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I'm Not Italian Spaghetti Sauce and Squash

Updated on August 4, 2013

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Cast your vote for I'm Not Italian Spaghetti Sauce

Why Change?

No matter how many times I ask my mom if we have the slightest bit of Italian blood in us, the answer remains "no." Sigh, I am the typical German-American Kansas girl and I'm good with that. I love my heritage. This German heritage has lead me to creating what I think Italian's should add to their spaghetti -- all the veggies from the garden and meat, lots of meat (we are in "meat n' potato land').

Still, I've been like the rest of you and just grab Ragu for "sauce", throw in beef and boil gluten noodles. I had perfected the Not Italian Spaghetti sauce...then I realized that there were some not-so-perfect nutritional issues such as chemicals, salt that I had no control over because I was using processed food brands. Yes, I still use a bottled sauce, but its an all natural sauce and there is nothing wrong with convenience.

Before, I used garlic, oregano, and other spices for a great Italian blend. This recipe calls for pesto and quite honestly, after using it, I don't need to go back to spice blends. The pesto I buy has spices blended into it. Why is this important? Because I lived a life annoyed because while experimenting in the kitchen, my teenage boys would fail to put the spices (or anything else) on the fridge grocery list. Since they won't touch the pesto (its ugly green), problem solved.

I've revamped my sauce and it still tastes amazing but simplified. I've let go of the pasta (not without a fight) and after trying "corn-rice" gluten-free pasta (Big Yuk!), have gone for a much better squash. The only problem with this recipe is that it is a little high in sugar, but its a natural sugar derived from the squash and, well, God can't be wrong, right?

I hope you enjoy!

Stock photo b/c I can't figure out one-step on camera

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 40 min
Yields: Serves 8 at 1 3/4 cups with leftovers


  • 1 lb Ground Turkey
  • 1/2 medium Onion
  • 1/2 medium Green Pepper
  • 1 medim Tomato
  • 1/2 Cup Mushrooms
  • 1 can Sliced Olives
  • 1 can Black Beans, All Natural
  • 1 Jar Spaghetti Sauce, All Natural
  • 1 Tblsp Pesto, All Natural
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper, To Taste
  • Dash Sea Salt, To Taste
  • 1 Medium Spaghetti Squash

This is soooo easy

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375. Cut one medium spaghetti squash in the middle (not length-wise) and take out seeds. Place squash upside down in baking pan with 1 inch of water to pan. Bake 30 minutes then turn off oven, leaving squash in, for another 10 minutes. This prevents squash from turning to squish.
  2. In an 8 or 10 quart pot with a lid, fry ground turkey with chopped onions and green peppers, adding 1/4 cup water. Meantime, in mixing bowl, mix remaining ingredients.
  3. Sea salt is to enhance the pesto flavor, but is not necessary. Black olives are an option (flavor is in pesto), but a requirement in our household. Water and lid for turkey mixture helps cook it faster.
  4. Once ground turkey mixture is done, do not drain (there is very little fat), add the ingredient mixture. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer for 30 minutes or until squash is cooked but firm. Note: you can add tomatoes 10 minutes before done instead of with other ingredients, to keep them firm. Also, to keep this a "one-pot" dish, you can add straight to the quart pot.
  5. When squash is cooked, use a fork to create "spaghetti strands." Pour 3/4 cup sauce over each serving of squash. I top with a little bit of Romano-Parmesan, jarred or fresh for color balance and great flavor...and family thinks they are getting gourmet this way.
  6. My family loves this more than my "old sauce." There is no heavy stomach at the end of the meal but we are all full. One medium squash is plenty -- there is a lot of yield in squash. If there's leftovers, just throw it all together into one bowl. Feeds 8 people for under $10.
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 3/4 cups
Calories 253
Calories from Fat99
% Daily Value *
Fat 11 g17%
Saturated fat 2 g10%
Unsaturated fat 3 g
Carbohydrates 30 g10%
Sugar 11 g
Fiber 10 g40%
Protein 15 g30%
Cholesterol 31 mg10%
Sodium 961 mg40%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.


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