Okay…this is by far my FAVORITE recipe creation to date! I would probably make it weekly if it weren’t for my husband (who isn’t a big spaghetti squash fan). I don’t really get how he doesn’t love it, but he also doesn’t like brussel sprouts which are my ultimate FAV veggie. Opposites attract I guess? I’d actually guess you could use zucchini noodles (which he prefers) in place of the spaghetti squash if you wanted, but I haven’t attempted that yet. You’d definitely want to make sure you get the excess water out of the zucchini noodles so that they don’t get mushy and turn the casserole into a soupy mess. I’ll add that to the list of things to try!
I got the idea for this recipe from something my mom made for my nephew’s Birthday. It was a “traditional” spaghetti pie full of regular spaghetti, sauce, cheese, etc. It was a big hit at the party, so I am sure it was delicious. Mom was thoughtful enough to make us some spaghetti squash to have instead with the sauce,meat and cheese, and I loved it. I knew I could easily come up with something delicious that is much healthier and wouldn’t leave you feeling completely bloated like a big bowl of pasta usually does.
If you’ve never had it, spaghetti squash is an AWESOME substitute for noodles-you’ve got to try it! It’s not the lowest carb sub (zucchini is lower) but it is still a great alternative on most low carb diets. Spaghetti squash is so easy to make, and it’s great where ever you would typically have noodles-with alfredo, pesto, maybe with meatballs, etc. I have a couple other recipes that are pasta-esque posted as well. A lot of my recipes are dairy free, but you will see that it’s not the case with this recipe. If dairy is an issue for you, I’d skip this recipe, or prepare it without the dairy (I’m sure it would still be very good!)
This recipe takes slightly longer to prepare that most of my other quick and easy recipes, but it’s totally worth it. It’s a great option if you are trying to find a dish to take to a party or a friend’s house. You can actually make it a day in advance and cook it the next day. The first time I make this recipe I actually doubled it and took it to a friend’s house who just had a baby. They raved about it, and if you make it, I hope you do too! Serve this along with a great green salad and you’ll have a dinner fit for a Queen (or King!).
Low Carb "Spaghetti" Pie
Enjoy this healthy and comforting dish anytime you are craving pizza, pasta, or a big bowl of meaty, cheesy, and saucy deliciousness without feeling guilty!
1lb lean ground beef (I typically cook with sausage seasoning so you get the flavor without the fat)
1 Medium spaghetti squash
1 small onion diced (optional)
1 jar (25oz) Pasta sauce (no added sugar) divided in half
1 ½ cups of Mozzarella cheese
¼ cup + 2 T Sour cream (I use light) or you can use greek yogurt here (I don't suggest fat free in this case)
4 oz Greek Cream cheese or light cream cheese
1.5 oz Turkey Pepperoni
Seasonings: Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Oregano, Red Pepper Flakes, Basil, and Parsley
Instructions on How To Cook Spaghetti Squash:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Cut spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise.
Scrape out the seeds with a spoon.
Place the squash face down on ovenproof dish or baking sheet
Bake until done. Depending on the size of the squash, it will take 25-45 minutes to get tender.
Take out of oven and let it cool down before handling. (turn your oven down to 350 degrees)
**OR if you don't want to spend the time to cook it in the oven, prick the squash all over with a fork. Place in the microwave for 3min.Rotate ¼ turn every 3min until it becomes tender to the touch. Sometimes it will "hiss" and a little liquid will come out of the holes. Most squashes will take between 9-12min in the microwave. If you try to cook too long, it will explode, so be careful! (Not that I know from experience!! ;)
Allow it to cool and cut in half. Scoop seeds out of the middle.
Take a fork and shred the spaghetti squash and place in a bowl.
Soak up any extra moisture from the spaghetti squash with paper towels (This is important or you'll have a watery pie-Ewww!)
Bake your spaghetti squash (see directions above)
While your spaghetti squash is baking, heat a little broth or olive oil in a large skillet over
medium heat. Sauté yellow onion until it’s just about done. If you don’t want onions, skip to the next step.
Add in ground beef and sausage seasoning and continue cooking until the meat is cooked through. Drain excess fat if there is any (usually with lean meat there is none).
Stir in ½ jar of pasta sauce and simmer on low to allow flavors to combine, about 5 minutes.
In a small bowl combine 4 oz softened cream cheese, ¼ cup + 2 T Sour cream and ½
tablespoon of each: basil, oregano, and parsley.
Mix in the other ½ jar of pasta sauce with the spaghetti squash.
Grease a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish with a little olive or coconut oil (you don't need much) and arrange the spaghetti squash that you mixed with sauce in the bottom of the pan.
Drop spoonfuls of this cheese mixture on top of the spaghetti squash, and then use a spatula to spread it evenly over the spaghetti squash.
Pour the meat/sauce mixture over the cheese mixture, top with 1 ½ cup (6oz) of mozzarella cheese, then arrange pepperoni on top.
Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the cheese is melted.
I like to turn the broil on for the last few minutes to get the top slightly brown and the pepperoni crispy.
Let cool for 5-10 minutes then cut into 6 pieces.
Nutrition: 1/6th of recipe 331kcal-14F/23C/31F