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Barbecue Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash

October 18, 2010

I’m back!


Peru was amazing. I traveled around almost the entire southern part of the country, from Lima to Cusco, driving through the Sacred Valley to Ollentaytambo, hiking Machu Picchu and crashing in Aguas Calientes, then back to Cusco and down to Puno and Lake Titicala, only to travel back to Lima for one more day before heading home. It was a trip filled with a new culture, kind people, energetic tour guides, lots of stairs, and llamas. I am now completely in love with llamas and hope to one day have one in my back yard. They are the gentlest and sweetest of creatures.

I didn’t expect it to take me such a long time to get re-adjusted to normal life, but as I got used to putting my hair in pigtails every day and climbing through ancient ruins, I also basked in eating out for every meal and neglecting to check my e-mail. I spent my first week back grasping to my school email account for dear life and eating turkey sandwiches for dinner. Only once my body re-adjusted to sea level and was caught up with my Economics reading did I have any desire to set foot in the kitchen.

The first meal I wanted to make after my return home was one full of comfort and warmth. Spending 9 days so close  to the equator made me miss Boston’s transition to fall, and as I  stepped off the plane I knew my red scarf would begin to make its daily appearance. Something hearty, healthy, and American. I remembered the barbecue meatballs I had seen on We Are Not Martha and knew they would pair perfectly with one of my fall favorites: spaghetti squash. A mixed-up version of spaghetti and meatballs, this meal was light and delicate with the strands of squash and perfectly moist meatballs, but received a richness from the barbecue sauce that was earthy and autumnal, no matter how frequently you may eat it during a July backyard bash.

Barbecue Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash (adapted from We Are Not Martha)

1 lb ground chicken

1 egg

2/3 cups breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 onion, grated

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons apple sauce

2 tablespoons + 1 cup barbecue sauce

1 spaghetti squash

Cut the spaghetti squash in half and remove the seeds and pulp. Place each half cut side down on a plate and cover with saran wrap. Microwave for 15 minutes.

While the squash is in the microwave, mix all of the other ingredients together except for 1 cup of barbecue sauce. Form 1 inch meatballs (the mixture will be quite moist).

Heat a non-stick plan with a little Pam and place the meatballs so they are not too crowded together. Cook, turning every couple of minutes, until the meatballs are brown on all sides and cooked through.

Add the cup of barbecue sauce and stir until the meatballs are completely covered.

Remove the spaghetti squash from the microwave and, using a fork, pull out all of the “spaghetti” into a bowl.

Serve the meatballs on top of the squash.


13 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2010 3:28 am

    Welcome home Sophie! Your trip sounds amazing. I’ve never been to Peru. The only country I’ve visited is Italy. I’d like to travel more in the next few years (before I have kids). I’ll have to look into Peru. So glad you were able to relax and not think about school or computers!

    This recipe looks great. I’ve been going through winter squash like water the past few weeks. I have two spaghetti and two butternut on my counter right now. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. October 19, 2010 10:16 am

    Welcome back Sophie! Your trip sounds like an amazing experience. I too love llamas! I think they are the cutest animal ever.

    Dinner looks fantastic – I love spaghetti squash!

  3. October 19, 2010 10:18 am

    Glad you’re home safely! Sounds like an amazing trip. Please share many photos! Especially the llamas 🙂

  4. October 19, 2010 6:52 pm

    This looks great! My husband hasn’t tried spaghetti squash yet — I think this would be a great “starter” dish for him!

  5. October 20, 2010 7:40 am

    glad you had such a great trip, it sounds amazing! and this dinner looks like a great way to get back into cooking 🙂

  6. October 20, 2010 5:18 pm

    Welcome back! This looks like a great meal. I love using spaghetti squash!

  7. October 21, 2010 8:33 am

    I love using spaghetti squash in place of regular noodles! So yummy!

  8. October 21, 2010 12:49 pm

    Peru! That sound fabulous, glad you had a fantastic dream. Welcome back!

  9. October 22, 2010 2:32 pm

    I’m very jealous that you went to Peru, as I’ve always wanted to travel to South America. Will be posting some quinoa recipes soon in honor of your trip?

  10. October 22, 2010 6:09 pm

    Glad you had such a great trip – welcome back and I hope you share more pictures! This looks like such a warm and comforting meal – so perfect for a chilly night like tonight actually 🙂

  11. October 24, 2010 1:46 pm

    Peru sounds a-m-a-z-i-n-g! I am so jealous!! What a trip of a lifetime!! Post more pictures!

    I love llamas, too! They’re awesome!! 🙂

  12. October 25, 2010 5:40 pm

    Your trip sounds amazing! When I was a kid I loved llamas – always wanted to have one too! They are very cool. These spaghetti and meatballs look really good – I have a soup similar in the works. I’m so happy it’s squash season!

  13. October 27, 2010 7:17 am

    Southern Peru is so interesting. Did you hike the Inca trail? I bet that made the hot springs even better.

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