The world of wholesome comfort food opens its doors today with a recipe that strikes the perfect balance between nutrition and taste: a Healthy Baked Spaghetti.
This isn’t your average spaghetti dish; it’s a nourishing symphony of whole grain pasta, lean ground turkey, and a vibrant array of fresh vegetables, all coated in a heart-warming low sodium marinara sauce and crowned with a tantalizing layer of part-skim mozzarella and ricotta cheese. The result? A mouthwatering medley of flavors that sings a song of healthful indulgence.
One of the best things about this recipe, apart from its high nutritional value, is how easy it is to prepare. Even amidst the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, this dish slips seamlessly into our schedules, proving that eating healthy doesn’t mean spending hours in the kitchen.
The star of the dish, the whole grain spaghetti noodles, provide an excellent source of fiber, keeping you satiated for longer. The lean ground turkey, a powerhouse of protein, fuels your body for the challenges of the day.
The low sodium marinara sauce adds a punch of flavor without the unnecessary salt, while the vegetables (mushrooms, zucchini and onions) contribute a wealth of vitamins and minerals.
And let’s not forget the part skim mozzarella and ricotta cheese, giving us that ooey-gooey cheesiness we all love, but with fewer calories and less fat.
This Healthy Baked Spaghetti is more than just a meal; it’s a celebration of the wonderful ways we can nourish our bodies without sacrificing taste. So, brace yourself, because we’re about to embark on a culinary journey that promises to be as enlightening as it is enticing.
Customizing Your Healthy Baked Spaghetti
Your baked spaghetti doesn’t have to be a one-size-fits-all dish. There are countless ways you can tweak the recipe to suit your taste buds or dietary needs. Here are some ideas:
- Switch up the protein – While this recipe calls for lean ground turkey, you can easily substitute it with other proteins. Try ground chicken, beef or even a plant-based meat substitute. For pescatarians, shrimp could add a delightful twist.
- Go cheese-crazy – If you’re a cheese lover, experiment with different types of cheese. A sprinkle of sharp cheddar can add a new depth of flavor. Or, you might like the creaminess that a dollop of cottage cheese brings.
- Vegetable variations – The vegetables in this recipe are not set in stone. You can add any veggies you have on hand. Think bell peppers, tomatoes, spinach or kale. The more colorful, the better!
- Veganize it – For a vegan version, use plant-based meat substitutes or just load up on more veggies. Replace the cheese with vegan cheese or a homemade cashew cheese sauce.
- Spice it up – If you like your food with a kick, add some red pepper flakes or sliced jalapeños. Or experiment with different herbs and spices. A touch of thyme or a dash of smoked paprika could elevate the dish to new heights.
- Different pasta – Feel free to use another shape of pasta besides spaghetti, such as ziti or rotini. You could also choose a noodle made from other ingredients like brown rice, chickpeas, quinoa or lentils.
Remember, the best part about cooking at home is making a dish uniquely yours. So, don’t be afraid to get creative and make this healthy baked spaghetti recipe your own! Be sure to also refer to the Nutrisystem Grocery Guide for more information on grocery add-ins.
More Healthy Pasta Recipes
Fill up your weight loss menu with these other pasta recipes that fit into your Nutrisystem plan:
Calories per Serving: 455
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 2 SmartCarbs, 2 PowerFuels, 2 Extras and 1 Vegetable
- 1 lb. whole grain spaghetti
- 1 lb. lean ground turkey
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
- 1 zucchini, quartered and sliced thin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 4 cups marinara sauce, low sodium
- 8 oz. ricotta cheese, part skim
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, part skim
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
- Cook the pasta to al dente by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. Cook spaghetti, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm. Drain and set aside.
- In the meantime, grease a large skillet or pot with nonstick cooking spray. Set heat to medium. Cook ground turkey until the meat is browned. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Add olive oil to the pan along with the onions, mushrooms, zucchini and garlic. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until vegetables are soft.
- Return ground turkey to the pan and stir in the Italian seasoning, black pepper and red pepper flakes.
- Stir in the marinara sauce.
- Place ½ the spaghetti mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with ½ the ricotta, ½ the meat sauce and ½ cup of mozzarella. Repeat layers. Cover with foil.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until cheese is melted and lightly browned, about 5-10 minutes.