Harissa Lamb Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash


This spaghetti and meatballs is, well, nothing like spaghetti and meatballs. Unlike the flavors of the traditional Italian dish that boasts garlic, basil and beef or pork, this recipe contains the North African smoky spice blend Harissa along with mint, lemon zest and lamb. These meatballs have an extra plant boost with fresh mushrooms blended into the ground lamb. Plus, using spaghetti squash instead of pasta helps get in that extra serving of veggies.

Harissa Lamb Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash

Print recipe
  • 4 Servings
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
  • Calories: 378


Serving Size




Total Fat





  • 2 shallots (will divide between sauce and meatballs)
  • 3 garlic cloves (will divide between sauce and meatballs)
  • 1 2/3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp ground harissa powder (will divide between sauce and meatballs)
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 6 white mushrooms, cleaned and minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, minced
  • 3 tbsp bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • salt
  • 1 lemon, zest of
  • 1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and de-seeded


  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. To prepare the spaghetti squash, cut it in half lengthwise and, using a spoon, remove the seeds. Spray with a coat of oil and season with a dash of salt. Place cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for about 35 to 40 minutes. When done, remove baking sheet from the oven, but leave squash face down until ready to serve to keep warm.

  • Step 2

    While squash is cooking, place a large pot over medium-low heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once pot is hot, add 1/2 of the minced shallots and 1/3 of the minced garlic and cook, while stirring with a wooden spoon, for about 2-3 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Next, add canned diced tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon harissa and about 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the pot. Stir sauce and simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes.

  • Step 4

    To make meatballs, in a large bowl, mix together the lamb, mushrooms, mint, parsley, bread crumbs, egg, lemon zest, the remaining harissa, shallot and garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Combine well. Form meatballs slightly about 1-inch in diameter or slightly larger using an ice cream scoop and your hands. Place meatballs as they are formed onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  • Step 5

    Place skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot add 2 teaspoons olive oil to coat the skillet. Sear meatballs in batches so they will stay together when transferred to the pot of sauce, about 2 minutes per meatball. Once seared transfer meatballs to the pot of sauce simmering on low and repeat until all meatballs are seared and cooking in the sauce. Cook the meatballs in the sauce for about 10 minutes until completely cooked through the center.

  • Step 6

    Using a fork, scrape cooked spaghetti squash out of the shell. Serve meatballs with spaghetti squash.

Make Ahead Tip

Spaghetti squash can be baked 2-3 days in advance.

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