Few things in life are more enjoyable than a warm bowl of pasta. But overdoing it on the classic spaghetti and meatballs combo can have the opposite effect, leaving you feeling more sluggish than satisfied—courtesy of all those refined carbohydrates. Plus, if you’re gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, or simply prefer a plant-based approach to eating (we’ve got plenty of recipes where that came from), the OG dish just won’t cut it.
We tapped integrative chef Blaine Arin Tacker for a nutritious, vegan-friendly take on the traditional—and she delivered. Enter: Vegan Lentil Meatballs and Baked Spaghetti Squash Noodles, a protein-packed recipe that’s as nutritious as it is flavorful.
Case in point: Lentils are a good source of dietary protein—an essential nutrient that plays a number of roles in the body, including bone and muscle building support. (A single half-cup of cooked lentils delivers around 8 grams of protein—not to mention other essential nutrients like magnesium, iron, and zinc.) Squash, on the other hand, includes carotenoids and bioactive compounds which have health benefits, making this recipe a fantastic way to help get your nutrients through food first. Even better? You don’t have to sacrifice taste—this dish hits all the right spots. Mangia!* (1, 2, 3)
Lentil Meatballs & Baked Spaghetti Squash Noodles
Prep time: 10 minutes