This easy paleo spaghetti comes together in 15 minutes for a super quick weeknight dinner. Thanks to spaghetti squash, it is low carb and full of veggies. It’s comfort food that is truly healthy!
Funny story: In college, my best friend, Kristalyn, and I used to make this spaghetti that was so good! We had no money and were usually hungover (sorry, Mom), so spaghetti was a cheap and easy dinner that was full of comforting carbs. We laugh about it now because of the ingredient we used.
I come from a family of hunters so I somehow always had access to venison. For the spaghetti, I would use ground venison, probably from a deer my brother harvested. We would cut up a ton of veggies, whatever we had on hand to make a chunky spaghetti sauce. The secret ingredient: Dale’s Seasoning sauce (basically soy sauce, sugar, and spices). So redneck. Yes, I did go to college in Alabama.
My diet has changed a little bit since then, but I still find myself craving that spaghetti sometimes! I substituted spaghetti squash for noodles and ground beef for venison (I would still use venison, I just don’t currently have any). Instead of Dale’s seasoning sauce, I use coconut aminos to give it that umami, salty, sweet flavor. It’s so good!!
To make this as quick and easy as possible, I didn’t add any extra veggies. Instead I found a clean store bought sauce that already contained vegetables. Choose a sauce that speaks to you, but check the ingredients to ensure no added sugar!
Spaghetti squash can take time to cook. I cooked mine in the Instant Pot for a magical 4-6 minutes, but if you don’t have one, you can prep some at the beginning of the week in the oven to have on hand all week.
Hope you enjoy reliving my college years with me!
15-Minuted Easy Paleo Spaghetti
- 2 small spaghetti squash
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 cups tomato sauce (check the ingredients)
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- salt & pepper to taste
- Cut the spaghetti squash in half and remove the seeds with a spoon. For the Instant Pot, I like to cut it side to side rather than length-wise so it fits in the pot better. If cooking in the oven, cut lengthwise to allow more surface area exposed to the heat.
- Cook the spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot for 4-6 minutes depending on the size of your squash. For smaller squash, try 4 minutes. **See recipe notes for oven method**
- While the squash is cooking, heat a skillet over medium high heat. If using a non-stick skillet no oil is needed, otherwise add 1/2 tbsp of oil.
- Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook about 8 minutes or until no pink remains, while using your spatula to break up the beef into small pieces.
- Drain the beef to remove excess fat or liquid if desired and add back to the pan.
- Add in the tomato sauce and coconut aminos, stir, and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Taste and add salt & pepper if desired.
- Slice the basil by stacking leaves on top of each other, roll them up, then slice.
- Add half of the basil to the skillet, stir, and remove from heat.
- When the spaghetti squash is done cooking, remove from the Instant Pot and allow to cool. Using a fork, shred the squash into spaghetti-like noodles. Salt and pepper the spaghetti squash.
- To serve, place a serving of the spaghetti squash in a bowl. Top with the tomato sauce and beef mixture. Garnish with basil. Enjoy!
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake open side up for 40-60 minutes, depending on the size of the squash, until easily shredded with a fork.
- Tips for cutting the squash: Use a sharp knife! Cut off the ends of the squash so that you can stand it up and create a flat surface. This will keep the squash from rolling around while you cut. Cut lengthwise in half to create more surface area exposed to the heat.