Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

I'm sure the world would appreciate a break from the crock pot posts before I post yet another (and yes I have one!). So, enter the spaghetti squash lasagna I made last night. Holy wow. If you don't think you like spaghetti squash, do yourself a favor and give this one a try. I've made lots of spaghetti squash recipes that call for stuffing the squash with things--meat sauce, enchilada type filling, etc--but none required me to cook the squash first, wring out the moisture, then mix with cheese and spinach before re-stuffing. This is where it's at, kids. A pasta-free meal that actually feels like pasta. It is really fabulous. And while this recipe calls for ground turkey, feel free to make other substitutions...hamburger, Italian sausage, or perhaps some roasted veggies or sauteed portobello mushrooms to make it a vegetarian dish. Highly customizable and highly adaptable to your tastes--I took several liberties with the proportions of cheese/sauce and also changed the regular ground turkey to use ground turkey breast and used a whole pound versus just 1/2. I cannot wait to eat the leftovers tonight!

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Spinach
-adapted from Cooking Light, December 2015

-2 medium sized spaghetti squash (approx 1. 5 lbs each)
-1 T olive oil
-5 garlic cloves, minced
-1 pkg fresh baby spinach (feel free to use one bunch of regular spinach, chopped up, or even kale)
-1/2 cup ricotta cheese (I used whole milk ricotta...sorry Cooking Light!)
-1/4 t. salt
-1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (again, sorry Cooking Light...not enough cheese in your version)
-1 lb ground turkey breast
-3 cups (1 jar) your favorite marinara sauce (I used Trader Joe's Organic Tomato Basil)
-1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Cut your squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. To make this easier, prick the squash with a fork and stick the whole thing in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. It will cut like a dream and not threaten the slicing of your fingers. Place the squash halves on a baking sheet (cut side up) and roast at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes. Scoop the inside strands out with a fork onto a clean kitchen towel and wring out as much of the moisture as you can. Feel free to do this whole thing ahead of time and just throw your cooked/squeezed squash into a Ziploc and throw it in the fridge. Remember to keep your squash shells, though!

Heat olive oil in large skillet, add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Then add spinach and cook a minute or so, just until wilted. Pour this into a large bowl along with the squash strands, then add the ricotta, 1/2 of mozzarella, and salt and mix well.

Back in the skillet, saute ground turkey until no longer pink. Add marinara, cover and simmer a few minutes. Divide meat mixture evenly into bottom of squash shells and top with the squash mixture. Sprinkle remaining half of mozzarella and the Parmesan on top. Increase the oven heat to 425 and bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and tops are browned (you can fire up the broiler at the end if you need to--I did not). Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.