“Stuffed” Spaghetti & Meatballs

Dressing (aka stuffing) has long served as a faithful sidekick to turkey. Here, the side steals the show in traditional meatballs, lending moist texture and tons of flavor.

Photo: Darren Kemper

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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
15 min
40 min


  • 1 cup 
prepared vegetable-rich dressing (TIP: Try our Classic Dressing Heavy on the Veggies at cleaneating.com.)
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 
cloves garlic, 
finely chopped
  • 1½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp 
each ground black pepper and red pepper flakes
  • 12 oz 
whole-grain spaghetti (TRY: Jovial 100% 
Organic Einkorn Whole Wheat Spaghetti)
  • 3 cups 
marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, pulse dressing until finely ground. Transfer to a large bowl and add beef, egg, cheese, garlic, oregano, salt, black pepper and pepper flakes. Stir or mix with hands until combined. Shape into balls about 1½ tbsp each, about 30 meatballs total. Arrange ½ inch apart on prepared sheet. Bake just until no longer pink inside, about 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot, cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain.
  4. In a saucepan, heat marinara sauce on medium-low until warmed through. With a slotted spoon, transfer meatballs to sauce, stirring gently to coat. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Divide pasta among bowls and top with meatballs and sauce. Sprinkle with basil.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1/2 cup pasta, 1/2 cup sauce, 5 meatballs
  • Calories 414
  • Carbohydrate Content 48 g
  • Cholesterol Content 82 mg
  • Fat Content 11 g
  • Fiber Content 0 g
  • Protein Content 28 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 4 g
  • Sodium Content 415 mg
  • Sugar Content 7 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 2 g