turkey bolognese with spaghetti squash

Spaghetti squash…or an example of God’s sense of humor in the vegetable world.

turkey bolognese with spaghetti squash | TetaLizza.com

Each time I prepare spaghetti squash, I get all giddy like a child, partly amused and partly in awe of how amazing this vegetable is. Not to mention – delicious!

turkey bolognese with spaghetti squash | TetaLizza.com

Two halves of a spaghetti squash. The one on the left still has seeds, the one on the right has the seeds removed.

So listen…if you’re going to compare it side-by-side, then no, it’s not pasta. BUT, if you’re trying to cut back a bit, lighten things up and want to try something different, spaghetti squash is a great substitute. Much like spaghetti noodles, you can top spaghetti squash with sauces, spices and meat and it gets the job done…with a lot less guilt carbs.

turkey bolognese with spaghetti squash | TetaLizza.com

Place the spaghetti squash cut side down before placing into the oven and poke a few holes into the skin using a fork.

WORD OF CAUTION: Like many other varieties of winter squash, cutting a spaghetti squash requires (1) a sharp knife, (2) some muscle, and (3) great care to ensure you still have ten fingers once the task is done. TETA LIZZA TIP: Start with a small-medium size squash that will be easier to manage.

turkey bolognese with spaghetti squash | TetaLizza.com

Voila! Beautiful strands of “spaghetti” ready to eat!

Once again, I am using my beloved ingredient – ground turkey – to make this bolognese sauce. You’re just gonna have to deal with it people, this is me, a ground turkey over beef gal. But seriously, if it ever made more sense, it’s in this dish where you’re hoping to pack all the flavor while shaving off the extra calories. Which ultimately means you can throw caution to the wind when you top this with Parmesan c-h-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-s-e…yum!

turkey bolognese with spaghetti squash | TetaLizza.com

Even if you’re all “calories shmalories, I’ll eat what I want” then spaghetti squash is still something you just gotta try. For starters, it’s totally fun. Get the kids involved (not in the cutting) and they’ll have a blast separating the strands with a fork into “noodles”. PS: Did I spell that right? Sh-mal-or-ies…?

turkey bolognese with spaghetti squash | TetaLizza.com

What I really love about this dish is that I can prepare it in stages. I roasted the spaghetti squash on the weekend but didn’t pull the whole thing together until two nights later. You can just wrap the halves in aluminum foil until ready to use and reheat. Then ladle the turkey bolognese on top when ready to serve and finish with a healthy sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

turkey bolognese with spaghetti squash | TetaLizza.com

Truth be told, for such a hard-headed vegetable, it’s ridiculously easy to prepare and is so versatile. During the winter months when all the bright vegetables are out of season and cauliflower is $8 a head (no joke…for three weeks now!) checking out the winter vegetable garden at your grocery store is worth the time and bit of effort. Plus, it’s so sunshiny yellow…it can’t help but make you smile. 🙂

enjoy | liz | xo

turkey bolognese with spaghetti squash
Serves 4
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 50 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 50 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 medium sized spaghetti squash
  2. 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 1 lb ground turkey breast
  6. 2 cups tomato passata or puree
  7. red-pepper flakes (optional)
  8. coarse salt and ground pepper
  9. grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 410F. Set to roast (if available).
To prepare the spaghetti squash
  1. Use a large, sharpened knife to carefully slice off the ends of the squash to create a flat bottom. Then cut the the squash lengthwise, to create two halves. Scoop out the bit of seeds and discard. CAREFUL - do not remove too much of the fleshy goodness!
  2. Drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil on each half, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place cut side down inside a baking dish. Poke the skin side (facing up) a few times with a fork to allow steam to escape while cooking. Place baking dish in oven and roast for 35-45 minutes until squash is tender and easily produces "spaghetti" strands when gently pulled with a fork.
  3. Remove from oven and allow to cool for approx. 10 minutes before handling. When ready, turn halves cut side up. Pull your fork along the length of the flesh to create the "spaghetti". Transfer these to a serving dish or plate. Continue until all flesh has been removed from skin. Discard skin.
To prepare the sauce (while the squash is roasting)
  1. In a large, nonstick skillet, add remaining 2 tbsp olive oil. Once heated, add onions and garlic and cook until tender, approx. 5 minutes. Add ground turkey and cook until no longer pink, breaking into small pieces during cooking using a wooden spoon, approx. 10-15 minutes.
  2. Add tomato passata/sauce, salt, pepper and red chili flakes (if desired). Bring mixture to a boil and then allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Serve meat mixture over spaghetti squash and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Serve warm!
TETA LIZZA'S KITCHEN http://tetalizza.com/

If you try this recipe for yourself, I would love it if you left a comment below. You can also share your pictures with me on Instagram (@teta_lizza). Be sure to add the hashtag #teta_lizza so I don’t miss them!

2 thoughts on “turkey bolognese with spaghetti squash

  1. Sammie says:

    I love ground turkey, or chicken in bolognaise and yours looks absolutely delicious. I have never even seen a spaghetti squash, except on the internet. Certainly I haven’t seen one in the shops, here in the UK. So I can dream of what they’d be like or I can get my butt into gear and try growing some this year! I will have spaghetti squash, I will, I will….
    They just look so much darn fun! Fantastic recipe yet again Liz. Teta Lizza’s Kitchen is such a great site. Sammie xx

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