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What’s for Dinner? Italian Turkey & Spaghetti Squash Pie

March 28, 2011

Um, mine did NOT look this pretty. If yours does, please send me YOUR picture!

Hopefully you don’t just come see me for the recipes, as this recipe completely relates to my post last week about how to get your kids to eat healthy foods. (Hint: Try serving them!) Anyway, I alluded to the fact that my kids do not always buy into my dinners, and this recipe is one of them. However, please, please give this one a try and just don’t make the mistake I made!

First off, I couldn’t remember what it was called – my stepmom emailed it to me from the Weight Watchers site, but her email didn’t have a title. She described it as a lasagna, and that’s what stuck in my head. Second of all, I made a real lasagna for the first time ever (seriously!) just about a month ago and my kids freaked over it, it was so good. And loaded with Italian sausage, so it was certainly not a healthy-for-you dish. Though it was delish!

So MY MISTAKE was telling my children that I was making a different kind of lasagna for dinner, a lasagna bake. All they heard was lasagna. Fond memories of Momma’s delish Italian sausage-loaded heart attack on a plate came back, and did not quite match up to the very delicious, but not quite the same “lasagna” that landed across their plate.

Please, try this dish, it is really good, but do not describe it as a lasagna to your children. They just may take their No-Thank-You bites and be done with it. You, however, will have an amazingly scrumdillyicious dish to eat off of for practically a week – it got better with each day! (I will serve this again…probably in a year…and not within six months of serving a true lasagna!)

Italian Turkey & Spaghetti Squash Pie

Course: main meals
PointsPlus™ Value: 4
Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 18 min
Cooking Time: 60 min
Level of Difficulty: Moderate 

Cooked spaghetti squash makes an excellent substitute for regular pasta. If you don’t have time to bake the squash, cook it in the microwave.

Ingredients:
1 medium raw spaghetti squash
1/2 pound(s) uncooked ground turkey breast (I used a full pound)
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion(s), chopped
1 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), minced
29 oz canned diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp italian seasoning, or more to taste (I easily used 1 tablespoon)
6 oz fat-free ricotta cheese
1 large egg(s)
1 spray(s) cooking spray, nonstick
1/2 cup(s) shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese (I easily used 1 1/2 cups!)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Halve squash lengthwise; scoop out seeds. Place squash, cut sides down, in a large baking dish and prick skin all over with a fork. Bake until tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook turkey, stirring occasionally, in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Drain, remove from skillet and set aside.

In a same skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and Italian seasoning; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; add cooked turkey and simmer, stirring often, until desired consistency, about 5 minutes.

Place ricotta and egg in a food processor or blender; puree until smooth. (I just mixed with a fork until smooth.)

Coat a 9-inch glass pie plate with cooking spray. Remove squash from oven and increase oven temperature to 375ºF.

Using a fork, carefully rake stringy squash pulp from shell, separating it into strands that look like spaghetti. Arrange spaghetti squash strands in bottom and up sides of pie plate to form a crust.

Add ricotta cheese mixture and gently spread over squash. Pour tomato-turkey sauce over cheese mixture and sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before slicing into 6 pieces. Yields 1 piece per serving.

Notes:
For the best results, drain any liquid from the squash before assembling the pie. I squeezed it with paper towels.

I added in some romano cheese into the meat mixture. I just needed more cheese.

I do not use fat-free dairy products, except for milk. I used low-fat dairy in this recipe, and it was delicious.

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