I studied abroad in Florence, Italy when I was in college, so there is no question that I am a carb lover. For anyone that hasn’t been to Europe, there is one BIG difference–you can walk off those carbs EVERYWHERE.
Then, I fell in love with a very dark Italian American back here in the states. For his birthday, I was faced with a dilemma…what delicious dinner could I make that didn’t sabotage my healthy eating that week? I dug through the fridge and we had all of the makings for lasagna, but no noodles. Those pesky carbs. Then it dawned on me…it is squash season!
For those of you who have never dabbled with spaghetti squash before…it is a light, but filling, sweet squash that pulls apart into strings (like noodles) when cooked. You can season it and eat it on its own, but you can also use it ANY recipe in place of carb-heavy noodles. Like this, for example.
I ran to the store and found a nice 5 1/2 lbs spaghetti squash and spent a good 8 minutes trying to cut it in half (haha–that was a sight!). But this beauty was born:
I got a little creative, but just thought “delicious lasagna” the whole time. I was also a little nervous, because my fiancé had never had spaghetti squash…let alone lasagna with spaghetti squash in lieu of a noodle. The finished product ended up looking like this:
AND IT WAS DELICIOUS!
With a mere ~330 calories per piece, it fills you up! Just ask my fiancé. He was shoveling it in his mouth so fast, because it was so light…he didn’t realize until it was too late that the squash is actually REALLY filling. Mmmmm healthy and hearty!
yeild: 9 large pieces (8×8 pan) | 330 calories per piece
TO ROAST SPAGHETTI SQUASH
- cut squash in half length-wise
- season with salt, pepper, and garlic to taste
- brush the cut side of the squash with EVOO
- lay cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet
- bake/roast at 375 for 30 minutes
- flip squash halves over (cut side up) and bake/roast for 15 more minutes
- let cool for 15 minutes
- use a fork or spoon to pull the flesh of the Squash into spaghetti-like strands
SPAGHETTI SQUASH LASAGNA
- 1 15oz container of fat free ricotta cheese
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1 clove garlic (minced/pressed)
- 1 cup shredded reduced fat part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1 lbs ground chicken browned/cooked (sub ground turkey breast for lower fat & cals)
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach
- 1/2 jar pasta sauce (flavor of choice)
- 1/2 roasted spaghetti squash cooked and pulled (about 2 cups)
1. Mix basil, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste into container of ricotta cheese and set aside
2. Take glass baking dish (I used 8×8) and put a thin layer of pasta sauce on the bottom. Top with all of the cooked ground chicken
3. Top layer of chicken with all of the cooked spaghetti squash
4. Follow with a layer of baby spinach, then ricotta cheese mixture, and then another layer of pasta sauce
5. Finish with mozzarella cheese
6. Cover and bake at 375 for 15 minutes
7. Uncover and bake for another 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted to desired crispiness