Like most people, I love carbohydrates. I don’t necessarily crave eating sliced bread, but items like pita and hummus are high on my list. I am a huge lover of cakes and cookies and try not to eat too many of them or make my own (which I still end up eating a lot of, darn it!) and every once in awhile, although I often forget about it because I don’t keep a bunch of pasta in my home, I love a good pasta dish.
But these days, people are trying so hard to stay away from gluten and starch based carbs, I find myself perusing the internet for recipes I can find that are “like pasta” or “like bread” without the gluten. I am surprised by how creative people have become. I see pastas made from quinoa, carrots and zucchini. I also see many “like pasta” recipes that use spaghetti squash. I have used spaghetti squash a zillion times as a pasta substitute, but when I saw a few recipes using spaghetti squash as lasagna, I decided to try to concoct my own.
I can recall my mom making lasagna when I was a child and I always thought it was delicious, but nowadays, that dish would be a little too heavy in my book. All that pasta! All that cheese! It could still be made, but perhaps eliminating one of the two? Well, I highly doubt anyone wants to eat a lasagna without the cheese (let me know if you do and that will be my next project), so I figured finding a substitute for the noodles would be a better option. Spaghetti squash was a great substitution, and at 40 calories a cup, plus added fiber, vitamins and minerals, I figured it would work out well. Just be sure to strain your cooked squash noodles as best as you can, otherwise the dish will come out a little watery.
I also used jarred tomato sauce for this recipe, but feel free to make your own, specifically the one I have posted on this website. You can also use jarred pesto if you are pressed for time, but this homemade recipe I used below is amazing and gives the lasagna that extra zing, if you know what I mean. I also added ground turkey meat to my tomato sauce because I like the extra lean protein, but if you are a vegetarian, you can leave that out and the dish will still taste amazing.
Spaghetti Squash Basil Pesto Lasagna
1 spaghetti squash, halved and cooked
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup walnut basil pesto (recipe also below)
1 1lb. whole milk sliced mozzarella, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste
Basil Walnut Pesto (optional)
2 cups of fresh organic basil
1/4 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 tsp of sea salt
Blend all these ingredients in a food processor or high powered blender and set off to the side. This pesto can be used for many things, but I HIGHLY recommend using it for this dish.
Directions for making this lasagna
Cut uncooked spaghetti squash in half, place halves face down in a baking pan filled with 1/2 inch of water, cook on 400F for 45 minutes
While the squash is cooking, if you want to make your own tomato sauce, use my Homemade Tomato Sauce recipe or use marinara sauce in a jar
I also sautéed ground turkey in to my tomato sauce, so that is an option if you want to add more protein to your meal
Prepare your batch of basil walnut pesto
Slice your mozzarella into 1/4″ pieces
When the squash is done, take it out of the oven and leave the oven at 400 F.
Let the squash cool for 5 minutes.
Scrape out all the squash and place it in a strainer, gently pressing it to release some of the liquid.
In a casserole dish, lay the squash at the bottom.
Add the tomato sauce.
Add the basil pesto. Spread evenly throughout the dish.
Top with sliced mozzarella. Use enough slices to cover the entire dish.
Place dish in the center of the oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is golden brown.
Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.
Let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.