Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spaghetti Squash "Lasagna"

Ok, so this is a very loose interpretation of a lasagna, but I don't know what else to call it.

Jared and I have really been liking spaghetti squash lately.  I always make it into a side dish, but this time I wanted to use it in a main dish.

I learned how to cook spaghetti squash using this tutorial.

I used to use a skewer to poke the holes in the squash, but now I just use a knife.  I'm sure I look a bit crazy stabbing a squash repeatedly.

I actually baked my spaghetti squash the day before I needed it.  I removed the seeds and scraped out the strands of squash, and I just put the squash strands in the fridge overnight until I needed them the next evening.

Ingredients needed:  spaghetti sauce, shredded mozzarella, cooked spaghetti squash, and meat of your choice (not shown in this picture)

I took a very easy route for the meat.  I had some Schwan's LiveSmart turkey meatballs on hand.  They are fully cooked and frozen, so I just had to heat them up.

I microwaved the meatballs for 1.5 minutes and then cut each meatball into quarters.

You could brown some ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken for your meat layer.  I was lucky enough to have a healthy and easy option on hand.

I assembled my lasagna in a 2.5 quart casserole dish that I sprayed lightly with non-stick spray.

I coated the bottom of the dish with a very thin layer of spaghetti sauce.  Then I spread about half of my spaghetti squash over the sauce. (Was that sentence confusing to anyone else?)

I spread all of the meatball pieces over the squash.  (You can divide your meat into two layers.  I just only had enough meatballs for one meat layer.)

I accidentally switched the next two layers.  I did cheese and then sauce.  I probably should have done sauce and then cheese.  But this is proof that you can't really mess this up too badly.

Next was the rest of my squash.

Then sauce.  (If you have a second meat layer, add it before this sauce layer.)

And finally, more cheese.

I baked my "lasagna" at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes.  Everything was already fully cooked, so I just needed to heat it through and melt the cheese on top.  I baked mine uncovered, but you could also cover with foil to help it heat faster.  Mine probably took a little extra time because all my ingredients were refrigerated to begin with.

Ready to eat:

My notes:
  • Spaghetti squash has a lot of moisture.  You can place your cooked squash in a clean kitchen towel and wring out the extra liquid.  I didn't want to go to that trouble, so I just used the least amount of spaghetti sauce necessary to limit the overall liquid.
  • Your mouth will not be tricked into thinking the squash is actual pasta.  This isn't supposed to taste exactly like regular lasagna (or, technically, baked spaghetti).  This is just a lower carb dinner option, and it's also a way to eat more veggies.  I do think once you get used to meals like this in your regular dinner rotation, you will enjoy them for what they are.
  • As I already mentioned, feel free to make substitutions.  Use your favorite spaghetti sauce.  Use fat-free cheese or some other cheese you prefer over mozzarella.  Add Italian sausage for flavor or a lean ground meat for a lighter protein option.


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