I never grew up eating many casseroles, as it just wasn’t part of my parents’ cooking repertoire. Fast forward to the present, with my husband who grew up eating many baked pasta dishes and would eat them weekly if he could. While the occasional indulgence in lasagna, manicotti, or stuffed shells is absolutely fine, choosing to make and eat these high carb, high fat meals weekly probably won’t help support most health or weight loss goals in the long run.
When your cravings for a cheesy, tomato sauce based dish comes-a-calling, try making this lower carb, protein packed dish.
1-2 Tbs olive oil
1# Ground meat (beef, turkey, chicken,lamb, bison)
½ Onion, diced
1 Bell pepper, diced
1 Jar marinara/spaghetti sauce
2 Eggs, beaten
4oz Shredded mozzarella cheese
1 Spaghetti squash
1. Cook the spaghetti squash, remove the seeds, and scrape out the flesh and put it in a large bowl.
Option A: Place the whole squash into your crock pot with 1 cup of water and set it on high for 3 hours. Cut in half, scrape out and discard the seeds. Use a fork to scrape out the flesh and put into a large bowl.
Option B: Cut squash in half, scrape out seeds and put cut side down on a microwave safe dish. Fill with about 1” of water. Microwave on high 12-15 minutes until flesh is soft.
Option C: Cut squash in half, scrape out the seeds and place cut side down in a baking dish. Fill with about 1” of water. Bake at 375 F for 40 minutes.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and begin to sauté the onion and pepper.
3. Add the ground beef after 3-5 minutes. Continue browning and breaking up the meat until it is fully cooked.
4. Turn off the heat and combine the ground beef with the cooked spaghetti squash in the bowl.
5. Stir together the marinara sauce and eggs, then combine it with the spaghetti squash and meat.
6. Dump the entire mixture into a greased 9”x13” baking dish and bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Top with shredded cheese and continue baking for another 5-10 minutes or until it is melted and bubbly.
7. Let cool 10-15 minutes and serve with a large side salad or other cooked vegetable.
Spaghetti Squash can be a great vehicle for many different flavors, not just marinara sauce. Try topping or combining yours with:
Grilled Chicken and Pesto
Butter and Sage and Parmesan cheese
Chicken or Mushrooms with Masala sauce
Shredded BBQ Pork
Butter, Shrimp, and Lemon
Eggs and Bacon
Roasted Tomatoes and Zucchini
Italian Sausage and Sautéed onions and Peppers
Goat cheese and wilted kale/spinach
For Kids…. Cut up organic hot dogs and Shredded cheese
Author: Brenna Thompson