Spaghetti and meatballs is one of my favorite, go-to meals that I regularly make. It’s super fast and I know it’s always going to taste good.
Back when I was younger, before I started learning about nutrition and the food that works best for my body, I regularly ate pasta. I actually preferred spaghetti or any pasta dish without meat. Just give me a plate full of carbs please.
After I discovered zucchini noodles or “zoodles”, I was so happy to have pasta back in my life. Even though it’s not exactly like the real deal spaghetti and meatballs, it really does hit the spot for me. There’s something about a pasta dish that is just so comforting. But this version doesn’t end up giving me a stomach ache afterwards. Plus, you’re sneaking your veggies in!
These meatballs can be made with ground beef, like a more traditional spaghetti and meatballs or you could substitute ground lamb, chicken or turkey. There are no breadcrumbs in my version so this recipe is not only gluten free, but grain free as well.
Zoodles have become so popular that I’ve been seeing them on restaurant menus more and more. Not only can you turn zucchini into a noodle, but butternut squash, sweet potato, beet and yellow squash are also great pasta alternatives. It’s so cool what you can do with food!
If you haven’t hopped on the zoodle wagon yet and want to try serving these to your family, I would suggest starting with half and half. So, half pasta and half zoodles. Then, each time you make pasta, swap out for more of the zoodles.
Country Chicken Stew (Paleo + Dairy Free + Gluten Free)
- 2 tbs avocado oil
- 1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs
- 1/2 small yellow onion diced
- 2-3 stalks celery diced
- 2-3 large carrots diced
- 1-2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/4 tsp dried sage
- 3-4 tbsp arrowroot starch
- 1 cup cashew milk or cows/goats milk
- 3-4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup peas fresh or frozen
- 1 cup mushrooms rough chopped
- 1-2 cups yukon gold potatoes diced
Add 1 tablespoon of avocado oil to a large stock pot and heat to medium high heat. Add the chicken thighs and season with some salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and cook until chicken is cooked through, flipping them once. Transfer to a cutting board to cool off a little bit. You will then dice up the cooked chicken thighs to add back into the stew later.
Add the remaining tablespoon of avocado oil to the stock pot on medium high heat. Add in the diced onions, carrots and celery. Cook until the onions are transparent. Then, add in the minced garlic cloves. Cook for a couple more minutes and add in the herbs.
Add 3 tablespoons of arrowroot starch to the veggie & herb mixture and stir around. Cook for a couple of minutes. This is going to end up being clumpy (that's totally how you want it!) until you add the liquids.
Add in the cashew milk and stir. This will look a lot like a thicker chicken pot pie filling.
Then add in the peas, mushrooms and diced potatoes. This will look a lot like a thicker chicken pot pie filling.
Add in all of the chicken broth. Heat until boiling then reduce to simmer for about 15 minutes to cook the potatoes through.
*If using the blending method mentioned below, now is when you would ladle out some of the soup to blend and then stir it back in. **Or you would add your slurry.
Add the diced chicken thighs and stir. Let simmer, taste, add more salt & pepper if needed.
Serve while its' hot or let it cool, transfer to a glass container and store in the fridge for a couple of days. Reheat in the microwave or stovetop.
*If you'd like a creamier soup rather than broth based there are two options: 1) before adding the chicken back in, ladle out one cup of soup (mostly potatoes) and transfer to a blender or a jar using an immersion blender. This will have a consistency like potato soup that you can add back in to thicken the stew. If you can tolerate dairy, add a little heavy cream to the potatoes before blending. 2) Create a slurry by adding some broth to a jar with 1 tablespoon of arrowroot starch. Shake it up and then add to the soup and simmer.