A creamy cauliflower spaghetti squash casserole. A casserole! Really struggled on the name for this one. Because there was a day when I thought I’d never make something called a casserole. You too right? I know I wasn’t alone. Remember when it meant lots of cans emptied into a dish and called dinner? Not the biggest fan of that.
But lots of healthy food packed into one dish that comes out of the oven to feed everyone at once? So we can eat without being surrounded by ten cutting boards of toppings and a blown up kitchen? I’m a fan of that. It’s a rare occasion in my house still. I’ll admit. But when we ate this the other night? And when my daughter could come home late from soccer and heat some up instead of having to assemble a bunch of tacos or a sandwich (that I had to clean up at 10pm?)… it all made sense. Why the casserole still exists. And I thought maybe I’d never stop making them till the day I die.
I get dramatic when my kitchen stays clean. It gets my endorphins going just talking about it again.
But you know what’s crazier than the ease and yumminess of this dish? THE MACROS. Insane. This is a huge pan, and I calculated a serving at about 1/4th of it which is 400 g. And it’s less that 300 calories. Which means full belly PLUS bigger dessert and we KNOW how I feel about that.
What you need for this (ahem) Casserole
I didn’t buy anything special, so hopefully these are items you might have lying around too. Although I DID have leftover cauliflower cream sauce from this Chicken Divan that’s to die for and also has killer macros and is totally a casserole but I’ve been avoiding calling it that. This is the perfect thing to make when you’ve ALREADY made a batch of the sauce because then you can really just dirty the one dish! But making a fresh batch will work too… FINE. OR– I’ve got a substitution for you down in the recipe. Anyway, here’s what you’ll need:
- Extra lean ground turkey if you want the super hero macros, regular if you’re ok with great macros. BEEF if you don’t care. Italian sausage if you’re really living on the edge … we could go on!
- Spaghetti squash duh
- Half an onion
- A can of tomatoes
- Some garlic because ALWAYS garlic
- Cauliflower cream sauce
- Fresh spinach (but kale or arugula would be great too)
- Mozzarella cheese
- And a few simple seasonings
How to make the (ahem) casserole
Literally one pan. Which is straight black magic in my book. I didn’t even know what to do with myself with so little mess. It goes like this:
- Saute your onion
- Add the meat and spices till cooked
- Then the tomatoes, spinach, and garlic
- Stir in the Cauliflower cream sauce which makes it look gross. Consider yourself warned.
- Then mix in your cooked spaghetti squash (lazy secret- I just microwave mine for ease!)
- Cover it with cheese and pop it in the oven!
- While it cooks you have time to wash the one cutting board you used to dice the onions. Or to make a side salad if you love them like me because heaven knows you don’t actually NEED more veggies.
Oh and did I mention that since your giant portion will come to like 25 carbs, there’s most definitely room for a little bread? And you’re gonna want it to sop up all the yummy sauciness. I always have bolillo rolls lying around for sandwiches so even though I didn’t plan ahead with some yummy homemade french or crusty bread, a couple of these sliced up for the fam did the trick. I like to spray mine with a tiny mist of olive oil spray and throw in the toaster for a minute. Broiler if I was doing a bunch of course. On the grill if we’re already grilling. You get it.
It’s bread. Can’t go wrong really. And it makes you feel like you’re having a decadent bowl of the most comforty comfort food. But you feel like a magician because threeeeeeee hundred calories. Baby food.
If you live somewhere wonderful with seasons I hope you eat it in socks and a cozy sweatshirt followed by pre-dessert hot-cocoa with all of your freed up carbs. I’ll envy you and just keep cranking the AC. Because my clean kitchen is worth it.
If you love a cozy, but macro-friendly casserole– high in protein, low in fat and carbs, high in taste and VOLUME, you’ll find lots more recipes like this one in my One-dish meal cookbook HERE.Print
Creamy Cauliflower Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Comfort food meets MAKE ME FIT food. This is so healthy and light, but still super tasty and filling and makes your house smell amazing! And there’s nothing like pulling out one pan of hot, cheesy food for dinner.
- Prep Time: 20 min
- Cook Time: 20 min
- Total Time: 50
- Yield: 4-6 1x
- Category: Casserole
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Italian, American
- 1/2 a medium onion diced (200 g)
- 1 lb extra lean ground turkey
- 1–2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp italian seasoning
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 14.5 oz can diced or stewed tomatoes DRAINED
- 5 cloves garlic (frozen dorot cubes over here!)
- 2–3 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped (150 g)
- 400 g cauliflower cream sauce from this recipe
- 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
- 1 medium to large spaghetti squash (I got 600 grams of squash out of mine for this recipe)
- 3 oz shredded mozzarella cheese, (84g)- just regular part-skim, NOT low fat in this one- it’s so light, I figured it could afford a little bit of real cheese flavor! But feel free to sub in what you want.
- Cook spaghetti squash however you like. You can roast it cut side down like Martha Stewart which is my preferred method. Or just poke it a few times and stick the whole thing in the microwave for 5-8 minutes which is what I did for this! Since it was going to be tossed with so many other things, I decided to simplify that step. While it’s cooking, continue with the rest of the steps.
- Heat a heavy bottom shallow pan over medium high heat. Spray with cooking spray and add diced onions and a sprinkle of kosher salt. Let cook for 3-4 minutes until tender.
- Add ground turkey and seasonings. Once the ground turkey is chopped up and cooked through, you can add more salt to taste if needed.
- Add drained tomatoes and garlic. Cook for another 3 minutes.
- Add chopped spinach and mix it in, letting it cook for a couple of minutes to wilt and get nice and mixed in.
- Stir in 400 grams of cauliflower cream sauce and the fresh basil- it looks ugly now, it’s gonna be ok!
- Carefully cut the hot microwaved squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and insides with an ice scream scoop careful not to pull out too much of the good stuff.
- Using a fork, scrape the squash into strings to get them all loosed from the skin and add them to the ground turkey mixture. Mix it all together well in the pan with tongs.
- If you’re using an oven safe pan, smooth the top of the mixture and top with mozzarella. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes till the top is melty and bubbly. If you want it to brown a bit like mine, broil for an additional 3-5 minutes. But watch it closely so it doesn’t burn!
- If it’s not an oven safe pan, transfer mixture to a casserole dish, top with cheese, and bake as described.
- A sub for the cauliflower sauce: If you don’t already have cauliflower sauce in your fridge like I did, you might not want to go to the trouble of that extra step. You could sub in an equal amount of your favorite jarred marinara and the macros will not be that different! Of course the whole dish would be more tomatoey but I’m sure it’d be great! I love the Victoria Marinara from Costco for just 6 carbs per serving. And if you used it in place of the cauliflower sauce, it would only add about two carbs and less than one gram of fat per serving of casserole. I might add 1-2 more cloves of garlic to the meat mixture with this substitution though, since the cauliflower sauce has a lot of additional garlic in it.
- Serving Size: 400 g
- Calories: 293
- Fat: 7.3
- Saturated Fat: 3.1
- Carbohydrates: 24.8
- Fiber: 4.5
- Protein: 33.7
Keywords: spaghetti, squash, bake, casserole, tomatoes, mozzarella, italian, gorund turkey, garlic, spinach