Diabetes, Food

RECIPE: Zoodles and Meatballs (Low Carb)

low-carb zucchini spaghetti
Looking for an easy, low-carb alternative to traditional spaghetti and meatballs? You've come to the right place. Here's a hearty, sauce-y dish that's sure to satisfy. We substituted the spaghetti with zucchini noodles (a.k.a. "zoodles"), so this dish is practically carb-free! BONUS: This dish can also be made vegetarian (just use veggie meatballs :-).

Zoodles and Meatballs (Low-Carb)

Serves 4. Ready in 45 minutes. Only 23 carbs per serving. 


Nutrition FactsZoodles:

  • 4 medium/large zucchini
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • grated parmesan cheese (to taste)


  • 2 (28-ounce) cans diced/crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 diced Spanish onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 carrot, grated


The ones used for this recipe were store-bought chicken meatballs, but feel free to be creative and make your own!


Zoodles:raw zucchini noodles

  1. Cut zucchini into thin, noodle-like strips (I used a Veggetti for this, but a sprializer or mandoline also works really well!).
  2. Toss the zucchini strips with salt.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Add garlic and onion to skillet to sauté.
  5. Once the skillet becomes aromatic, add the zucchini.
  6. Cook and stir until just tender, about 5 minutes.
  7. Drain zoodles to remove excess water.
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

frying up low-carb zoodlesMeatballs:

I just heated my store-bought meatballs by throwing them in the sauce as it was cooking.  See sauce details below!


Store-bought sauce in a jar works just fine, but if you'd like to make your own sauce from scratch, I recommend the following:
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan.
  2. Add onion and garlic and sauté until light golden brown (8-10 minutes).
  3. Add thyme and carrot and cook until carrot is soft (~5 minutes).
  4. Add canned tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil. Stir the mixture often as it's coming to a boil.
  5. Lower the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens (20-30 minutes).
  6. Season to taste with salt.
  7. Pour over Zoodles and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

low-carb spaghetti (zoodles) and meatballsThat's it!

A low carb substitute that will satisfy your cravings for some carb-loaded, sauce-y spaghetti. You may never crave the "real thing" again! :-)    
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Rachel Sanchez-Madhur
Aug 29, 2016

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