This “Winter” spaghetti sauce is rich and robust, made with canned tomatoes. It makes a large batch of sauce that will keep for weeks in the fridge or months in the freezer. When you want to get a quick but tasty low carb dinner on the table, use some premade meatballs, shirataki noodles and this made-ahead tomato sauce. Who says low carb meals can’t be comfort food?!Jump to Recipe
The Low Carb Meatballs:
You can now find low-carb, pre-made meatballs at many grocery stores. They are made with pork and parmesan cheese and have only about 1 gram of carbs per meatball (no sugar). There are several different brands, including Stefano’s and Great Value. All you do is place them on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees F. Easy peasy.
If you prefer to make your own low carb meatballs here are two different versions that are great:
I used shirataki noodles which are also available in most grocery stores these days. They are sometimes made with tofu and considered a “shaped noodle substitute”. A package is 8 oz. and contains 20 calories and 6 carbs total. If you don’t like shirataki, then try spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles for your “spaghetti”.
The recipe below is what I make in the Winter when there are no fresh tomatoes around of any quality. It is very rich and uses 3 different tomato products: tomato paste, tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes.
For a truly easy dinner, there is quite a range of spaghetti sauces in the store these days, but it pays to compare the labels for sugar. Rao’s brand is the one that I have found with the least amount of sugar.
Making your own sauce allows you to control the amount of sugar. I used 1 tsp of sugar in my sauce and the batch of sauce was quite large. It is not difficult to make your own and very forgiving if you want to modify to your own tastes.
Now if you made enough freezer tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes to last through the season, of course this would make an easy low carb dinner. This is my favorite recipe for making a low carb freezer tomato sauce made with fresh tomatoes.
Other Great Meatball Favorites:
- Greek Meatballs in a Lemon Thyme Soup
- Vietnamese Meatballs in Coconut Broth
- Mexican Meatball Soup (Albondigas)
- Homemade Tomato Sauce with Heirloom Tomatoes
Cooking Tutorial for Low Carb Spaghetti and Meatballs:
Low Carb Spaghetti and Meatball Dinner
- 3 Tbsp olive oil or bacon fat
- 1 large onion coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 6 oz tomato paste small can or paste in tube
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp dried basil fresh if available
- 1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
- 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes preferably Italian
- 28 oz can tomato sauce
- ½ tsp sugar optional
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley roughly chopped
- 4 small peperoncini
- 16 oz pre-made pork & parmesan meatballs
- 8 oz shirataki noodles
- 3 oz parmesan cheese grated (for garnish)
- In large pot, skillet or dutch oven, heat oil on medium and add onions. Saute for about 3 min. and then add garlic and cook 2 min. longer
- Add tomato paste and stir. Add all spices and stir to combine
- Add cans of tomatoes and tomato sauce, then 4 1/2 cup water. Stir in sugar (if using), parsley and peperoncini. Bring to gentle boil.
- Turn heat down to a simmer partly cover and leave sauce to simmer about 2 hours or more, stirring occasionally.
- After the sauce has been cooking for 2 hours, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and empty pre-made meatballs onto the sheet. Place in oven pre-heated to 375 degrees F and turn the timer on for 30 minutes (*note: you can turn meatballs over at 15 minutes if desired to get browning on all sides)
- Keep sauce on a low simmer. While meatballs are cooking, empty shirataki noodles into a strainer placed over a bowl. Rinse in a strainer over a bowl to get rid of offputting smell. Let drain while making sauce.
- 5 minutes before meatballs are done, add drained shirataki noodles to sauce and heat through.
- Remove meatballs from oven, cover with tomato sauce, garnish with fresh parmesan and serve.
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