Italian Squash Bake

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

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. Begin cutting any added veggies you’d like to add to the recipe. Leave to the side uncooked.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!

Cheers!

Taylor Guardino, The Food Lover Gone Southern

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