A comforting and hearty dish, this Ground Turkey Spaghetti Squash Casserole is made with ranch dressing, ground turkey, kale, onion, and spaghetti squash and baked in the oven until crispy and golden brown. Turkey casserole is packed with protein and healthy fat, is great for meal prep, and is paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, and Whole30 approved.
Last updated on February 25, 2020.
It’s casserole time of year! Even though I had no idea what a casserole was until moving to Texas in my mid-20s, I now love a good healthy casserole.
And even though we didn’t eat them growing up, the idea for a casserole is pretty genius if done the right way. Throw some veggies, meats, sauce, and a binder into a pan and bake it. You really can’t go wrong. I definitely prefer my casseroles with veggies and protein as opposed to canned condensed soups, flours, or thickening agents, and who knows what else.
And that is exactly what we are doing in the ground turkey spaghetti squash casserole. Made with spaghetti squash, ground turkey, kale, onions, and ranch dressing and using eggs as a binder. It’s hearty and comforting, while still being healthy and makes a great meal for the whole family.
I also want to point out, I didn’t really like ranch growing up. So this recipe hits on all things I didn’t grow up eating haha! I’m a fan of high-quality ranches like Tessemae’s or Primal Kitchen – both are made from whole food ingredients (like avocado oil, spices, and eggs) and are paleo and Whole30 compliant!
How to Bake Spaghetti Squash
There are a few ways to bake spaghetti squash depending on the time you have the kitchen appliances you have. Here are my top ways:
- Oven-baked spaghetti squash – preheat oven to 375 degrees and cut the squash in half length or width-wise. Lengthwise is more common, but if you cut it width-wise, you will get longer strains of spaghetti (good if you are using it as spaghetti). Rub a little oil and salt and pepper on the flesh and place face down on a lined baking sheet. Roast for 40-45 minutes until the skin gives and can easily be threaded.
- Instant Pot spaghetti squash – add about 1-2 cups of water to your Instant Pot with the steamer insert. Cut in half width-wise, place squash in your Instant Pot, and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. I’ve also heard you can cook it without cutting it in half, but I haven’t tried it that way.
- microwave spaghetti squash – I haven’t tried this, but you can check out this post. All you need to do is cut it in half, place flesh side down in a glass baking dish, fill that dish with about an inch of water, and microwave for 10 minutes until cooked.
Ground Turkey Spaghetti Squash Casserole
This healthy ground turkey casserole is made from just 10 good for you ingredients. It makes a well-balanced meal with protein, healthy fats, and veggies. By using spaghetti squash, it is low carb and keto. If you bake the spaghetti squash ahead of time, it saves a bunch of time and makes an easy weeknight dinner. Or it’s perfect for meal prep!
Here is what you need:
- spaghetti squash
- ground turkey
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- dried parsley
- dried dill
- ranch dressing
First, start off by cooking your spaghetti squash. I baked mine in the oven, but you can cook it according to one of the other ways above!
When you have about 15 minutes left on the spaghetti squash, start to make the turkey and kale mixture. Heat up a large cast-iron or skillet and add a little oil. Add the onions and some salt and pepper and saute for 3-4 minutes. Then add the turkey and saute for 4-5 more minutes until browned. Next all the kale and saute for 1-2 more minutes until wilted. Stir in the spices.
When the spaghetti squash is done, add it to a large greased baking dish (I used an 8×8). Next, add the turkey mixture along with the eggs and ranch dressing. Mix well to combine. If it is easier, you can mix everything up in a bowl, but I like to save an extra dish to wash.
Finally, bake for 45-55 minutes until the mixture is set and is crispy around the edges and golden brown on top. Let cool for 1-2 minutes and enjoy! I like topping mine with a little more ranch, some hot sauce, and fresh parsley.
Meal Prep Healthy Ground Turkey Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Baked spaghetti squash casserole is a great dish to prep ahead of time or meal prep for the week! There are a few different ways you can meal prep it:
- Make the spaghetti squash ahead of time and store it in the fridge. On the day of, make the turkey mixture and mix with the already cooked spaghetti squash and remaining ingredients and bake.
- Make the spaghetti squash and the turkey and kale mixture and store separately in the fridge. Then, when you are ready to assemble, just put it in a large glass baking dish with the eggs and the ranch, mix, and bake.
- Bake it on Sunday and store in the fridge for a quick meal during the week. Either reheat it in the oven or microwave depending on your setting.
- Freeze it. If you want to freeze it, make it according to the directions and let cool completely. You can either freeze the whole dish or cut into individual pieces and freeze separately. When ready to eat, let defrost in the fridge or on the counter. Either bake it to warm through (if whole) or if you have an individual piece, bake it or microwave it.
If you have leftovers, just store it in the fridge in a tightly sealed glass container. It saves well and should be good for up to a week.
More Healthy Casserole Recipes
Ground Turkey Spaghetti Squash Casserole
- 1 small spaghetti squash (1066 grams raw - you will get about 5 cups/800 grams of spaghetti once cooked)
- 1 pound lean ground turkey (I used 93/7)
- 2 cups packed kale, roughly chopped (120 grams)
- 1/2 cup diced onion (60 grams)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons ranch dressing (homemade or store-bought)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- oil, for greasing
- optional toppings: ranch, parsley, avocado, hot sauce...
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and sprinkle the flesh with a little oil and salt and pepper. Place flesh side down on the baking sheet and roast 35-40 minutes until the skin gives a little when touched.
- When the spaghetti squash has about 15 minutes left, make the turkey kale mixture. Heat a large well-seasoned cast-iron or saute pan over medium heat. If needed, add about 1/2 tablespoon oil and let it get hot. Add onion and salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add turkey and break it up with the back of a spoon. Cook for 3-5 minutes until slightly browned. Add chopped kale and cook for another 2 minutes until wilted and everything is cooked through. Stir in garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley, dried dill, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Grease a 7x11 baking dish (or something similar). When spaghetti squash is done, remove from oven and thread flesh with a fork to make spaghetti (you should have around 5 cups cooked). Add to the greased pan. Add turkey mixture, eggs, ranch, and salt and pepper, and mix until well combined, making sure the eggs are evenly distributed. If needed, you can mix in a bowl, but I don't like to dirty any more dishes than needed.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until browned and cooked through. Let cool for a few minutes and then top with optional toppings. Enjoy!
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