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Fall Recipe: Pumpkin Turkey Meatballs & Garlic Spaghetti Squash

Updated on October 21, 2013

This is the Ultimate Fall Harvest Recipe!

I've never tried spaghetti squash before, but I decided that I would try it this Fall. So I began my search for recipes, and found this amazingly unique recipe: Garlicky Spaghetti Squash with Pumpkin Chicken Meatballs.

I made some tweaks of my own to the recipe to suit my tastes, such as using ground turkey instead of chicken, bread crumbs instead of panko, and changing up a lot of the spices. I was overjoyed by the end result, I definitely LOVED the meatballs and especially the spaghetti squash...YUM!

Below, you will find recipes for the Pumpkin Turkey Meatballs and the Garlic Spaghetti Squash along with photos to take you each step of the way.

If you are looking for a new recipe that screams "Fall Is Here!", this is the dish to try. Very delicious and very festive!

Unless state otherwise, all photos were taken by me and belong to me. Please ask permission before using.

My Personal Recipe Review

As I mentioned above, I had never tried spaghetti squash before, but I really wanted to try it. I found this recipe and had to give it a try!

I absolutely adore garlic, which was part of the reason this dish won me over. I loved the texture of the spaghetti squash: so much like actual noodles, yet fresh and crunchy. The flavor was buttery, garlicky, and a little smoky - probably due to the turkey bacon.

The Pumpkin Turkey Meatballs complimented the squash perfectly. I discovered that the perfect bite includes a little bit of meatball and a fork full of squash. Delicious! This recipe made plenty for my husband and I, and we have leftovers too, for me to bring to work for lunch.

I really liked that the recipe was so easy to make; there weren't a lot of steps and no fancy kitchen maneuvers required either. The only downfall is that the squash has to cook for such a long amount of time. However, I was able to multitask while the squash was baking and get some things done around the house, which worked out well in the long run.

I'm so glad I tried spaghetti squash and I can't wait to explore more recipes using this food in the near future.

Image Appears Courtesy of...Myself!

  • Prep time: 1 hour 30 min
  • Cook time: 15 min
  • Ready in: 1 hour 45 min
  • Yields: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • 6 Pieces Turkey Bacon
  • 1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 3 Tbsp Margarine (or Butter)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tsp Pepper

Instructions

  1. Begin by cooking your spaghetti squash. You can cook the squash whole, which is what I decided to do, since it's so difficult to cut raw. Place the spaghetti squash in a shallow baking dish or on a cookie sheet. Poke several holes with a sharp knife all over the squash. Bake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes at 375 Degrees (F).
  2. In preparation, chop up the turkey bacon into small pieces and set aside for later use.
  3. Once the squash is soft, remove from the oven and cut it in half. You will see a small rectangle of seeds and white fibers in the middle of each half. I found it easiest to trace that rectangle with a sharp knife and then use a spoon to simply scoop out the middles.
  4. Then take a fork and begin pulling the meat of the squash towards the middle. The squash will shred easily into stringy pieces. Shred all of the meat in each half and place in a large skillet pan.
  5. Once all of the shredding is done, place the skillet over medium heat and place pats of the margarine over the top of the squash, and cover. Cook for a few minutes, allowing the margarine to melt. In the meantime, in a smaller skillet, add the minced garlic and olive oil. Saute the garlic for about a minute, until tender.
  6. Pour the garlic and olive oil into the skillet with the spaghetti squash, along with the chopped turkey bacon, salt, and pepper. Stir until all ingredients are well mixed. Keep on medium heat and cover again, for about 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  7. Serve the spaghetti squash on a plate, topped with as many Pumpkin Turkey Meatballs as your heart desires!
  8. (See below for the recipe for Pumpkin Turkey Meatballs.)
Cast your vote for Recipe for Garlic Spaghetti Squash

How to Make Garlic Spaghetti Squash - Step by Step Photo Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Place in a shallow baking dish. Poke several holes with a sharp knife all over the squash. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes at 375 Degrees (F).Once the squash is soft, remove from the oven and cut it in half. You will see a small rectangle of seeds and white fibers in the middle of each half.I found it easiest to trace that rectangle with a sharp knife and then use a spoon to simply scoop out the middles.Take a fork and begin pulling the meat of the squash towards the middle. The squash will shred easily into stringy pieces.Place shredded squash in a large skillet pan over medium heat. Place pats of margarine on top of the squash and cover. Cook until margarine melts.In the meantime, in a smaller skillet, add the minced garlic and olive oil. Saute the garlic for about a minute, until tender. Pour over the squash.Add the turkey bacon, salt, and pepper.Mix well until all ingredients are combined.  Cover again and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.Serve the spaghetti squash on a plate, topped with as many Pumpkin Turkey Meatballs as your heart desires!
Place in a shallow baking dish. Poke several holes with a sharp knife all over the squash. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes at 375 Degrees (F).
Place in a shallow baking dish. Poke several holes with a sharp knife all over the squash. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes at 375 Degrees (F).
Once the squash is soft, remove from the oven and cut it in half. You will see a small rectangle of seeds and white fibers in the middle of each half.
Once the squash is soft, remove from the oven and cut it in half. You will see a small rectangle of seeds and white fibers in the middle of each half.
I found it easiest to trace that rectangle with a sharp knife and then use a spoon to simply scoop out the middles.
I found it easiest to trace that rectangle with a sharp knife and then use a spoon to simply scoop out the middles.
Take a fork and begin pulling the meat of the squash towards the middle. The squash will shred easily into stringy pieces.
Take a fork and begin pulling the meat of the squash towards the middle. The squash will shred easily into stringy pieces.
Place shredded squash in a large skillet pan over medium heat. Place pats of margarine on top of the squash and cover. Cook until margarine melts.
Place shredded squash in a large skillet pan over medium heat. Place pats of margarine on top of the squash and cover. Cook until margarine melts.
In the meantime, in a smaller skillet, add the minced garlic and olive oil. Saute the garlic for about a minute, until tender. Pour over the squash.
In the meantime, in a smaller skillet, add the minced garlic and olive oil. Saute the garlic for about a minute, until tender. Pour over the squash.
Add the turkey bacon, salt, and pepper.
Add the turkey bacon, salt, and pepper.
Mix well until all ingredients are combined.  Cover again and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Mix well until all ingredients are combined. Cover again and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Serve the spaghetti squash on a plate, topped with as many Pumpkin Turkey Meatballs as your heart desires!
Serve the spaghetti squash on a plate, topped with as many Pumpkin Turkey Meatballs as your heart desires!

Recipe for Pumpkin Turkey Meatballs

My Personal Recipe Review

I absolutely LOVED the addition of the pumpkin to the meatballs. I was a little wary of trying it, but I thought pumpkin and ground turkey together sounded interesting and I'm always up for experimenting in the kitchen!

I sometimes have a rough time getting ground turkey to bind together if I'm making meatballs or meatloaf. The pumpkin seemed to act as the perfect binding agent and the meatballs rolled up nice and tight. Not one of them fell apart in the oven!

The pumpkin didn't add a strong flavor to the recipe, but added just a faint undertone. The texture was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. The thyme in the recipe shines through and adds that perfect spice to compliment the other flavors. I will definitely be using pumpkin with my ground turkey again in the future, that's for sure.

Image Appears Courtesy of...Myself!

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 30 min
  • Ready in: 40 min
  • Yields: Roughly 16 Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground Turkey
  • 3/4 Cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan
  • 1 Cup Italian Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp Dried Thyme
  • 2 Dashes of Ground Ginger

Instructions

  1. Begin by putting all ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Dig in with your hands to mush and mix all ingredients together, until well mixed. The pumpkin will give the mixture a pretty hint of orange color.
  3. Next, roll the meat mixture into round, golf ball sized meatballs and place them on a cookie sheet or in a baking pan. Make sure you grease the pan first to prevent sticking.
  4. Bake at 375 Degrees (F) for about 30 minutes. I prefer my meatballs to have a more crispy exterior, so I broiled them for about 4 minutes after baking.
  5. Then serve on a bed of garlic spaghetti squash. YUM!

How to Make Pumpkin Turkey Meatballs - Step by Step Photo Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Begin by putting all ingredients into a large mixing bowl.  Dig in with your hands to mush and mix all ingredients together, until well mixed.Roll the mixture into round, golf ball sized meatballs and place them on a cookie sheet or in a baking pan.Bake at 375 Degrees (F) for about 30 minutes. (Broil for a few minutes for a crispier exterior.)  Serve on a garlicky bed of spaghetti squash. TASTY!
Begin by putting all ingredients into a large mixing bowl.  Dig in with your hands to mush and mix all ingredients together, until well mixed.
Begin by putting all ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Dig in with your hands to mush and mix all ingredients together, until well mixed.
Roll the mixture into round, golf ball sized meatballs and place them on a cookie sheet or in a baking pan.
Roll the mixture into round, golf ball sized meatballs and place them on a cookie sheet or in a baking pan.
Bake at 375 Degrees (F) for about 30 minutes. (Broil for a few minutes for a crispier exterior.)  Serve on a garlicky bed of spaghetti squash. TASTY!
Bake at 375 Degrees (F) for about 30 minutes. (Broil for a few minutes for a crispier exterior.) Serve on a garlicky bed of spaghetti squash. TASTY!

(This Was My First Time, And I Loved It!)

Have You Ever Added Pumpkin to Your Meatballs?

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Image Credit: Photo Appears Courtesy of...Myself!

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    • Corrinna-Johnson profile image

      Corrinna Johnson 3 years ago from BC, Canada

      Adding pumpkin to the turkey meatballs is brilliant, especially if you have picky kids who don't like to eat their veggies!

    • pjsart profile image

      pjsart 3 years ago

      What an unusual combination. I will have to alter some of the recipe to be gluten free, but I will try it.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      Yes, the meatballs sound fantastic. In fact, I think I'll try it.

    • profile image

      DebMartin 4 years ago

      Oh my gosh! This is so unusual and interesting. I'm going to try it very, very soon. Thanks!

    • kristalulabelle profile image
      Author

      Kristen 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      @DLeighAlexander: Thanks for stopping! I really enjoyed this dish and I hope you like it as much as I did!

    • DLeighAlexander profile image

      DLeighAlexander 4 years ago

      Looks like a tasty recipe! I really like spaghetti squash; it's very much like eating spaghetti. I also enjoy cooking with pumpkin & this is another great idea for that--will be giving it a try soon. Thanks for sharing :)

    • kristalulabelle profile image
      Author

      Kristen 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      @sousababy: Thanks for stopping by!

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 4 years ago

      Pumpkin added to meatballs - what a fabulous idea. Thanks for sharing your recipes. Looks delicious!