Today I'm sharing the recipe for one of my 'go to' Low Carb comfort foods -- Spaghetti Squash Beef Pie.
It's reminiscent of lasagna or like a traditional spaghetti dish with oodles of cheese, marinara, ground beef and Italian herbs. The crust that all these things rest on is a mixture primarily of spaghetti squash, which I absolutely adore.
If you've never tried it, spaghetti squash has a mildly nutty-sweet flavor and absorbs the flavors around it well. It is super easy to cook. In fact I have some cooking tips for you that I'm certain have saved me from a kitchen mishap or two.
When making this dish you will need to cook the squash first. It can be made the day of, a few days before or even made and frozen for future use. (It freezes really well.)
Most of the cooking instructions you find tell you to cut the squash in half lengthwise, clean out the stringy seedy part and to put the halves face down in a baking pan in about an inch of water. I've used this method but it is very difficult and a little dangerous to cut all the way through the squash. A better way to prep the squash is to simply leave it whole and poke it several times with a large fork.
The roundness of the squash makes it prone to roll around. If you shave off just a bit of the skin (as shown above) where it can rest on the pan it will be less likely to slip when you are poking holes in it and when you are putting it in or taking it out of the oven. You bake an average size squash in a 350 degree oven for 45-60 mins. until the skin is easily pieced with a fork, but not browned.
Allow it to cool down enough to comfortably handle. Once it's baked, it is much easier to cut down the length and scoop out the the seeds and tough strings in the center. Then comes the fun part; you take a fork and gently begin scraping the interior flesh of the squash and you will begin to see the 'spaghetti'. Scoop it all out and place in a bowl. Discard the outer shell. That's it. No cuts, scrapes or bruises. Just beautiful yellow spaghetti.
You might guess from the picture of ingredients that I made a double batch that day. The pies freeze and rewarm well.
Here I've ladled the cottage cheese mixture onto the 'crust' and topped it with the ground beef and marinara. (You could use ground turkey to lower the fat content.)
After that you sprinkle the top with both Parmesan and another cheese. (I had mozzarella that day, but I like cheddar or colby-jack too.) Lastly I sprinkle a bit of Italian herbs over the top for flavor and show. Then I whisk it into the oven for about 30 minutes till the cheese is bubbling.
When it comes out of the oven I allow it to set for a few minutes and then serve it up with a salad on the side. Enjoy! -- Laura
- 2 cups spaghetti squash, cooked
- 2 eggs
- ½ lb. lean ground beef
- 1 cup light cottage cheese
- 1 cup spaghetti sauce, low sugar
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ½ tsp. chopped garlic
- ½ cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese (divided)
- ½ tsp. Italian herb seasoning grinder (divided)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a deep 9" pie pan with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, gently stir together, 2 cups cooked spaghetti squash, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese and 1 egg.
- Press into pie plate with fork and bake for 10 mins and set aside.
- While crust is baking: Lightly saute chopped onion and cook ground beef till no longer pink stir in spaghetti sauce. set aside.
- Stir cottage cheese, pizza seasonings, garlic and egg in a small bowl.
- Pour into spaghetti squash crust.
- Pour meat mixture over cottage cheese.
- Sprinkle with grated cheese and Parmesan.
- Bake 25-30 mins or till warm and bubbly.
P.S. You may have guessed that I'm on a diet again. 🙂 I'll be posting and sharing healthy recipes that I'm making along the way. I believe getting healthy should never feel like a punishment. It should taste and feel good and have real results. My size 4's have been lonely in my closet for so long that I am chagrined to admit that they are no longer stylish. The size 14's I'm wearing never were all that cute. 🙁 I want feel better, move more and enjoy the journey.
That's my goal. I hope you'll join me as I take this path to better health. --Laura