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AIP Crockpot Spaghetti and Pesto Meatballs Recipe

Louise | June 27
AIP Crockpot Spaghetti and Pesto Meatballs Recipe #aip

It happens to the best of us. Sometimes a pasta craving hits, and hits hard. Don’t let your autoimmune diet keep you from spaghetti night. This AIP crockpot spaghetti and pesto meatballs recipe is just what the doctor ordered.

Making Zucchini Noodles

You guessed it – no flour-filled pasta noodles for this AIP recipe. But zucchini makes a lovely substitute.

If you’d like, you can certainly cheat on this step. I’ve been finding ready-to-go zucchini noodles at the store in both the produce section and the frozen foods aisle.

That’s an option, but if you prefer it fresh or if you grow your own, there is a bit of an art to preparing and cooking them just right. Here are some things I’ve picked up over the years.

  1. Keep the skin on. It’s going to help keep the noodles from getting too waterlogged, and there are good nutrients in the skin.
  2. Spiralize while raw. You’d be surprised how many people cook first only to end up with a mushy mess.
  3. Make sure the zucchini is centered on the spiralizer. You’ll get longer noodles and better results.
  4. Don’t overcook. A minute or two is all you need – any more and it will be really mushy (that’s the ongoing cautionary tale here).
  5. Don’t try to salt your way out of an issue. While there are many zucchini recipes where salting is appropriate, this isn’t one of them. If anything, you’ll just end up with salty mush. Nobody likes that!

More AIP Pasta Recipes

If you enjoyed this autoimmune-friendly spaghetti recipe, I’ve got even more ideas for you. Check out this list of AIP pasta recipes to keep the low-carb, autoimmune-friendly meals coming!

AIP Crockpot Spaghetti and Pesto Meatballs Recipe #aip

AIP Crockpot Spaghetti and Pesto Meatballs Recipe #aip

AIP Crockpot Spaghetti and Pesto Meatballs Recipe

  • Author: Louise Hendon
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner, Lunch
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • 1 lb (450 g) ground beef
  • 3 Tablespoons (45 ml) AIP Basil Pesto
  • 3 Tablespoon (45 ml) avocado oil
  • 2 cups (480 ml) beef broth
  • 2 zucchinis, spiralized to form noodles
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons basil leaves, for garnish


  1. In a bowl, mix together the ground beef and AIP Basil Pesto.  Form small meatballs from the mixture.
  2. Add the avocado oil to a frying pan and brown the meatballs (in batches).
  3. Place the meatballs into a crockpot along with the beef broth.
  4. Cover and cook for 4 hours, spooning the broth over the meatballs every now and then.
  5. To cook the zucchini noodles, take a little broth (approx. 1/4 cup (60 ml)) from the crockpot and place into a large pan over high heat. Add the zucchini noodles and toss well to coat, cooking the zucchini until all the moisture in the pan has evaporated and the zucchini has cooked through (this won’t take longer than a minute or two.)
  6. Season the zucchini with salt and serve topped with the meatballs. Garnish with torn basil leaves.


All nutritional data are estimated and based on per serving amounts.


  • Calories: 496
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Fat: 45 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 20 g
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