30-minute Gluten-Free Spaghetti with Zucchini and Meatless Meatballs

This quick mostly store-bought ingredients meal helps me get through the week, especially by Wednesday night. Store-bought/ pre-made vegan meatballs or vegan Italian sausage adds a hearty chunkiness to the sauce. Zucchini is my Italian go-to add-in vegetable for pasta sauce but any vegetable or mix of vegetables will work (carrots, eggplant, squash…). With a few additions, jar sauce can taste like homemade in no time.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Servings: 3-4


9 meatleass gluten-free/dairy-free meatballs or Italian sausage
1 pound gluten-free SPAGHETTI pasta noodles
2 tablespoon OLIVE OIL
2 medium ZUCCHINI, sliced
1 ONION, chopped
24 ounce jar of PASTA SAUCE (I like tomato & basil flavored)
1 tablespoon BASIL, if not using flavored sauce
1 teaspoon OREGANO, if not using flavored sauce
1 pinch KOSHER SALT, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground BLACK PEPPER, to taste
Optional toppings:
Sprinkle of Vegan PARMESAN CHEESE


  • PREPARE PASTA (approximately 11 minutes)
    • In the appropriately sized saucepan for the amount of pasta you are cooking, BOIL water over high heat. COOK pasta according to the package.
    • Drain the pasta and save some of the water to use later in the sauce (like 1/4 cup)
  • PREPARE MEATBALLS (approximately 10 minutes to bake)
    • Follow the package directions for skillet cooking or baking of meatballs
    • SET ASIDE when done
  • PREPARE ZUCCHINI and SAUCE (while pasta and meatballs are cooking)
    • In a skillet over medium-high heat, ADD oil until hot
    • ADD zucchini and onions and SAUTE for 5 minutes until the zucchini is browned but not soft
    • ADD the pasta sauce to the skillet and bring to a BOIL
    • LOWER the head and let SIMMER for 8-10 minutes (Reducing the sauce thickens it and concentrates the flavors).
    • ADD the meatballs to the sauce and toss to cover
    • USE the saved pasta water to extend the sauce if needed
    • Heat the mixture until meatballs are sufficiently warmed
  • PLATE up pasta and TOSS with sauce mixture
  • SERVE with a topping of vegan parmesan cheese if you like
  • STORE pasta separate from sauce in airtight containers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. FREEZE sauce for up to 3 months. Pasta doesn’t freeze well.

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