Stop what you’re doing and make this right now!!
This may come as a shock (as in, it won’t), but when I was a wee tyke, I was a reeeeeal picky eater. There were approximately three things I would eat: lasagna, Cesar salad, and Krusteaz blueberry muffins (with the crumble topping). Looking back, I’m not entirely sure how I made it to adolescence, but as it turns out, a little lasagna, Cesar, and muff (with crumble topping) goes a long ways to get you to where you need to be.
Asweallknow, I’m no longer an eater of the glutens, but I still love me a mean hunk of lasagna. Because winter squash is in season and all I want in my face is hot, steamy comfort food, I’ve been craving lasagna with the force of an under-fed teenager. Which is how the stuffed spaghetti squash came to fruition. It’s not really lasagna (evidenced by the lack of noodle layering), but it has some comforting elements of a good hearty Italian meal.
Have you ever stuffed a squash? They make for real good eating food. You get your fun and funky innards with the carb-y, comforting squash, and if you play your cards right, you can make this a well-rounded meal, checking your protein and veggie boxes off in one fell swoop.
There is nothing more satisfying than cleaning out a stuffed spaghetti squash with your face.
Turkey Bolognese, you guys. Oh.Em.G-eepers creepers, what a sauce! Italian meat sauces are near and dear to my heart because I love a good tomato and herb infusion with tender hunks of delicious meat. If you’re a non meat-eater, no probs: you can chop up some zucchini, eggplant, or potobello mushrooms and add it to the sauce to keep it nice and hearty. The recipe for the turkey Bolognese sauce makes enough to fill two whole spaghetti squash, meaning 4 spaghetti squash halves, meaning this recipe feeds four. OR you can put some of your sauce on hold, and make this a dinner for two…in which case you’ll only need one spaghetti squash. Phew. Glad we cleared that up.
Let’s talk hunger level, because as well all know, it can range from meh-I’m-just-gonna-have-lettuce-for-dinner to feed-me-now-or-I-may-just-throw-myself-on-the-ground-like-a-ragdoll-and-cry. Stuffed Spaghetti squash is one of those meals you should make when you’re about to start drop kicking cute, fury, innocent itty bitty, teeny weeny, yellow polka dot things because your blood sugar demons are wreaking havoc on your mind, body, and soul. Meaning: eat this when you’re hungry. Afterwards, you won’t be hungry no mo.’
Melted cheese…it gets you.
If you’re unfamiliar with roasting spaghetti squash, you can read my lil’ tutorial on How to Roast Spaghetti Squash prior to starting this recipe. It’s easy, I promise! For this recipe, you prepare your turkey Bolognese sauce while your spaghetti squash is roasting in the oven (assuming you’re in the mood for a good multi-task..if not, this recipe can absolutely be made in stages). The sauce and squash should finish around the same time, leaving you with nothing left to do but fill your sketti squarsh boats with turkey bolognese, top them with thinly sliced (or grated) mozzarella cheese, then broil them in the oven until the cheese is good and melty-like.
What happens next is between you and your love boat.
Turkey Bolognese Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
For the Spaghetti Squash
For the Turkey Bolognese:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ large yellow onion finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper or to taste
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
- 1 pound ground turkey meat
- 1 28- ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped
Roast the Spaghetti Squash:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Chop the tip and tail off of the spaghetti squash and scoop out the seeds using a spoon.
Drizzle oil over each half, and use your hands to spread it around, making sure all of the flesh is covered.
Sprinkle salt and pepper on the spaghetti squash and place them face-down on a non-stick baking sheet.
Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until juices are seeping out and flesh is soft.
Turn the squash face-up and set them aside.
Prepare the Turkey Bolognese:
In a large saute pan or pot, heat the olive oil over medium and add the chopped onion. Saute, stirring frequently, until onion his very fragrant and has softened, about 8 minutes.
Add the garlic, rosemary, oregano, paprika, cayenne, salt, and turkey meat. Continue cooking just until the turkey meat has browned slightly, but do not cook it all the way through.
Add the crushed tomatoes and bring sauce to a gentle boil.
Reduce to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook 10 minutes.
Remove the cover and cook an additional 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the fresh chopped basil and stir well.
Taste the sauce for flavor – if desired, add more salt, or additional herbs/spices.
Prepare the Stuffed Spaghetti Squash:
Put your oven on the high broil setting.
Keeping the spaghetti squash halves face-up on a baking sheet, scoop desired amount of turkey bolognese into each half.
Cover with several slices of dry (or fresh) mozzarella cheese.
Place spaghetti squash on the center wrack in the oven and broil until cheese has melted and begins to crisp up, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Serve stuffed spaghetti squash fresh out of the oven!