Spaghetti Squash Turkey Bolognese

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This lightened up version of spaghetti bolognese is healthy, hearty, delicious, and fun to eat (right out the spaghetti squash)!

This lightened up version of spaghetti bolognese is healthy, hearty, delicious, and fun to eat (right out the spaghetti squash)!

Happy Sunday everyone!! 

I disappeared for a few months and I am so sorry! I stopped posting at first because I was so busy with work over the summer, then I started school and, more recently, I’ve been following an intense exercise and eating plan, and I’m not sure those are the kind of recipes you’d all want to see. Or do you? Let me know if you’d like to see some easy healthy recipes on the blog in the near future, please! 🙂 For now I’m sticking with straight-up delicious!

This lightened up version of spaghetti bolognese is healthy, hearty, delicious, and fun to eat (right out the spaghetti squash)!

The good news is that this spaghetti squash turkey bolognese is delicious AND healthy, packed with big flavour and big nutrition. I stopped eating pasta a while back – except when I go out for Italian food, or if someone offers me freshly made pasta (you just can’t say no to that),  so sometimes I get cravings for saucy noodles. This dish really hits the spot! It’s loaded with saucy turkey (or chicken, or beef, or whatever you fancy), and topped with a generous helping of parmesan cheese. You won’t even miss pasta when you taste this! If you really really really need pasta in your life though, or if you can’t find spaghetti squash where you live, then you should still try the turkey part to this recipe and throw it on top of your favourite pasta.

Bonus: This dish can be prepared in advanced – roast the squash and bake the bolognese sauce a few days ahead of time, then fill it up and bake it till it’s hot when you want it! 

This lightened up version of spaghetti bolognese is healthy, hearty, delicious, and fun to eat (right out the spaghetti squash)!

Squash cut in half and rubbed down with olive oil, then seasoned with salt and pepper

This lightened up version of spaghetti bolognese is healthy, hearty, delicious, and fun to eat (right out the spaghetti squash)!

Roasted squash with bolognese sauce ready to go

This lightened up version of spaghetti bolognese is healthy, hearty, delicious, and fun to eat (right out the spaghetti squash)!

Filled, topped with cheese, and baked. Yum!

Spaghetti Squash Turkey Bolognese

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: Half of a spaghetti squash

This lightened up version of spaghetti bolognese is healthy, hearty, delicious, and fun to eat (right out the spaghetti squash)!

Ingredients

    For the Spaghetti Squash:
  • 2 spaghetti squashes, halved lengthways
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • For the Turkey Bolognese:
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes (or 1/2 tsp of your favourite hot sauce)
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1lb ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 4 diced tomatoes (or 1.5 cup cup canned diced tomatoes with juice)*
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 cup chicken stock (or 3/4 cup stock + 1/4 cup dry white wine)**
  • To Finish:
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (or more, to taste)***

Instructions

    For the Spaghetti Squash:
  1. Preheat oven to 385°F. Line a baking tray with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Cut squash in half lengthways, scoop the seeds out.
  3. Rub each half with 1/2 tbsp olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Put the squash cut side down on baking tray.
  5. Bake for 55-60 mins, or until the squash is fork tender.
  6. For the Bolognese Sauce:
  7. While the spaghetti squash is in the oven, heat a medium sized saucepan over medium heat.
  8. Add olive oil and sauté onions until translucent and slightly browned.
  9. Add garlic, thyme, oregano, chilli flakes and cook 1 minute, or until fragrant.
  10. Add ground turkey and let it brown for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  11. Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and stock.
  12. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Stir well.
  13. Let this simmer for 20 minutes, or until sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.
  14. To finish:
  15. Once the squash has cooked and the sauce is thickened, turn the squash halves right side up, and scoop the turkey mixture evenly over the 4 squash halves.
  16. Grate parmesan cheese over each half, and put it back in the oven or under the broiler for 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and browned slightly.

Notes

*If you used canned diced tomatoes with juice, then you don't need to add the 1/2 cup of tomato sauce.

**The addition of wine will give you a more flavourful end product, but all stock works and is wonderful too.

***If you want to keep this dairy free, you can use nutritional yeast instead of parmesan cheese.

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This lightened up version of spaghetti bolognese is healthy, hearty, delicious, and fun to eat (right out the spaghetti squash)!
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