I got a wild hair to make a new creation. Steve had bought some spaghetti squash on his last grocery visit and I had a really good idea what I wanted to do with it but i had not recipe. I was in the mood for ITALIAN. It was time to get creative! The end result was amazing!! Steve freaked the heck out and I had many of you guys say “RECIPE PLEASE” when seeing the finished product on social media!
Even though I didn’t follow a recipe, I did log all the food in the lose it app so I can share with you what what I did. My goal for this meal was to get my spaghetti/lasagna fix without the crazy carbs – and I succeeded. Totally amazing and I do plan on making this again and continuing to tweak it so stay tuned for more!!
- 1 Large Spaghetti Squash
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 package of frozen spinach (1 1/4 Cups)
- 2 Cups Tomato Sauce
- 1 Can Drained Diced Tomatoes
- 1 1/2 Cups Cottage Cheese 2%
- 1/4 Parmesan Cheese
- 1/3 Cup Reduced Fat Sharp Finely Shredded Cheese
- 1 Tbsp Light Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Garlic
- 1 Cup Diced Onion
#1 Prep the Spaghetti Squash for Cooking
The first step is to cut and cook the squash. Here is a great little video to show how you get the spaghetti ready for baking. Just like the video, I cut it in half, placed it in a dish (with about a 1/2 inch layer of water in the bottom) and cooked the squash until it was soft, producing nice spaghetti flesh when scraped with a fork. If it is still hard in spots, you will need to put it back in the microwave until the squash softens more. You’ll be periodically attending to the cooking process while you continue working on the next steps.
#2 Prepare your Meat
While the squash is cooking in the microwave, put your ground turkey in a nice big frying pan and season to your liking. I put salt, pepper, red pepper, a dash of season salt and italian seasonings in my meat mix and covered it on medium heat. While the meat starts heating up, dice up your onion and toss at least half of the diced onions into the pan with the meat, along with 1 tablespoon of fresh minced garlic. Continue cooking on medium heat until fully browned.
#3 Prepare your Casserole
Once you have your spaghetti squash removed from the shell and ready to rock in a nice big mixing bowl, and your meat is fully cooked, you can start making magic!
Preheat your oven on 375. Add the butter and the other tablespoon of minced garlic to the hot spaghetti. Add the rest of the onions, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce (I used a nice sweet basil sauce), ground turkey, parmesan cheese and defrosted drained spinach. I added 2 packets of stevia to sweeten the sauce and bring out more flavor.
Next, place 1/2 of the mixture in a greased casserole dish. Spread the cottage cheese across the top of the first layer. You can throw a dash of salt and pepper on that layer for fun, or you can replace that layer with a traditional lasagna ricotta cheese mixture. Spread the rest of spaghetti squash yumminess on top of the cottage cheese and sprinkle a light layer of the shredded sharp cheese on top.
Place in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, which was about 15 minutes. I then bumped the oven to broil for 3 minutes just to brown the top. Let the dish stand and cool a little before serving.
This made 6 HUGE servings, or 8 medium-sized servings. The nutritional information below is for 6 large servings. AMAZING flavor and nutrients for only 330 calories – and a great meal for #NoCarbNights! Yes, it has carbs, but spaghetti squash has only 10 grams of carbs for 6 ounces but pasta has nearly 70gms of carbs for the same amount – making this a great lower carb meal!!!!
Spaghetti Squash = 10gm Carbs & 54 Calories for 6 ounces
Spaghetti Noodles = 69gms Carbs & 291 Calories for 6 ounces
NOTE: If you are cooking this for friends, it is doesn’t present well when it’s nice and hot (it falls apart into a spaghetti mess, so you may want to serve it in bowls the night you cook it). I actually may add 1-2 egg whites next time to see if that helps keep things together. However, this is an EXCELLENT dish to cook ahead of time, as it is easier to cut into pretty squares for serving when it’s cold AND, like pasta, it continues to be more flavorful as it sits. If you want to entertain guests with a nice presentation, reheat each square and serve with a nice italian salad to impress guests with yummy eye appeal as well as taste! ENJOY!