Chicken Enchilada Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash (Primal + Gluten Free)
My days off just seem to get away from me. A typical day at home is gym, brunch, put Warner down for a nap, try to work on the blog. Then, when Warner wakes up mid-post, he is starving for lunch, and I’m suprised by this situation every. single. time. Luckily, we had leftover Southwest Chicken, so he didn’t have to holler for too long. Whitney and I were craving something a little different than chicken legs.. so we opted for ground chicken. (I know what you are thinking, “um, ground chicken isn’t really an improvement…”). However, this recipe is! There happened to be two pounds of organic ground chicken on sale the other day, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have bothered. I’m glad I did! This recipe is so delicious- we ate the whole two pounds in a day. Plus, with my magically machine, I can cook spaghetti squash to perfection every time. Oh, did you think this was a recipe without the Instant Pot? Well, sorry- you thought wrong.
I love using spaghetti squash as a replacement to make paleo pasta recipes. Before I started using my Instant Pot, my spaghetti squash always turned mushy, watery, and super bland. I would see so many healthy spaghetti squash recipes that looked delicious, but I knew that my spaghetti squash would never turn out that delicious. Long story short, my Instant Pot cooks (among many things) spaghetti squash perfectly every time! It is so delicious- slightly crunchy, never mushy. It is still bland- but that’s why we have a spice rack. This recipe for spaghetti squash with chicken enchilada meatballs is going to be a fast favorite around our house for sure!
- 2 T. olive oil (does anyone really measure this? You need a couple of glugs for cooking the onions and browning the meatballs)
- ½ c. diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 finely diced red pepper (or in our case, a handful of orange mini-peppers!)
- 2 lb. ground chicken
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chipotle
- 1tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 t. pink himalayan salt
- ¼ t. pepper
- 1 pkg. enchilada sauce
- 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
I have to pause here and talk about enchilada sauce for a second. Yes, ideally you would make your own delicious enchilada sauce from scratch.
Or, you could get this amazing product:
This amazing little packet is actually a concoction dreamed up by Chef Rick Bayless– who specializes in traditional Mexican cuisine.
Plus, it’s all natural, without any weird or unnecessary ingredients.
- Saute the onion, garlic and peppers in the olive oil for 5 minutes until softened. Move to a bowl to cool.
- While it cools, start your spaghetti squash by cutting it in half (through the short side).
- Set the trivet in your Instant Pot, add the two spaghetti squash halves.
- Add a cup of water to the Instant Pot.
- Set the Instant Pot to Manual – 11 minutes, and use the quick release method. I swear by 11 minutes for spaghetti squash- this has always yielded the perfect, ever so slightly crunchy (al dente, for you pasta folks!) “noodles”. If you want them really soft, add a minute.
- Once the onion / pepper / garlic mixtures has cooled, add in the ground chicken, dry seasoning, egg, almond flour, salt and pepper.
- Mix well to combine and from into golf ball sized meatballs.
- Heat up the same skillet with the additional tablespoon of olive oil.
- Add the meatballs and brown on all sides, then take off the heat.
- Pour the enchilada sauce into a 9″ x 13″ ceramic baking dish and place the browned meatballs on top.
- Place in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove and add the mozzarella cheese.*
- Put back in the oven for another 5 minutes until the cheese is melted.
- Serve meatballs over spaghetti squash, garnish with cilantro!
*To make this dish Paleo- simply omit the cheese.
Adapted from this recipe.