Spaghetti Pie- The classic spaghetti dinner gets a fun twist! Spaghetti noodles become the "crust" and lean turkey, tomato sauce, healthy veggies and a creamy cheese layer become the "filling". Add a little pizzazz to your week-night spaghetti dinner.
Sometimes you just need to make a small change to an old favorite to make it feel new again. In this case to the beloved (and probably family favorite ) spaghetti dinner. By serving it up in "pie" form it will change-up the routine ..and seriously! who doesn't want to have a slice of "pie" for dinner!
Making spaghetti pie is really easy!
After you've cooked the spaghetti you'll mix it with 2 egg whites and some grated Parmesan cheese . This will become the "crust" of the pizza by pressing the mixture into the bottom pie pan and slightly up the sides.
Next, mix the cottage cheese (or ricotta cheese) with 2 eggs whites and layer on top of spaghetti "crust". Adding the cottage cheese mixture makes this spaghetti pie kind of like a lasagna. (hello...yum!, rich creamy layer of cheese)
Cook up the turkey(or chicken, or ground beef) and fennel. The combination of the fresh fennel and the spices used will make the turkey taste like sausage.
If you're not familiar with fennel, it's part of the Umbellifereae family which means it's closely related to carrots, parsley, dill and coriander. Full of fiber and rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C, potassium, and folate. Which supports such things as your immune system, cardiovascular and colon health. Bonus, I'm guessing the kids probably wont recognize the fennel as a vegetable (it looks nothing like peas or broccoli) and it tastes like sausage when mixed in with the turkey and spices so just maybe they will give it a try! You can definitely chop the fennel pieces smaller than I did if you want to make it even less obvious.
Add in the tomato sauce (or your favorite pasta sauce) and some spinach. The spinach is optional...but I'm always looking for ways to get more veggies into everything I make and a handful or two of spinach makes its way into many things. (spinach is a "superfood" it's low in calories (27/cup)and loaded with nutritional value and is especially high in potassium and iron)
Top the cottage cheese mixture in pie pan with the turkey mixture. Pop the "pie" into the oven for about 20 minutes.
Add some mozzarella cheese to the top and pop back in the oven for an additional 5 min. until the cheese is all melted and turning brown. You'll get that stringy/stretchy cheese trail when you serve up a piece of this spaghetti pie(you know when the cheese is still attached to the rest of the pie when you pull out a piece from the pan- yum!)
Let the pie rest for about 10-15 minutes so the "crust" firms up...then dinners on! Top with some fresh chopped spinach, fennel fronds, Parmesan cheese or sliced tomatoes.
Spaghetti pie can be made/assembled anytime throughout the day and refrigerated until you are ready to cook. Or, cook ahead of time and reheat (covered with foil) when ready to serve.
- 4 oz. dried spaghetti
- 2 egg whites lightly beaten
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 ½ cups low-fat cottage cheese or ricotta cheese (or a combo of the two
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 egg whites lightly beaten
- 1 medium fennel bulb chopped *
- 8 oz. ground turkey or lean ground beef or chicken
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 ½ tsp. Italian seasoning or 1/2 tsp each oregano, thyme, parsley
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ¾ tsp dried fennel seeds
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce no salt added (or your favorite pasta sauce)
- 1 cup baby spinach
- ½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9-inch pie pan with cooking oil, set aside.
- Cook spaghetti according to package directions (without adding salt) , drain.
- In a medium bowl lightly beat two egg whites, Parmesan cheese, cottage cheese, olive oil and cooked spaghetti. Toss to thoroughly coat. Press spaghetti mixture into bottom and up sides of the prepared pie pan to create the crust.
- In a small bowl combine 2 egg whites and cottage cheese, spoon on top spaghetti in pie pan.
- Line a large skillet with a few tsp of water, add fennel and cook until fennel begins to soften (about 2-3 min.) add turkey, garlic, Italian seasoning, pepper, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes and continue cooking until turkey is fully cooked and fennel is soft. Drain off any fat. Stir in tomato sauce and spinach and continue to cook until spinach begins to wilt. Spoon over cottage cheese mixture in pie pan.
- Bake 20 min. (uncovered) until heated through. Sprinkle mozzarella over top of pie and cook an additional 5 min. until cheese is melted and bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand 15 min. before serving. Garnish with chopped spinach or fennel fronds if desired.