Spaghetti squash is a classic Paleo pasta replacement, and this dish brings it together with protein and bold flavors to create a complete meal your whole family will love. If your family enjoys more traditional sauce-covered pasta dishes, check out the Spaghetti Squash Bolognese on page 338 of Practical Paleo 2nd Edition.
This recipe also contains one of my new Balanced Bites Spice Blends – Italian! You can purchase pre-made, organic sets of the Balanced Bites Spices at kasandrinos.com.
- 1 medium spaghetti squash about 5 pounds
- 2 tablespoons Kasandrinos extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 1/2 pound ground pork, beef, or turkey
- 1 tablespoon Italian Blend divided
- 1 small yellow onion sliced
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 1 clove garlic grated or minced
- sea salt
- black pepper
- 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breast cut into 1-inch pieces (see note at the end of the recipe)
- 2 cups loosely packed spinach chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1/2 cup pizza sauce (use no-sugar added variety)
- chopped fresh basil
- coarse sea salt
- red pepper flakes
Make the spaghetti squash noodles: Preheat the oven to 375°F and follow the instructions in the recipe for Spaghetti Squash Bolognese on page 338. After you remove the squash from the oven, lower the oven temperature to 350°F.
While the squash is roasting, prepare the rest of the ingredients: Heat a large oven-safe pot, such as an enameled cast-iron skillet, over medium-high heat and add the ground meat. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the spice blend. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes, until the meat is browned, breaking the meat up with the spatula as it cooks. Remove the meat using a slotted spoons, leaving about 1 tablespoon of the oil behind.
Lower the heat to medium and add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic and season with a few pinches each of salt and pepper. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent and starting to brown. If there are too many brown bits on the bottom of the pan and things are beginning to burn, add a couple tablespoons of water and use a wooden spoon to loosen the bits. Remove the vegetables from the pot and set aside. If you added water to the pan during cooking, add a teaspoon of ghee or other cooking fat to the pan before adding the chicken.
Add the chicken to the pot, season with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of spice blend, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until cooked through.
Return the sausage and vegetables to the pot, then add the cooked spaghetti squash noodles, spinach, basil, and egg and stir everything thoroughly to combine. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed (keeping in mind you will be garnishing the dish with coarse sea salt).
Dollop spoonfuls of the pizza sauce over the top and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the egg is cooked and everything is warmed through together.
Garnish with fresh basil, coarse salt, and red pepper flakes before serving.
Egg-free? Omit the egg.
Note: If you are using chicken breast, add 1 tablespoon of ghee or other cooking fat to the pot before adding the chicken.