Let’s be honest. I’m not letting you in on any big secret when I tell you that cooking your own meals saves you money. I think we all know that restaurants aren’t cheap. But I know I’ve been there on a Wednesday night, when I know I should cook, but I just got home from work, and I’m hungry already, and screw it… delivery it is! Sometimes, cooking sucks. Which is where today’s post comes in. Today’s post is all about a delicious, cheap, and healthy recipe, which is – most importantly – easy to make: Spaghetti Squash Lasagna!
I try to generally stick to making all of my own meals – coffee, breakfast, lunch, and dinner – during the week (with some exceptions made for plans with friends), but enjoy eating out on weekends. That way I get to enjoy myself during the weekend by more than making up for it during the week. So as an admittedly rookie cook, I’m always on the lookout for easy recipes that I can make in bulk on a Sunday and enjoy throughout the week.
My recent obsession has been Spaghetti Squash lasagna. Not only is it easy and makes about four servings, but it’s a healthy way to get my pasta fix (also perfect if you’re gluten free!).
[TDT Note: Spaghetti Squash is a squash, but cooking it and scraping the squash with a fork creates tendrils that resemble pasta. It’s not quite the same, but it is a healthier substitute and great sauce base.]
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
Makes 2-4 very servings
1 medium spaghetti squash ($5)
1 tbs. olive oil ($0.12)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 jar of marinara sauce ($2)
2 cups cottage cheese ($3)
1 egg ($0.25)
1.5 tbs. dry parsley ($0.25)
1 cup shredded mozzarella ($1.50)
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle hollow sides with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and turn them over on a baking pan so the skin faces up. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until soft when poked with a fork. Let cool.
Once cool, use a fork to shred the inside of the squash. You should get nood-ley tendrils. The squash tends to have a lot of water in it, so put the scooped tendrils in a drainer on top of paper towels. Let stand for a bit until water drains.
In a separate bowl, mix the cottage cheese, the beaten egg, and parsley. [TDT Note: I know ricotta is traditional but The Pioneer Woman told me to use cottage cheese and I think this tastes better. You will not taste cottage cheese.]
Now you layer. Take the empty shells and put them back on the roasting pan, empty side up. Place a layer of ¼ of the spaghetti squash in the bottom of each shell, then add a layer of ¼ of the cottage cheese mixture, followed by one layer of marinara sauce (be generous with the sauce).
Repeat again, so you have two layers of each item in each shell. Top the shells with the mozzarella.
Bake the shells for 25 minutes at 400°F, until the cheese is bubbly and browned in spots.
Total cost: Roughly $12.12 ($3.03 per serving)