Easy ground turkey casserole that is made with spaghetti squash, sautéed onion and is oozing with melted cheese! This healthy turkey casserole is creamy, chunky, delicious, packed full of protein, and a cherished ONE meal for the entire family (with a dairy-free option)! That makes for one happy mamma!
Ground Turkey Casserole
This ground turkey casserole recipe is so simple to make with the option for dairy-free. It is gluten-free and paleo and a favorite healthy family dinner! Not to mention dinner is on the table in less than an hour (if you prep the squash in advance).
TWO of the hardest pain points as a parent are getting kids to eat vegetables AND making a meal that everyone enjoys. We are always switching up what we eat each night and sometimes I do make separate meals- usually only if we have leftovers to use up. My boys for sure “eat with the seasons”, so to say. I feel like in the winter months all they want are carbs. That is where zoodles and squash come in.
A few of my family’s favorite gluten-free family dinner recipes on my blog are ground turkey stuffed peppers, healthy turkey sweet potato chili, healthy paleo Italian turkey burgers, baked spaghetti squash pizza casserole and barbecue chicken baked spaghetti squash.
Spaghetti squash is great to use in place of noodles and fantastic to ensure extra nutrients are being consumed. If you mix it with melted creamy cheese and sautéed ground turkey, it is a simple meal for the whole family! Plus, the leftovers are just as terrific!
GROUND TURKEY SPAGHETTI SQUASH CASSEROLE: INGREDIENTS
This ground turkey casserole is kind of like a VERY healthy version of a hamburger helper😊. This version has 5 simple ingredients:
- Spaghetti Squash – is packed full of fiber and a great alternative to noodles.
- Ground Turkey – I like to use 99% lean for lower fat.
- Garlic and Yellow Onion – chopped and sautéed in butter- yum! I use dairy-free butter or organic ghee.
- Butter, Ghee, or Dairy-Free Butter – for sauteeing and it gives great flavor!
- Cheese – Use shredded cheddar, mozzarella or dairy-free cheese. For these pictures I used dairy-free cheese. We have used many forms (we make this often!) and my favorite dairy-free cheese is Trader Joe’s shredded almond cheese. It is very mild and 5 year loves that one as well (for anyone with a dairy-free family).
- Milk – Preferably organic, or use dairy-free milk such as almond milk or cashew milk.
- Seasoning – salt, pepper, paprika – that’s it!
- Garnishes – thyme and parsley make for delicious garnishes and add a pop of color on top.
CAN THE SPAGHETTI SQUASH BE COOKED IN ADVANCE TO SAVE TIME?
Spaghetti squash can easily be cooked in advance which you learn how to roast, microwave and cook a spaghetti squash here. It is just as satisfying and makes this recipe even more a breeze!
HOW TO MAKE THIS GROUND TURKEY CASSEROLE
1. Cook the spaghetti squash. Let it cool enough to handle. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Here are 4 ways on how to cook spaghetti squash.
2. Spray a 9×13 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Using a spoon, scrape out the “noodles” into a casserole dish. Set aside until ready to use.
3. Cook the ground turkey meat. In a large saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of butter and ground turkey meat. Chop it up with a wooden spatula into fine pieces. Cook until heated through, about 10 minutes, and while cooking continue to chop it and mix it.
4. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the pan with meat and add the garlic, paprika, salt, pepper and onion. Cook until soft (5 minutes).
5. Top spaghetti squash noodles that are in the casserole dish with 1 cup cheese.
6. Top with cooked onion and ground turkey mix.
7. Pour milk on top evenly then mix together gently to coat.
8. Top with remaining 1 cup of cheese.
9. Put the casserole in the oven and bake for for 40 minutes or or until bubbly and the top is browned slightly.
10. Garnish with fresh thyme and parsley. Serve right away.
CAN I USE SUBSTITUTE GROUND TURKEY FOR ANOTHER MEAT?
Yes! You can use ground turkey, or rotisserie chicken, shredded chicken or even ground beef for this simple casserole recipe. If using any of them, I always suggest to use organic, which contains no hormones, antibiotics and contains more nutrients. Check out my review on Butcherbox, which is where we buy most of our meat from.
This is by-far one of our FAVORITE healthy family recipes that everyone enjoys! This ground turkey casserole is creamy, chunky, delicious, and packed full of protein and vegetables!
More delicious healthy recipes:
- Tuna Stuffed Yellow Summer Squash
- Thai Peanut Ground Turkey and Cabbage Bowls
- Turkey Meatloaf Recipe Packed with Veggies
- Roasted Butternut Squash Apple Soup
- Spaghetti Squash Pasta With Butternut Squash Sauce
- Healthy Oven-Baked Turkey Meatballs
Ground Turkey Spaghetti Squash Casserole
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 2 tablespoons butter ghee, dairy-free or ghee
- 1 lb. lean ground turkey
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- ½ cup onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon pink salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 ½ cups cheese shredded (cheddar, or dairy-free mozzarella or cheddar)
- 1 cup milk skim, full fat or dairy-free milk
- Cook the spaghetti squash. Let it cool enough to handle. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
How To Cook Spaghetti Squash
- 1. ROASTEDRoasting spaghetti squash is my favorite way to cook spaghetti squash, acorn squash and butternut squash because it brings out a natural sweetness from the fruit (crazy it is a fruit, right?!). To roast, preheat the oven 400 degrees F. Slice the squash in half, scoop out the seeds with a spoon and toss in a bit of olive oil then place on a large baking sheet face down. Pour a dash of water on the baking sheet. Roast for 35-45 minutes until it is soft when poked with a fork. Let the spaghetti squash cool slightly before handling and flip over and with a fork “fluff” and scrape gently out the noodles.2. MICROWAVEPlace the spaghetti squash on a microwaveable dish whole (poked first with a knife for air) or as halves and cook on high for 9-12 minutes (for halves) and about 12-15 minutes (for a whole squash) until the large center is soft when poked with a knife. Remove and let it cool slightly until it is able to be handled then cut the squash in half (if it is not already) and remove the seeds with a spoon. With a fork “fluff” and scrape (gently) out the noodles.3. SLOW COOKERPlace the spaghetti squash whole in the slow cooker with about 1-2 inches of water. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Remove and slice in half then gently remove the seeds. Using a fork “fluff” the edges scraping down to break up the noodles.4. GRILLING TIPS AND TIMEHeat the grill on medium-high. Slice the spaghetti squash in half and toss in a bit of olive oil. Wrap it in foil and heat for about 35-45 minutes (or until soft) continuously flipping to prevent burning.
Make The Ground Turkey Casserole
- Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Using a spoon, scrape out the “noodles” into a casserole dish. Set aside until ready to use.
- Cook the ground turkey meat. In a large saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of butter and ground turkey meat. Chop it up with a wooden spatula into fine pieces. Cook until heated through, about 10 minutes, and while cooking continue to chop it and mix it.
- Slightly before the meat is cooked through, melt remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in the same pan with the meat and add the garlic, paprika, salt, pepper and onion. Cook until soft (5 minutes). Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Top the spaghetti squash noodles that are in the casserole dish evenly with 1 cup cheese.
- Top with cooked onion and ground turkey mixture evenly on top of the cheese.
- Pour milk on top evenly then mix together gently with a fork to coat.
- Top with remaining ½ cup of cheese.
- Put in the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until bubbly and the top is browned slightly.
- Garnish with fresh thyme and parsley. Serve right away.