This lower-carb dinner has gotta happen in your kitchens my fine folks! It’s Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Sausage Ragu made with tons of veggies! It is ready in just 50 minutes and is gluten free.
I originally shared this recipe on October 24, 2011. I have updated the images and some of the text today.
Spaghetti Squash is one of those vegetables that seems a little daunting to the uninitiated. From the outside, one would be hard pressed to guess how this sunny-yellow winter squash is transformed into tender spaghetti-like stands. The truth is, though, it requires very little effort. Just halve the squash, scoop out the seeds and the oven does the rest. You can even microwave it! When it is done, the golden flesh will come apart into the “noodles” responsible for giving the squash its name.
Tossed with extra-virgin olive oil, a little asiago cheese and chopped fresh herbs, spaghetti squash makes a yummy cold-weather side dish. Or it can be used as a stand in for wheat pasta for a low-carb entrée. Here I’ve paired it with Turkey Sausage Ragu. It is inspired by this tried and true Healthy American Chop Suey sauce but I’ve used ultra-lean turkey sausage and adjusted the seasoning a bit.
4 Reasons to Swap Spaghetti Squash for Pasta
- Using spaghetti squash in place of pasta will count toward your daily vegetable servings. That’s enough reason to love it, considering we should be striving for nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
- Spaghetti squash has about one quarter of the calories of wheat spaghetti.
- It has and only 7 grams of Carbohydrate and 1.5 grams of fiber which means it has 5.5 net carbs per cup!
- It has a very low glycemic load, which may help keep your blood sugar in check.
Don’t miss my other spaghetti squash recipes…
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This lower-carb dinner is loaded with veggies! Pile this Turkey Sausage Ragu over the cooked spaghetti squash for a lower-carb comfort food meal.
- 1 2 ½ to 3-pound spaghetti squash
- 2 cups boiling hot water
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 ½-inch chunks
- 2 stalks celery, cut into 1 ½-inch chunks
- 2 medium onions, peeled, cored and cut into eighths
- 1 pound turkey sausage (see *ingredient note)
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Generous pinch of crushed red pepper, or to taste
- ½ cup dry red wine
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted, such as Muir Glen
- Chopped fresh basil for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scoop the seeds out with a spoon. Lay squash, cut-side-down in a 9 by 11-inch baking dish. Pour the boiling water in the dish and cover tightly with foil. Carefully transfer to the oven. Bake 40 to 45 minutes until the squash is tender. To check if it is done, remove foil, carefully flip the squash over, and drag a fork over the flesh. If it is ready, the squash will pull away from the skin in tender strips. Scoop out into a bowl and gently “shred” apart with a fork if necessary. Alternatively, cook the squash in the microwave.
- Meanwhile, fit food processor with steel blade attachment, close lid and turn motor on. Drop garlic through feed spout and continue processing until the garlic is minced. Open lid and add carrot and celery. Process until the carrot and celery are finely chopped. Open lid, add onions and pulse until the onions are roughly chopped. Alternatively, use a knife to mince garlic, finely chop carrot and celery and dice onions.
- If turkey sausage is in links remove the casings by slicing along the length of each sausage and slipping the casing off. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Crumble in sausage, and cook, stirring and breaking up chunks of meat until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the vegetable mixture, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are cooked down and browned slightly, 8 to 12 minutes. Pour in wine and cook until mostly evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomato and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Serve the ragu ladled over the squash, sprinkled with basil.
40 mg Cholesterol, 819 mg Potassium, 0 g Added Sugar
*ingredient note: Turkey sausage can be surprisingly high in fat and a total sodium bomb, so check the label before buying. Check out Jennie O’s stats for their “lean” Italian Links: each serving has 10 grams of fat and 670mg of sodium. The one I like is made by Stonewood Farm from Orwell Vermont. It only has 2 grams of fat per serving, and 470 mg of sodium. If you can’t find a lower sodium option, just adjust down the added salt in the ragu.
Here are the original images associated with this blog post.