Quadly Cooking: Easy “Pasta” with Meat Sauce

May 21, 2019

Quadly Cooking: Easy “Pasta” with Meat Sauce

I love pasta. Spaghetti, linguini, macaroni, rigatoni. I love it all. Unfortunately, cooking pasta is difficult with limited hand function due to a spinal cord injury. But I’ve found an easy and healthy alternative.

Thankfully, my local grocery store has started carrying zucchini spaghetti and acorn squash pasta, which is simply pre-prepared spiral cut veggies. Add some ground beef and spaghetti sauce and voila! You’ve got spaghetti and meat sauce with little effort.

On the day I made this dish, I used ground beef that I had previously cooked and put in the freezer. The idea of freezing ground beef was accidental. I bought some ground beef thinking the ground turkey in my frig had gone bad. It hadn’t. So one Sunday afternoon, I cooked up 3 pounds of ground beef and turkey.

That was quite a workout! But I put the meat in a freezer-safe container for later use.

So, let’s put this all together!


2 8-ounce containers of zucchini or acorn squash
1 pound ground turkey or beef
24 ounces of spaghetti sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil


Pour olive oil in a large pan. Place your choice of “pasta” in the pan, ensuring that the pieces are separated well. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently. You’ll need to decide if you want your vegetables thoroughly cooked or a bit on the al dente side. Get a fork to sample and taste!

Add in the defrosted ground meat and the spaghetti sauce. Continue to cook until the meat and sauce are warmed through.

Since this is a “pasta” dish, I warmed up a loaf of bread with a crispy crust and prepared a dipping sauce of basil pesto and olive oil.

I have to admit that I like colorful and beautiful food. This dish missed the mark on beauty looking rather… orange. But it tastes great and is such an easy and healthy alternative to pasta.

Tips & Tricks

  • Cook up two or three pounds of ground turkey or beef. Separate into freezer-safe containers and use at a later date. (I might ask my PCA to do this in the future since my shoulder was so cramped up!)
  • Try using this grippy can opener for the spaghetti sauce and other glass jars. Or plan ahead and ask someone to open the sauce prior to cooking.
  • Read how Abby makes her own “zoodles” (a.k.a., zucchini spaghetti) with this cool device.

A gifted athlete. An unthinkable accident. Will a wheelchair crush her adventurous spirit?

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Jenny Smith

Jenny Smith

After a spinal cord injury at 16, I discovered that a wheelchair could take me places I never dared to imagined.

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