OH, THE LAYERS OF DELICIOUSNESS.
You can’t even make this stuff up. These boats consist of spaghetti squash (the stringy-in-a-good-way squash that looks suspiciously similar to spaghetti) tossed around with some sautéed garlic kale, ricotta, lemon juice, salt, and mozzarella, baked right back in its spaghetti squash shell and topped with a super quick-simmer spaghetti sauce with ground turkey, because sometimes we find these things in our freezer and we need to top them with melty cheese to bring them out into the light.
These spaghetti squash lasagna boats are a major weeknight meal win for all the hungry people.
This is all we ate for the last three days before we headed out to the Philippines. Like, five meals in a row because I made them multiple times. You and I know that we don’t play around with serving sizes around here. I have no interest in a plate of three bites of food with some little bubbles of culinary foam on top. My MO is more of the Huge Plate Piled High With Food variety, whether nutritious Winter Bliss Bowls or just a good old burger and fries. But I might have even achieved a new level here – these spaghetti squash lasagna boat miracles were SO HUGE and so filling that even Bjork couldn’t finish one of them. We ended up halving the boats for smaller, more normal-person sized lunches and reserving the full-size boats for only the hangriest of dinner moments.
Here’s how it all came into existence in my mind:
I Want Pasta > How About Spaghetti with Creamy Sauce > Need a Way to Use Frozen Ground Turkey > Maybe Lasagna > Or Healthy Lasagna? > Turkey Lasagna with Creamy Sauce Could Work > I Know – Lasagna with a Butternut Squash Sauce > Google Search Squash Lasagna For Inspiration > Discovery of Cooking Light’s Spaghetti Squash Lasagna > Purchase of All Spaghetti Squashes in a 100-mile Radius > So Many Delicious and Healthy Lunches And Dinners.
That’s all this blog is, really. It’s just me being hungry for pasta all day every day and finding enough variations to keep us afloat for the last 5 years.
Even without any true-carb-pasta, I’ll give this one an honorary position on my favorite pasta list. Spaghetti Squash for the win!
- 2 spaghetti squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3-4 cups baby kale
- 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
- 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
- a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1-2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- a pinch of Italian seasonings like oregano, parsley, and basil
- a few glugs of red wine and/or a splash of red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
- Squash: Preheat the oven to 350. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash cut-side up in a baking dish and bake uncovered for 50-60 minutes. Pull the squash strings out with a fork and transfer to a large mixing bowl (be careful since you'll want to preserve the squash shells to use as the "boats"). The squash strings should look like spaghetti.
- Sauce: Meanwhile, while the squash is cooking, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes until just fragrant (not browned). Add the turkey and cook, stirring frequently and breaking the meat apart into small pieces until fully cooked. Add the tomatoes, salt, seasonings, red wine, and vinegar. Simmer for 20 minutes or so (until the squash is done). Add broth to thin out the sauce if needed.
- Filling: Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and kale, stirring until the kale is just wilted. Combine the kale in a small bowl with the ricotta, salt, lemon juice, and ½ cup of the shredded cheese. Add the cooked spaghetti squash and stir to combine.
- Arrange: Fill the boats with the spaghetti squash mixture and top with tomato sauce and remaining shredded cheese. Bump the temperature up to about 425 and bake for another 10-15 minutes to get the cheese nice and melty. Top with Parmesan, olive oil, parsley, and salt and pepper.
Nutrition information is for four servings, and it includes half of the sauce.
Thanks for hanging with us during this crazy return-from-travel-abroad-and-work-on-a-few-too-many-big-projects time, even when it means the posts are a little shorter than usual. I have a chalkboard FILLED with recipes inspired by 15+ days of being away from my kitchen and I cannot wait to get back into the regular swing.