Sunday, September 30, 2012

Recipe: GF Spaghetti Squash & Meat Sauce

Friday night I wanted a good home-cooked meal, but I was not in the mood to spend a lot of time going crazy in the kitchen, and I wanted to use what we had on hand rather than making another trip to the store -- I grocery shop enough as it is. I'm sure you can relate.

Sometimes my meals just sort of happen (like that delicious beet dish), and actually turn out better than expected. This was one of those cases. I know the recipe I'm about to share is nothing extremely unique, but, heck, it's easy, tasty and healthy so I'm puttin it out there!

Spaghetti Squash & Meat Sauce (gluten-free)
Up close. It's hearty.
Easy, healthy one-dish meal; very few ingredients.

1 spaghetti squash (if you have a large one you'll only need half of it)
1.25-1.5 lbs ground turkey ("regular fat" content; not the super lean kind. Too lean = dry)
25 oz (1 jar) marinara sauce of choice (I used Vons Organics Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce; I actually like the ingredients in this line more than the Whole Food's brand; less sugar.)
5 green onions, chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic or 2 cubes frozen garlic (I use the frozen cubes from Trader Joe's)
1-2 tbsp basil or 2 cubes frozen basil cubes (again, TJ's)
1 tbsp oregano
red pepper flakes, to taste
salt & pepper, to taste

*As always, use organic whenever possible.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, and when it's ready stick your spaghetti squash in there on a cookie sheet for 1.5 hours (again, this is for a bigger squash; smaller ones may require less time).

Note on SS preparation: I used to cut my squash in half, scoop out the seeds and lay face down on cookie sheet in a bit of water and then bake, but I don't bother with that anymore. I've found it turns out just as good to throw the whole thing in there until it's done, and then cut open, remove seeds, etc. Of course, wash it first.

After squash has been in over for a while, start prepping other ingredients. Heat large pan on stove top with 1 tbsp EVOO. Chop green onions and add to the pan. Cook on medium heat. A couple minutes later, add more EVOO and the ground turkey, 1 cube garlic, 1 cube basil and a bit of salt and pepper. Spoon the turkey around constantly and let it break apart into small bits as if you're making taco meat; this requires constant stirring. When turkey is halfway done, add about 1/3 jar of marinara. Mix and let sauce soak into turkey well, then add another portion of sauce.

Meanwhile, when spaghetti squash is done, cut it in half, let it cool a bit and remove seeds. Then fork out the squash strands into a bowl. This is always my least favorite part - so dang hot; fingers burning! 

Seeds removed; time to fork it

Add half or all of your squash to the meat mixture. You want it to be a fairly even ratio of squash to meat sauce; not too soupy with sauce, not too squashy/dry with spaghetti squash. Add the rest of the marinara sauce, another cube of garlic and basil, red pepper flakes, and more S&P if desired and let all that simmer on a low heat until the sauce is well absorbed. It should have a hearty consistency when done. Again- not soupy, and not dry.
Adding spaghetti squash to the meat mixture.

Mixing squash, meat, more sauce.

And after a bit of time letting all the flavors and ingredients blend together, you have yourself a meal!

The finished product.

Hearty consistency. Men will like. 

Sauteing jalapenos in evoo.
Serve with a veggie of choice. I served with steamed broccoli (again, something that's easy to make), and some pan sauteed jalapenos for a kick (I randomly got the jalapenos at the farmer's market and they turned out to be quite tasty and not too spicy if you cook them long enough in olive oil and add sea salt; I cooked them for a good 30-40min).

This dish was even better the second day as leftovers. Too bad John was out of town and didn't get any ;) But I certainly enjoyed it after tough workouts of swimming and kayaking.


  1. Delish! We had it last night - and it was wonderful. I love spaghetti squash!

  2. most def one of my favorites.... sometimes i make the squash in advance though because it takes so long to bake...