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Spaghetti squash has gained a lot of popularity through recent years as a great alternative to high-calorie, and high-carb pasta. You’ll see a lot of these pop up in stores as it is harvested in early fall and surprisingly keeps well for months in cool storage.

This veggie contains vitamins A and C, which prevents cell damage, manganese, a mineral that helps with bone growth and fiber which helps lower cholesterol. Additionally, one cup of plain spaghetti squash is only 42 calories! This is one of my favorites and my clients love it as well!  

If you think spaghetti squash is a bit bland… think again! This recipe from Well Plated has some kick to it! I have substituted edamame noodles and chickpea noodles in this recipe during times when I cannot get spaghetti squash. I personally avoid dairy so I typically do not add the cheese in the recipe and instead just sprinkle some on the top. This recipe is 193 calories per serving, has 10g fat, 8g carbs, 2g fiber and pairs great with a salad or steamed veggies. It’s also a great dish to bring to pitch-ins or prepare for a family who needs help with a meal because this dish is even better as leftovers the next day.   

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yields: 6 servings

 

Ingredients:

1 small/medium spaghetti squash (about 2 pounds)

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 pound (93% lean) ground turkey

1 small red onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, cored and diced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 can (14.5-ounce) diced tomatoes with Italian spices, drained

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon Italian seasonings of choice (or a mix of oregano, basil, and thyme)

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (reduce to 1/4 teaspoon if sensitive to spice)

1 cup freshly grated part-skim mozzarella or provolone cheese, divided

Chopped fresh parsley or basil

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
  • Place in a shallow baking dish, cut-side down, then pour 1/2 cup water into the dish, around the squash.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the flesh of the squash is easily pierced with a fork.
  • When cool enough to handle, pull the squash strings out of the squash’s center with a fork and transfer to a large mixing bowl. The squash strings should look like spaghetti.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium high.
  • Add the turkey, onion, bell pepper, salt, and black pepper.
  • Cook, breaking apart the meat, until meat is browned and the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the drained tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Let cook until most of the liquid from the tomatoes has cooked off, about 4 minutes, then add the reserved squash.
  • Cook and stir until most of the remaining liquid has cooked off, about 1-2 minutes
    more, increasing the heat if needed. Stir in 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese. There may be some liquid remaining in the pan.
  • Lightly coat a deep 8×8-inch baking dish or 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
  • With a slotted spoon, scoop the squash mixture into the pan in an even layer, discarding any excess liquid (some in the pan is OK—just not too much).
  • Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese, then return to the oven and bake until the cheese melts, about 5-10 additional minutes.
  • For an extra-golden-brown top, place the casserole under the broiler for a few minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with parsley and/or basil, and let rest 5 minutes. Serve hot.