I love squash. I love when fall rolls in because it is officially squash time in my house- I make all types of squash recipes..I experiment a lot. One of my all time favorites though is spaghetti squash. I like it as a side dish or as the featured food, as it is in this recipe. At only 42 calories per cup, its something you can fill up on totally guilt free and its full of vitamin C, B and potassium.
The squash has a light sweetness to it, but other than that it is a pretty blank canvas, and makes a perfect base for a hearty bolognese sauce. I made this bolognese with turkey, to keep it light and low fat. I also use a store bought tomato sauce (which I add flavor to when cooking) so that you don’t have to slave over a hot sauce for hours to develop flavor. Any of your favorite tomato marinara style sauces will work well in this. I used a tomato basil sauce.
I add chopped carrots and celery to sneak some veggies in, and it really makes the sauce thicker. A combo of bacon and turkey bacon add SO much flavor to the sauce- if you want to just use bacon or just use turkey bacon instead of a combo, thats fine too! This dish has SO much flavor packed in for such little calories, but you won’t be able to tell it’s healthy, trust me!
As for the turkey used: I usually use a combo of white and dark because adding in dark meat makes the meat juicier, but either works here. White meat will be dryer, and the dark meat will be a little more moist.
*Recipe list is long, BUT don’t let that scare you: all the ingredients are pretty basic and easy, no need to worry!
Turkey Bolognese with Spaghetti Squash
1 medium spaghetti squash (washed)
1 lb ground turkey
2 pieces of raw turkey bacon, chopped
2 pieces raw bacon, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped basil
1/2 cup chopped parsley, divided (some for cooking, some for garnish)
2 cups tomato sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped toasted pecans (toasted pepitas work great too!)
Sprinkle of parmesan cheese (if you eat cheese)
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Poke the squash all over with a knife and then put it in a baking dish and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes. This gets it soft enough to cut in half! If you can cut it in half LENGTHWISE raw, then great! I can never do it, so I always need to soften it first.
Once cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and drizzle 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil on each half, then season with salt and black pepper. Return to the baking dish and bake in the oven, cut side down for about 35-45 minutes, or until the squash is cooked through and the flesh comes out easily. Once the squash is cooked, let it cool for 5 minutes and then carefully scrape out the middle with a fork.
While the squash cooks, you can start prepping everything else, or just chill out and have a glass of wine. I usually start cooking the sauce when the squash has about 15-20 minutes left.
Heat a skillet and cooked chopped bacon until cooked through and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add onion and garlic to the skillet and cook until the onions begin to caramelize (this cooks in the left over bacon grease- but you can always drain a little bit if you like). Add carrots and celery and cook until tender. Remove this mixture from the skillet and set aside. Add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and cook the turkey- season well with salt and pepper and break it up with a wooden spoon until it is almost cooked through. Add the tomato sauce, vinegar, basil, 1/4 cup parsley, thyme, chili flakes and oregano…and cook until the sauce starts to bubble. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the bacon and veggie mixture back in. Simmer for about 5-7 minutes to allow the flavors to develop. Serve the bolognese over spaghetti squash and top with chopped parsley, chopped pecans AND parmesan cheese (if you eat cheese).