Flexitarian Spaghetti and Meatballs

Made with ground pork and lentils, these flexitarian meatballs cook right in the sauce for an easy and healthy take on a classic.

Pairing: Upside Down Golden Ale

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Serves: 2 (with leftovers)


  • 1/2 lb lean ground pork
  • 1 cup cooked brown lentils
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 tbsp quick oats
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 jar (24 oz) strained, puréed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 8 oz spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 bunch rapini, trimmed and chopped
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


  1. Meatballs: Mix together pork, lentils, bread crumbs, egg, 1 tbsp olive oil, oats, parsley, Parmesan, 2 tsp minced garlic, oregano, salt and pepper until combined. Roll into 1-inch meatballs.
  2. Heat remaining oil in small Dutch oven or high-sided skillet set over medium heat; cook remaining garlic for about 1 minute or until starting to soften. Stir in tomatoes; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  3. Drop meatballs into sauce; cover and cook for 18 to 20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through. Stir in basil.
  4. Assembly: Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain well.
  5. Heat oil in skillet set over medium heat. Cook rapini, salt and pepper for 3 to 5 minutes or until starting to soften. Stir in 1/4 cup water; cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender.
  6. Toss spaghetti with enough of the tomato sauce to coat pasta; divide between 2 plates. Top with meatballs and more sauce. Serve with rapini and Parmesan.
  • Use spelt, whole-grain or high-fiber spaghetti if desired.
  • Serve leftover meatballs in sandwiches or add to soups.
  • Substitute ground beef or turkey for ground pork.

Nutrition Facts
Per 1/4 recipe*

  • Calories: 720
  • Fat: 28g
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Cholesterol: 90mg
  • Sodium: 990mg
  • Carbohydrate : 79g
  • Fiber: 9g
  • Sugars: 12g
  • Protein: 35g

*Nutrition analysis is based on 4 servings to account for the leftovers.

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