Who doesn’t love Italian food? There is nothing more classically Italian than spaghetti and meatballs. The awesome thing about this recipe is that it can be easily adapted for any diet.
Here are three delicious versions of this classic recipe
for those eating vegan
high calorie/high protein
and low calorie.
Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs
This recipe was adapted from a classic Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe at AllRecipes.com, a good place to find the basics for any meal and then make modifications depending on your individual dietary needs.
1 pound ground beef
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese
½ tsp garlic powder
1 whole egg
Black pepper and salt to taste
1. Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl and shape into 12 balls. Set aside or store in the refrigerator.
½ chopped onion
5 cloves of minced garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
2 (28 ounce) cans of diced tomatoes
1 tsp white sugar (optional)
1 bay leaf
1 small (6 ounce) can of tomato paste
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
2. In a large pan, over medium heat saute onion and garlic in olive oil. Add in remaining tomato sauce ingredients, reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for about 90 minutes.
3. Add in meatballs and simmer for another 30 minutes. Serve over your choice of pasta.
Classic Spaghetti Nutrition facts
1 Cup Sauce + 2 Meatballs:
+1 Cup Pasta
*Fat and calorie content can vary depending on type of ground beef used. Calculation based on “lean” beef or 90/10.
**You can also make this dish higher in fiber by using whole wheat pasta instead of white pasta. Or gluten-free by using quinoa or rice pasta and gluten-free breadcrumbs.
Vegan Spaghetti and Meatballs
It’s incredibly easy to adapt this recipe to being vegan. The tomato sauce is naturally vegan, so the major modification to be made is with the meatballs. You can find pre-made vegan meatballs in the frozen health food section ay many stores, but you can also make them yourself.
Heat olive oil over medium heat and add onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook until soft.
Add lentils, cooked veggies, and remaining ingredients into a food processor. Pulse until all are smooth and well-combined. Begin to form balls out of the mixture (should make about 9) and place evenly on a greased baking sheet.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. Rotating each ball if needed every 10 minutes or so.
Apply these modifications to the classic spaghetti recipe and enjoy!
Low Calorie Spaghetti and Meatballs
Spaghetti and meatballs can also be modified for those trying to lose weight or cut calories, here are a few tips to modify the recipe:
Use zoodles (zucchini noodles made with a spiralizer) instead of regular pasta. One cup of zoodles has 20 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrates. Just this simple modification will save you 200 calories. Or you could always do ½ zoodles, ½ pasta so you don’t feel like you are missing as much.
Another option is “Skinny Pasta” or shirataki noodles. Although the texture isn’t quite the same, these noodles have almost no calories because they are just made from fiber that we cannot digest.
Use leaner ground beef. This will cut the fat and calorie content of the meatballs or substitute ground turkey which is also leaner.
Apply these changes to the classic or vegan recipe and enjoy!