$3 Italian Meatballs in Butternut Squash Marinara

About the author


My name is Kevin. My life changed when I realized that healthy living is truly a lifelong journey, mainly won by having a well-balanced diet and enjoying adequate exercise. By experimenting in the kitchen and openly sharing my meals, I learned that healthy eating is hardly boring and that by making a few adjustments, I could design a diet that could help me achieve my personal fitness goals. Our bodies are built in the kitchen and sculpted in the gym.

Calories 395
Protein 40g
Fat 8g
Carbs 43g
Total Time

This recipe is all kinds of amazing. It’s easy, delicious and budget friendly! For 5 days worth, it costs about $15, including the ingredients for the butternut squash marinara, so it averages about $3 per meal. Total win for your diet and your budget! Oh yeah, it’s pure #musclefood as well.


$3 Italian Meatballs in Butternut Squash Marinara


Ingredients for 5 servings (10 meatballs & 5 red potatoes):

  • 1.25 cup homemade butternut squash marinara
  • Meatballs:
    • 20 oz lean ground chicken breast (or turkey breast)
    • 3/4 cup feta crumble
    • 1 cup finely chopped spinach
    • 5 medium sized red potatoes
    • Seasonings for meatballs:
      • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
      • 1/2 tablespoon fennel
      • 1 teaspoon sage
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
  • spray coconut oil
  • garnish
    • fresh cilantro
  1. Set the oven to 400F.
  2. After washing the red potatoes, place them on a baking sheet. Poke a few holes in them using a fork, then bake them in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until soft.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the ingredients for the meatballs.
  4. Form about 10 meatballs about the size of a golf ball.
  5. Spray a nonstick skillet with coconut oil and set on medium heat.  Add the meatballs one by one.  Allow the outer parts of the meatball to cook; remember to roll the meatballs around the pan so that all sides are cooked. Do not keep the heat too high because they may stick to the pan and some sides/parts will burn.
    • TIP: Sear the meatballs on top and bottom and then place the entire skillet in the oven at broil temperature and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. Before doing this ensure your skillet can withstand high heat.
  6. When the meatballs have nearly finished cooking, reduce the heat to low and pour in the homemade butternut squash marinara. Stir slowly with a spatula and ensure all the meatballs are covered in the sauce.  You can cover the meatballs but it is not required.  Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, ensure the meatballs have finished cooking, then remove the skillet from the heat.
  7. Slice open a baked red potato and flake out part of the flesh using fork.
  8. Top each potato with two meatballs and drizzle a little butternut squash marinara on top.
  9. Garnish with cilantro (or green onions or chives).

Approximate macros for 1 of 5 servings

Available in the FitMenCook app

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