Nashville has been unprecedentedly chilly lately (sorry, I had to). So that means I’m CRAVING comfort foods. Usually my go to is a big pot of spaghetti or a lasagna, but since I’m trying (trying) to be good, eat my veggies and stick to my Weight Watchers plan, I had to come up with an alternative.
Enter: the spaghetti squash. I love spaghetti squash and it’s versatility. It’s just as good as an Italian dish as it is a taco bowl or even pad Thai.
Italian Squash Bake
For your ingredients:
- 2 Small to Medium Spaghetti Squashes or 1 Large Spaghetti Squash
- Zero Point Homemade Pasta Sauce or Store Bought Spaghetti Sauce
- 1-2 Pounds of 98% Fat-Free Ground Chicken Breast
- 1 1/2 Cup Part Skim Ricotta Cheese
- 1 1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 2 Eggs
- 3 TBSP Minced Garlic
- 3 TBSP Dried Basil
- Additional Veggies for Layers: Sliced Mushrooms, Diced Onions, Sliced Zucchini, Sauteed Spinach (any veggies work, really).
Total Prep Time: 30 Minutes // Total Cook Time: 2 Hours
- Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees to roast the squash. Cut the squash in half and place face down on a metal cookie sheet. Roast for ~30-45 minutes depending on size (smaller sized squash will cook faster).
- Once the squash is finished, brown your ground chicken with 2 TBSP of basil and garlic. You can use 1 or 2 pounds of meat but I added more for an extra kick of protein. Drain as much moisture as possible and even dry out on a towel of some kind.
- Begin cutting any added veggies you’d like to add to the recipe. Leave to the side uncooked.
- Take your eggs and crack them into a bowl, whisk thoroughly then add in your ricotta, folding in a little at a time. Add the remaining basil and garlic to this bowl.
- By now, your squash should be cool enough to touch (be careful) and you will rake a fork through the meat in the center to get all the “noodles” out.
- Now, with a lasagna pan, start layering your ingredients. My layers went: meat, squash, ricotta mixture, shredded cheese, sauce, extra veggies and repeated once until I was out of ingredients. You can do this however your heart desires but it’s good to split the veggies up.
- Before you bake, you will want to drain the excess water in the pan. Veggies hold a LOT of extra moisture so anything you can do through this cooking process to help lighten the water will help. In your still pre-heated oven, add your lasagna pan and bake for 40 minutes.
Yields 6 servings per batch. Estimated Weight Watchers Points: 6sp per serving
For the below squash bake, I used a mixed cheese from my fridge but the points amount will be based on a mozzarella cheese.
I know this is a little more involved than some of my normal recipes but for me it’s totally worth it to have a veggie “lasagna” as my end product that I can eat on for a week!
Taylor Guardino, The Food Lover Gone Southern