I love pasta. I pinned an amazing looking Baked Ziti earlier this week, and started thinking about how to get all the flavors of a baked pasta without the calories of pasta. Zucchini to the rescue. I just might like squash “pasta” as much as the regular variety….maybe even more.
This dish gives you all the flavors of a cheesy baked pasta. And, since you’re eating zucchini instead of noodles – you don’t have to feel quite as bad about the cheese! This is surprisingly filling and so tasty. (And I totally just ate the leftovers for breakfast – and I don’t even care that that’s weird!) 😉
I love this recipe because you can really freestyle it to suit your tastes AND what you have on hand. Like it saucier? Add more sauce. Only have a little bit of ground meat? No problem! Like garlic and onions? Add them to the meat. (As I’m writing this, I’m thinking about adding chopped turkey pepperoni, mushrooms and olives to create a more pizza-y dish. And yes, I just made up the word “pizza-y.” That’s how I roll.)
3 small-medium sized zucchini
1 1/2 cups spaghetti/marinara sauce
spaghetti seasoning mix (*You can use your own blend, or use a 1/2 packet of the pre-mixed packets)
1/2 lb. – 1 lb. ground meat of choice
1/2 cup ricotta cheese (*You could use cottage cheese if you’re not a fan of ricotta.)
sprinkle mozzarella cheese (or handful….whatever makes you happy.) 😉
Start by browning your ground meat. I used ground beef because I had it on hand, but ground turkey would be delicious in this recipe.
While the ground meat is cooking, you’ll want to begin spiralizing your zucchini. I have the Kitchen-Aid Spiralizer attachment (and I love it!)
Add the spiralized zucchini to a pot of water and bring to a boil. Boil 3-4 minutes, drain, and set aside.
When your ground meat is browned, drain and add back to the pot. Add the spaghetti seasoning and spaghetti sauce.
Add the zucchini to the meat sauce. Spread the whole mixture in a baking dish.
In a small mixing cup, stir together the ricotta and parmesan cheese. (Use the green can, use the real stuff – use the amount you want to use!)
Drop the cheese mixture by small spoonfuls on top of the zucchini and sauce. Top with the mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 350 until the cheese is melted.