I made a super healthy dinner the other night — Spaghetti. Big whoop, right? Not when you use spaghetti squash instead of pasta! Not only is it a healthier option, it also makes the spaghetti dish special. And instead of using ground beef or ground turkey in the tomato sauce, I like to use turkey Italian sausage. I happen to love the extra flavor it provides.
It just so happened that the day I made this spaghetti, it was my daughter’s ballet class day. On these days, dinner needs to be quick because we don’t get home until right before dinnertime. I roasted the spaghetti squash ahead of time as it takes the longest to cook.
Cutting the spaghetti squash in half is quite possibly the scariest thing I’ve ever done in the kitchen. This particular gourd is incredible firm. You almost need a chisel and hammer to split it open. Don’t let this stop you! I promise you, it can be done — I have managed it many times. Proceed with caution.
Once you get your spaghetti squash opened up, scrape out the seeds with a spoon, drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, I placed the spaghetti squash cut-side down and roasted them on 375ºF for 45 minutes to an hour. I, then, let the squash cool for about 10 minutes until they were cool enough to touch.
Next, I used a fork and scraped the squash out, making little “noodles.”
I popped the bowl of squash into the refrigerator, then off to ballet class we went!
–Fast forward a couple hours–
Upon arriving home from ballet, I heated about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. I removed the turkey sausage from its casing and browned it in the skillet, and then added the onion and garlic. I cooked this mixture until the onion was soft and translucent.
Next, I added my tomato sauce. Since my husband, David, can’t have dairy, I always make sure to look at the ingredients on all tomato sauces. It would surprise you how many jarred tomato sauces contain cheese (dairy). I use Barilla marinara sauce.
Right before I was ready to serve, I added my baby spinach and cooked it just until it wilted.
That’s it! Just serve it on top of the prepared spaghetti squash, and perhaps top it with some Daiya dairy-free mozzarella cheese. (Sorry, I forgot to photograph David’s bowl that I actually used the Daiya on… I was hungry!)
Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Sausage
- 2 small or 1 large spaghetti squash
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 pound Italian turkey sausage, out of casing
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jar dairy-free tomato sauce
- 6 ounces baby spinach
- Daiya dairy-free mozzarella cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Very carefully cut spaghetti squash in half. Using a spoon, scrape seeds from center of the spaghetti squash. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil onto flesh of the spaghetti squash (just enough to coat), and season with salt and pepper. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil, place spaghetti squash cut-side down. Roast spaghetti squash for 45-60 minutes, then remove from oven and let spaghetti squash rest for at least 10 minutes until it’s cool enough to handle. Use a fork and scrape out the spaghetti squash, making “noodles.” Set aside.
In a skillet over medium-high heat, warm about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Next, remove turkey sausage from casing and brown it in the skillet. Add onion and garlic, cook until the onion is soft. Stir in about 2/3 of the jarred tomato sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.
Right before serving, add spinach to tomato sauce and cook until it’s barely wilted. Put some spaghetti squash in a bowl, and top with tomato sauce. If you’d like, add some dairy-free Daiya mozzarella cheese on top.