Do you ever have one of those nights where you come home from work and all you want to do is pour yourself a glass of vino and snug your pup? It doesn’t have to be a overly strenuous or bad work day. I just think a cozy night like that sounds pretty perfect whenever I get a chance to sneak one in. Teek and I did just that today. Well after he helped me prepare this yummy meal of course.
I am pretty excited to share this recipe. I was inspired to make this dish by one of co-workers and friends from South Africa. She makes the lasagna dish for hey hunny that uses spaghetti noodles, ground ostrich, veggies, and a white sauce. Ground ostrich is AMAZING, but since we are in good ole America I decided to make a unique lasagna casserole with another lean protein: ground turkey and sans the pasta. Oh yeah, this another “healthafied” twist on an old school fav.
If you have not figured out by now I LOVE spaghetti squash. Seriously, once you make it once you will be hooked too. The spaghetti squash was the pasta substitute in this recipe and I decided to add some more nutritional value with the spinach. If you want to re-create this dish to be vegetarian-friendly, you can easily replace the ground turkey with a meat substitute or sauteed mushrooms. I chose the easy way out and used store-bought pasta sauce. I have made home-made pasta sauce in the past and it is such a nice alternative to an off-the-shelf pasta sauce. Reaching fo
r a jar is so much easier when your throwing together a week night meal.
This dish does take some prep and time. It does not require any particular cooking skills, it just requires patience since you have to prepare the ingredients before assembling the lasagna. The end result is well worth the effort!
Oh and anytime there’s a yummy Italian dish, I HAVE to serve it up with a baguette and some infused dipping oil. That’s probably why I favor the lower-carb, spaghetti squash lasagna…I can “justify” (that’s what Andrew calls it) as much bread and oil as my heart, more like tummy, desires.
Prep time: 50 minutes (includes roasting spaghetti squash and lasagna assembly)
Cook time: 20 minutes
1 organic spaghetti squash
1 lb ground turkey
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
24 oz organic red pasta sauce (divided into 1 cup and 3 x 1/2 cup)
1 C ricotta cheese
1/2 t dried oregano
1/2 t dried basil
1/2 t red chili flakes
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
1/2 C freshly grated parmesan
6 slices mozzarella cheese (alternatively 1 C freshly grated mozzarella cheese)
- Preheat oven to 425 F and line baking sheet with aluminum foil. (Note: keep the oven on the whole time, you will bake the lasagna at this same temperature)
- Prepare the squash: Cut the spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise. Hollow out the inside and remove the seeds. Rinse the squash. Spray the inside face of each half with coconut oil cooking spray. Place squash face down on the baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes. Flip the squash over when there are 10 minutes remaining and allow the face of the squash to brown. Remove from the oven. Use a fork to flake the edges of the squash in a downward motion and create spaghetti.
- While the squash is baking prepare the remainder of your lasagna ingredients.
- Prepare the sausage: in a pan, over medium-high heat, brown the turkey and season with oregano, chili flakes, basil, salt and pepper. Set aside in a bowl.
- Prepare the filling: Using the same pan, coated with coconut oil cooking spray, over medium heat sauté onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes. Add spinach and cook an additional 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally. Mix in 1 cup of pasta sauce. Remove from heat. In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer combine the ricotta cheese with the spinach mixture. Set aside.
- Assemble the lasagna.
- Spray a casserole dish (12 x 9) with non-stick cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup of pasta sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish.
- Spread half the spaghetti squash on top of the pasta sauce. Then top with half the ground turkey.
- Spoon half the spinach ricotta filling over the turkey layer. Spread evenly using a spatula.
- Layer 1/2 C of the pasta sauce over the spinach ricotta filling and repeat steps B and C.
- Top the lasagna with the remaining 1/2 C pasta sauce, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan.
- Place the casserole in the oven and bake at 425 F for 20 minutes. (Note: turn your oven setting to broil for the last 2 minutes of baking and allow the bubbly cheese to get golden)
- Remove the casserole from the oven and allow to cool 15 minutes before slicing and serving.