A light, healthy dinner for tonight – Spaghetti Squash Marinara
I love spaghetti squash and I’m always experimenting with new ways to fix it. There are several different ways to cook the squash (before you combine it with the rest of the ingredients) and after a bit of experimentation, I decided that microwaving is the best approach. The method described below was developed by Jaden of SteamyKitchen.com – you can see her original instructions here along with another delicious spaghetti squash recipe. While she actually prefers baking the squash, following her microwaving method keeps the prep time on my dish under 15 minutes. Combined with a baking time of around 30 minutes, you can have a delicious (and healthy!) dinner on the table in under an hour!
Spaghetti Squash Marinara with Turkey and Zucchini
1 large spaghetti squash
1 pound ground turkey
2 cups chopped zucchini
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
4 tablespoons whipped cream cheese
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 to 3 cups marinara sauce (roasted tomato is delicious in this recipe)
1 cup shredded cheese (can use any kind – I use a mixture of cheddar and Monterey Jack, but can also use Mozzarella)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2 1/2 to 3 quart baking dish with olive oil.
Stab the spaghetti squash in several places with a sharp knife. Microwave for around 12 minutes, rotating halfway through. Squash should be tender when poked with a knife. Let squash cool enough to handle, then remove from microwave and cut in half lengthwise. Note that, depending on how long the squash sat in the oven it may still be very hot to handle, especially on the inside. Scrape out the seeds (I like to use a grapefruit spoon) and then using a fork scrape out the strands of spaghetti squash.
While the spaghetti squash is cooking (and cooling), prepare the other ingredients: Spray a large nonstick skillet or sauté pan with olive oil and place over medium heat. Add the ground turkey and cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink. Remove cooked turkey from the pan and drain. Wipe out the skillet, spray again with olive oil and place over medium heat. Add the zucchini and garlic and cook until the zucchini is soft. Reduce heat to low, stir in the cooked turkey and cream cheese. Cook, stirring until the cheese melts. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese.
Spread 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with half of the spaghetti squash. Spread 1/2 of the turkey mixture over the squash. Pour half of the sauce that is left (around 1 cup) over the top, then sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the cheese. Repeat layers – rest of the squash, the rest of the turkey mixture, then rest of the sauce and cheese. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly hot.
Make ahead: Dish can be prepared but not baked earlier in the day, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before baking.