I’ve told you about my little challenge at the local gym. Yea it’s been going on for 2 months and each week brings a fun new surprise…
But I’ve also mentioned that these little restraints have made my cooking a lot more fun. I like being put in a sandbox, even if that sandbox doesn’t have any of my favorite snacks. It’s almost over I promise I’m done crying about it.
Without this challenge, I wouldn’t have discovered my new favorite fall dish.
Before we dive in I have to say that Spaghetti Squash is NOT THE SAME AS SPAGHETTI.
Please do not confuse the two. Even though they have the same name, your brain won’t be tricked into thinking the squash tastes like the pasta. It doesn’t. To equate the two would be to diminish how brilliant this squash is on it’s own.
Sure, it looks like spaghetti (I guess) and it’s in the name, but it’s got a squashy taste and a delightful bite to it. Treat it like it is its own special thing and I promise it will be your new favorite vegetable.
Naturally, I put it in a casserole with a bunch of cheese, veggies, and eggs. This Italian Turkey Spaghetti Squash Casserole is comforting and delicious and it lasts for DAYS AND DAYS AND DAYS. This is great for when you have people stop by/want to feed them or realize you forgot to pack a lunch.
This one has Italian flavors, veggies and turkey baked into it. Mushrooms, peppers, fried onions, garlic, tomato, spices oh my… I’m already dreaming of an enchilada and greek version for the next ones.
Because yea I’m making this every week for as long as the squash gods keep producing.
Italian Turkey Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Start making 2 hours before you want Italian Turkey Spaghetti Squash Casserole
1 Spaghetti Squash (football sized)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Small/medium yellow onions, sliced
12 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 lb of ground turkey*
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 serrano chili, chopped (optional)
5 cloves garlic, chopped
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp thyme
14.5 oz canned diced tomatoes
1 cup shredded mozz cheese
½ cup shredded parm cheese
Chopped fresh herbs, more parm cheese
*To make this vegetarian, simply omit the turkey or add more veggies of your choice
Turn your oven on to 400F. Slice your squash lengthwise so you have two oval shapedhalves. Scrape all the seeds and squishy bits out. Put a little oil (don’t need to use the good stuff) on the cut side and place them face down on the pan. Roast for 40-45 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice your onions and get them frying on a large skillet with some olive oil. Season with salt and pepper along the way. Once they start to brown, add the sliced mushrooms and don’t touch them! Let them brown on the skillet for a few minutes before stirring them around.
If you start to get burnt bits on the bottom of your pan, deglaze it with a little water, it will come right off and add all the flavor to the onions and mushrooms.
Once cooked, reserve the onions/mushrooms on a plate. Using the same pan, add a little more oil then get the turkey browning. Add the green bell pepper, serrano chili, and the garlic. Once the turkey is browned, add the tomato sauce, herbs and a little more salt/pepper.
By this point, your spaghetti squash is done. Pull it out, and cool it slightly so you can handle it. Scrape all the flesh from the skin with two forks, gently pulling it off so you keep the strings intact. In a large bowl, mix the onions, mushrooms, turkey mixture and squash together.
This next step is annoying but necessary. Adding eggs makes the whole thing come together but you can’t add eggs to hot food or they’ll cook! So just let everything cool down for 10-15 minutes. In the meantime, call a friend, prep a salad or go pick up wine.
Once cooled enough, add in two beaten eggs and stir everything together.
In a greased 9×13 inch pan, dump the whole mixture in. Top with mozz and parm and cook uncovered for 55 minutes. If the top gets too brown, you can cover it with aluminum foil.
Top with fresh herbs like parsley, basil or thyme and more parmesan cheese.
Eat it all week or freeze it.