Birds Eye view: oval bowl with spaghetti squash topped with tomato sauce, meatballs, basil and shredded parmesan.

Sheet Pan Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs (Easy Recipe)

There are so many things to love about this simple Sheet Pan Spaghetti Squash & Meatball dinner. Sheet pan meals are an easy way to get dinner quickly in the oven. Roasting brings out the best flavor in the ingredients. Possibly the most important added bonus of all, a sheet pan lined in foil makes for speedy after-dinner cleanup.

This recipe is designed for busy weeknights. Simple ingredients with store-bought shortcuts to get an easy dinner on the table quickly.

Then there are the health benefits of this vegetable-focused dinner. Spaghetti Squash is a nutrient-dense food, packed with fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and more vitamins & minerals. It is naturally gluten-free, and a nutritious alternative to traditional spaghetti noodles. Just be sure to pair it with gluten-free meatballs to make this a gluten-free sheet pan meal.

The spaghetti squash, tomatoes, and onion are all roasted with olive oil and minced garlic for maximum flavor and aroma.

Birds Eye view: roasted tomatoes, onions, gluten-free meatballs and shredded spaghetti squash on a sheet pan.

Not only does this sheet pan dinner taste amazing, but the unique spaghetti-like strands make this a kid-friendly way to introduce vegetables. I’ve been serving spaghetti squash to my kids since they were toddlers. The shape of spaghetti noodles, covered with a rich marinara sauce, and served with yummy meatballs for good measure. This delicious dinner is full of healthy ingredients the whole family will love!

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Ingredients

Ingredients on a counter: olive oil, jar of spaghetti sauce, gluten free Farm Rich turkey meatballs, spaghetti squash, red onion, garlic, fresh basil leaves.
  • Spaghetti Squash: Look for a bright yellow, medium-sized spaghetti squash, about 3 pounds. You’ll be amazed at how much “spaghetti” you’ll get from one squash.
  • Frozen Gluten-Free Meatballs*: Buy ready-made, frozen, small meatballs: turkey, beef, or plant-based. Or use leftover homemade meatballs, if you have them on hand. I used Farm Rich Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs.
  • Olive Oil
  • Minced Garlic
  • Grape Tomatoes: or cherry tomatoes
  • Onion: red, yellow, or white
  • Salt
  • Jar of Spaghetti Sauce: or leftover sauce. I prefer a simple pasta sauce with no added sugar. The finished sauce gets a flavor boost from the roasted garlic, tomatoes, and onion.
  • Optional Toppings: fresh basil and shredded parmesan cheese

*For gluten-free meatballs, it’s important to specifically look for the words “gluten-free” on the label, as meatballs traditionally contain wheat-based breadcrumbs. See notes on additional special diets below.

Detailed Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400℉.

Use a large half-sheet baking tray. If you don’t have a large baking tray, you can use two medium trays, one for the spaghetti squash and the other for meatballs, tomatoes, and onions.

Line the large baking sheet (or sheets) with aluminum foil for easy cleanup.

Cut the spaghetti squash in half with a sharp knife. If you’re having difficulty, here are a couple of tricks to make it easier:

  • Use a paring knife to cut slits all the way around the spaghetti squash, forming a dotted line you’ll then follow and cut with a large butcher knife.
  • Or microwave the spaghetti squash for 3-4 minutes, to soften it. Let it cool before cutting.

Remove the seeds by scraping the inside of the spaghetti squash with a large spoon. You can roast them for a snack, just like you would pumpkin seeds!

Spoon scraping out the seeds inside a spaghetti squash half. A scooped-out squash half in the background.

On the inside of each half of the spaghetti squash, add a drizzle of olive oil and sparse sprinkle of salt, then rub with minced garlic. You’ll use about ½ tablespoon olive oil and one full clove of garlic on each half of the spaghetti squash. Do not over salt, just a light sprinkle or one twist of a salt grinder on top of the squash halves.

Place squash halves upside down on the prepared baking sheet. Pierce each half with a fork 4-5 times, so steam can escape while cooking.

Bake for 40 minutes. This is not entirely a “set it and forget it” recipe. You’ll use some of the time that the spaghetti squash is cooking to prep the tomatoes and onions, add ingredients to the sheet pan, and heat up the spaghetti sauce.

While the squash is baking, prepare the tomatoes and onions vegetables. Slice tomatoes in half. Cut the onion quarter into slices. In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes and onions in the remaining clove of minced garlic, remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt (1-2 twists of a salt grinder).

After 15 minutes of baking, remove the spaghetti squash from the oven. I have to warn you, that once the squash starts to cook, the wonderful aroma of roasted garlic and baked spaghetti squash will likely have you craving garlic bread.

Add the tomatoes, onions, and frozen meatballs to the sheet pan, in a single layer. (If substituting plant-based meatballs, verify the instructions on the package, as they may need to be defrosted prior to baking.)

Birds Eye view: tomatoes, onions, gluten-free meatballs and 2 upside-down spaghetti squash halves on a foil-covered sheet pan.

Bake everything together for the remaining 25 minutes. For best results, turn the meatballs halfway through their cooking time, so they can brown more evenly.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven. The roasted spaghetti squash will have beautiful golden brown edges. Carefully use tongs to turn the squash right side up and allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes. It is much too hot to touch straight out of the oven.

While the squash cools, heat your favorite marinara sauce in the microwave for four minutes, stirring halfway through. Gently stir vegetables and meatballs into the sauce.

Birds Eye view: square glass container with tomato sauce and meatballs.

Once the spaghetti squash is cool enough to touch, use a fork to gently scrape the inside of the now-tender spaghetti squash, creating strands of “spaghetti”. If it’s still too warm, use a potholder to hold the squash.

A fork shredding the inside of the spaghetti squash forming strands that look like spaghetti noodles.

Serve spaghetti squash topped with the sauce and meatballs. Garnish with sliced fresh basil and shredded parmesan cheese.

Birds Eye view: round bowl with spaghetti squash topped with tomato sauce, meatballs, basil and shredded parmesan.

Storage & Leftovers

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Reheat in the microwave for about 1-1 ½ minutes, stirring halfway through.

Special Diets: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan

Spaghetti squash is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan.

The meatballs are the one tricky part of this recipe for special diets. Traditional meatballs include meat, dairy, eggs, and wheat-based bread crumbs. However, there are several store-bought options that are suitable for special diets.

My daughter and I have celiac disease, which requires a gluten-free diet. I make this recipe with Farm Rich Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs.

For gluten-free and dairy-free, Cooked Perfect Homestyle Gluten-Free Meatballs are a great option.

Fresh Brand’s Plant-Based Meatballs and Impossible Meatballs are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, and plant-based.

You can always opt for leftover homemade meatballs, previously prepared to accommodate your dietary needs.

For dairy-free and vegan, also omit the optional shredded parmesan.

Birds Eye view: oval bowl with spaghetti squash topped with tomato sauce, meatballs, basil and shredded parmesan.

This is an easy one-pan dinner you can feel good about feeding your family!

Birds Eye view: oval bowl with spaghetti squash topped with tomato sauce, meatballs, basil and shredded parmesan.

Sheet Pan Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs

Sheet Pan Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs is a delicious sheet pan dinner using vitamin-rich spaghetti squash and the ease of store-bought gluten-free meatballs and spaghetti sauce.
5 from 2 votes
Rate this Recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash approximately 3 lbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 3 cloves minced garlic divided
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)
  • ¼ onion (red, yellow, or white)
  • salt to taste
  • 20 oz small, frozen gluten-free meatballs (store-bought or leftover meatballs)
  • 24 oz jar of spaghetti sauce (or leftover spaghetti sauce)

Optional Toppings

  • fresh basil
  • shredded parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400℉. Line a half-sheet baking tray with aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
  • Cut spaghetti squash in half. Remove seeds. Drizzle ½ tablespoon olive oil (1 tbsp total) in each half of the spaghetti squash. Sprinkle sparingly with salt to taste. Rub 1 clove of minced garlic (2 cloves total) into each half.
  • Place squash halves upside down on the prepared baking sheet. Pierce each half with a fork 4-5 times. Bake for 40 minutes.
  • While the squash is baking, prepare vegetables. Slice tomatoes in half. Cut onion into slices. Place in bowl. Add the remaining clove of minced garlic and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with a small amount of salt. Toss vegetables until evenly coated.
  • After 15 minutes of baking, remove the spaghetti squash from the oven. Add tomatoes, onions, and frozen meatballs to the sheet pan in a single layer. Bake everything together for the remaining 25 minutes. Turn meatballs halfway through their bake time.
  • Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Carefully use tongs to turn the squash right side up and allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes. It is too hot to touch.
  • Heat spaghetti sauce in the microwave for four minutes, stirring halfway. Gently stir vegetables and meatballs into the tomato sauce.
  • Once the spaghetti squash is cool enough to touch, use a fork to gently scrape off the "spaghetti" strands from the inside of the squash. If still too warm, use a potholder to hold the squash.
  • Serve spaghetti squash topped with sauce and meatballs. Garnish with sliced basil and shredded parmesan cheese.
Keyword gluten-free, sheet pan meal
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