February 24, 2014

Cheesy Baked Spaghetti Squash with Ground Turkey and Marinara

Hi everyone!

Today I worked out my legs at the gym. It was a tough workout and I felt really drained. So I decided I needed to have a healthy dinner full of lean protein and veggies. A super easy dish to make is baked spaghetti squash. It's like pasta, but you don't even have to boil the noodles and drain them. You just roast (or microwave) the spaghetti squash and then add whatever you want to it. In my case, I had some awesome marinara from my boyfriend's favorite Italian restaurant that I wanted to use up, so I opted for Cheesy Baked Spaghetti Squash with ground turkey for added protein.

I know some people are intimidated by spaghetti squash. It does take a little elbow grease to cut one open and scrape out the seeds. But once you get that down, it's such a simple and versatile vegetable. Plus, there are just 42 calories in 1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash and 10 carbs. That's about 4 times less than the calories of traditional pasta. The fiber content of it helps to keep you feeling fuller longer, and you don't get that bloated, too full feeling that pasta often causes.

Once you cut open the squash length wise and scrape out the seeds, you put it cut side down and roast on 375 degrees for 60-75 minutes or until the fork easily pulls away the "spaghetti strands" from the skin. It will look something like this...

While the squash is roasting, you can prepare the sauce. I waited until the squash had about 20 minutes left. I used ground turkey, but you could substitute very lean beef, tofu, or no meat and just use sauce. I cooked my ground turkey all the way through, then added sauce and let it simmer until the squash was cooked.

I topped the squash with the sauce and cheese, broiled for a few minutes to get the cheese nice and melty, then I dug in! Mm-mmm, it's so good! And I don't feel guilty at all. It's also great for leftovers, which is always a plus for me so I don't have to worry about getting lunch ready for the next day.

Cheesy Baked Spaghetti Squash with Ground Turkey and Marinara

1 medium spaghetti squash
1 jar marinara of choice
1 cup low fat cottage cheese
1-2 cups mozzarella cheese (or your cheese of choice)
1 lb ground turkey
Basil, oregano, or Italian seasoning for sprinkling on top

Pre-heat oven to 375. Cut squash in half length wise and scrape out seeds. Place halves cut side down on a baking sheet and roast for 60-75 minutes.

When the squash has about 20 minutes left, cook the turkey on medium-high heat until cooked through. Add your sauce and simmer until squash is done.

Once squash is tender and the strands easily pull away from the skin, it's done. Flip over the squash boats on the baking sheet. Turn oven to Broil setting. Pull spaghetti strands away from the skin of each boat and pat down so you have a nest of pasta in each boat. This will become your bowl which is very convenient!

Fill each boat with 1/2 cup of cottage cheese. Then top with 1/2-1 cup of the turkey marinara. Next top with 1/2 cup mozzarella. Finally, sprinkle a little bit of oregano and basil on top. Broil the two halves for 3-5 minutes until cheese is bubbling and just starting to brown.




  1. Love this blog! This is the first time I've been excited and truly willing to try out some recipes. Normally, after looking for new healthy things to make I am left empty handed because the recipe takes too long, sounds disgusting, or has an ingredient list a mile long. Thank you for the user-friendly instructions, encouraging tips, and pictures. Can't wait to try out all these delish and healthy dishes.

    1. Thanks, Kelli! You'll have to let me know if you make anything! :-) I don't like complicated instructions either.

  2. Jess, you make me so hungry! I can't wait to visit so you can cook for me. Love Mom

  3. I cook spaghetti squash in the crock pot. I just poke it a few times with a fork, put in in a large crock pot (mine is oval shaped) and let it go all day on low. Very easy! Techlazy.com Crazyask.com Howmate.com

  4. I so enjoy your site and your recipes. Would you please consider adding a print option so we can enjoy your recipes a little more easily. Thank you.

    1. Hi Sonia,

      Thank you! I'm really not keeping up with this blog as much anymore, so I probably won't be adding a fancy print option. However, you can always just highlight the recipe text and paste into a word doc and then print and that should work okay. Let me know what you end up making!



I read each and every comment and love to hear what you have to say. Thanks for checking out my blog. :-)

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