Viewing entries tagged

Keto Baked Spaghetti & Meatballs - Zoodles and LCHF Meatballs


Keto Baked Spaghetti & Meatballs - Zoodles and LCHF Meatballs

Growing up I ate a lot of pasta and Italian food. It has always been my favorite thing to not only eat, but to cook as well. The transition into a ketogenic lifestyle has not left much room for the Italian foods I grew up with, but that said all the pasta made me super fat and I don’t like being fat… clothes don’t fit as well plus some other stuff. It’s a whole big thing. Thankfully, keto made fatness a thing of the past for me and it only required ditching the pasta, but I digress…

These zoodles are an amazing substitute. I use a simple handheld spiralizer. It costs under 10 dollars at CVS and the added effort of doing it by hand means you’ll burn more calories, so save the money and buy handheld.

The rest is pretty much the same as any baked pasta dish. The meatballs are a single guy, fatbody staple! I love meatballs because (besides being a ball of delicious meat) they can freeze and store easily, they are simple and relatively inexpensive to make and it’s pretty hard to screw them up.

Check out the recipe for the meatballs! 

I'm going to catch some heat for this but... I used a jarred sauce.  The trick is to find one with NO ADDED sugar. Rao's is a good brand, but most natural food stores will have a variety of brands. Tomatoes have enough sugar naturally, they don’t need it added in and the low quality jarred sauce brands add a ton of it. But, I also like to dress the sauce up a bit… add some olive oil, a bit of cream and some seasonings to give it that home cooked taste. It comes out pretty good. It’s not Mary's recipe but it's a good quick substitute.

The Ingredients…

  • 12 Meatballs
  • Jar of Sauce
  • 4 Zucchini
  • 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese
  • ½ cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper  
  • Fresh Basil to garnish

The Steps…

  1. Make the meatballs. Click here for that recipe.

  2. Spiralize your zucchini, salt them and let them rest. See picture below*

  3. In a cast iron skillet or oven safe pan, add half of the olive oil called for in the recipe and preheat at a medium heat (6 out of 10).

  4. Add the meatballs to the pan making sure to allow each side to cook evenly.  

  5. Once the meatballs have cooked, remove them and set off to the side.

  6. Lower the heat to a medium low (2 out of 10) and add your garlic and the remaining oil.

  7. Next add the  sauce, cream, salt and pepper and let the sauce thicken up a bit. Allow about 10 minutes at a low simmer with occasional stirring.

  8. Preheat oven broiler on high.

  9. Add half of the parmesan cheese and stir.

  10. Pat down the zoodles one last time and add them to the sauce.

  11. Next add back the meatballs and mix. Allowing all the parts to simmer together on a low heat so the flavors can combine. About 10 minutes to simmer.

  12. Top the pan with the mozzarella cheese, followed by the basil and finally the rest of the parmesan cheese.

  13. Broil on high for no more than 10 minutes or until the cheese gets nice and golden brown. It won’t take long… a broiler is just the top burner, so your heat is coming entirely from the top of the oven. Be careful this can burn very quickly!!

The trick is to lightly salt it and give about 20-30 minutes laid out over a large pan with paper towels underneath and on top to soak in all the water being pulled out of the zoodles. This will save your sauce from becoming too watered down.

The trick is to lightly salt it and give about 20-30 minutes laid out over a large pan with paper towels underneath and on top to soak in all the water being pulled out of the zoodles. This will save your sauce from becoming too watered down.

The Macros…


Mary's Keto Meatballs


Mary's Keto Meatballs

My parents taught me to cook from a young age and I love them for that (among other reasons!). But, a lot of my Italian recipes came from Mary.. my work mom. My first job out of college was as a financial analyst sitting in a row of cubicles, gotta love that cubicle life. Mary's cube faced mine, so we basically could only see each other from our desks. 

She makes an eggplant parm that will knock your socks off and I was blessed with that stuff on almost a weekly basis. I'd show up to work and there would be a tupperware waiting for me, I'm not kidding you when I say she would bring me in leftovers at least 2-3 days per week. Her kids apparently don't do leftovers, but I guess I wouldn't either if I had Mary cooking for me at home too. 


When I left the company to pursue new adventures in Los Angeles, Mary bestowed two final parting gifts to me. A full tray of eggplant parm. Along with a tray of chicken parm, baked ziti, and of course meatballs and second she gave me the recipes to each! Jackpot.

Well here I am a decade 6 years later, still love to cook and still love Mary's food. Only now I am full on keto making these recipes not part of the diet, they also did a damn good just making me fat. So I hoped on the phone with Mary and talked ketofication strategy... turns out she's already been on the low carb train and making low carb versions of her recipes! 

On to the meatballs, so tasty, so delicious… I usually eat one too many but who’s counting. Just kidding I am, I’m counting macros and these are macro approved. Need I say more?

This recipe make about 35 meatballs depending on how big you make them, mine are roughly ~60 grams each. If you’re a single person like I am shopping in bulk vs food waste can be a big issue, which why I love meatballs! They store easily in the freezer and they don't require much defrost time. 

Mary's Tips:

Keep a bowl of water handy as you are making the meatballs so you can keep your hands wet. This stops the meatballs from sticking to your fingers. I couldn't believe how well this worked. It was definitely a game changer. 

The Steps...

  1. Adds all ingredients to a bowl except cream and eggs

  2. Mash and Mix thoroughly! The last thing you want is one meatball with all of the garlic… that’s a hot ball.

  3. Add in the cream and eggs and mix thoroughly*

  4. On a large baking sheet or parchment paper roll out the meatballs. I use a scale and weigh out each one. The total recipe came out to just under 2000 grams which means I could make 35 balls at 58g each, which is the typical size.

  5. In a frying pan  heat cooking oil (I use walnut or avocado oil) to a medium heat.  

  6. Cook evenly letting them crisp on one side for about 10 minutes.

  7. Flip and cook for about 5 more minutes. Cooking times very for size 

* When mixing wet and dry ingredients it's a good rule of thumb to mix separately before adding everything together. This will prevent a clump of almond flour in the middle of your meatball.  



  • 2 pounds ground beef (The macros are for 85/15 beef)
  • 1 pound ground pork (80/20 trader joes)
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup pork rinds
  • 6 eggs
  • ¼ cup heavy cream 
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • ½ cup freshly chopped basil
  • ½ cup freshly chopped Italian parsley
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons garlic
  • 1 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper

The Macros...