would love to, it can be time consuming.  I am not a fan of sauce from a jar and to be honest I have not found a jar of sauce that I like..it’s just not the same as homemade marinara sauce. I can be picky with my sauces because my Nana makes the best sauce in my opinion and it’s hard to come close to the taste of hers..

BUT here is a little trick I use to make a marinara sauce taste more homemade.  Add the sauce to a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of sugar, 4 fresh basil leaves roughly chopped, 1 clove of garlic minced, and a few shakes of Italian seasoning. Stir until combined and that’s all. If you are not using this sauce for a crock pot recipe, be sure to warm on a saucepan so the basil and garlic can soften.

recipe-redux-linky-logo

Skillet Chicken Marsala

I was craving this Chicken Marsala recipe this week and so I made it! I am particular when it comes to eating chicken breast because they tend to be dry and I have to season the breasts well to decently enjoy it. However, this recipe makes eating chicken breast enjoyable because of the flavors it has in this dish- mostly thanks to the Marsala wine!

Skillet Chicken Marsala

Skillet Chicken Marsala

Make this favorite restaurant dish at home! Simple, creamy and bursting with sweet Marsala flavor!

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts

½ cup flour; plus 1 Tbsp.

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

½ tsp garlic powder

2 Tbsp. olive oil

¼ cup yellow onion; chopped

3 cups of sliced mushrooms (I used Cremini and White mushrooms)

1/2 cup Marsala Wine

2 Tbsp. butter

¼ cup parsley; chopped

Instructions

  1. Slice each chicken breast in half. Place each chicken breast in between a long piece of plastic wrap on a cutting board. Pound with a flat meat mallet or tenderizer—this will thin out each piece of chicken and make it extra tender. You will be happy you did this! Each chicken piece should be about ¼ inch thick. The chicken breast pieces will expand so I like to cut each piece in half to make smaller serving pieces so you should have a total of 8 chicken pounded pieces.
  2. In a dish or shallow platter add ½ cup of flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Mix together with a fork and coat each piece of chicken in the flour mixture- coating the front and back of each piece. Heat a large skillet or frying pan to medium heat and add olive oil. When olive oil becomes hot, place the chicken pieces in the pan. Cook the chicken until both sides are golden brown- about 5 minutes on each side. Make sure chicken is fully cooked, then remove from the skillet and set aside. If your skillet or frying pan isn’t large enough, you can cook the chicken in batches.
  3. Keep the heat on and add the butter and onions until onions look softened- about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they are nicely browned. You will notice that some of the moisture will absorb. Add the Marsala wine and flour; stir often. The wine will turn into a slightly thick sauce, almost like a gravy consistency. Stir in parsley and add the chicken back into the pan to warm before serving. Top with more parsley to garnish. Enjoy this simple hearty meal!
http://kathrynskitchenblog.com/2017/07/skillet-chicken-marsala/

My favorite part of this whole dish is the mushrooms… sometimes I will make this dish and skip the chicken and make Marsala Mushrooms instead. The best part about this is it only takes about 20 minutes to prepare and cook- it’s really that easy! Don’t let the pounding to tenderize the chicken step intimidate you! It is great for any busy or late week night dinner. This dish is sure not to disappoint and it makes great leftovers as well. If you are wanting to add more to this too, this dish is commonly served with pasta and the ‘Chicken Marsala’ is used as the pasta sauce. I just bought a OXO Spiralizer from Sur La Table so instead of pasta, my boyfriend and I wanted to make zucchini noodles (zoodles) instead for a healthier alternative. More recipes to come with zoodles once I get the hang of how it works!