Now that it’s October, we’re getting further into some of my favorite seasons: winter squash season and casserole season. In other words, comfort food season and this spaghetti squash sloppy Joe casserole (or sloppy Jane if you make it with ground turkey) fits the bill.
This recipe features spaghetti squash, sweet and savory meat sauce, and a crushed potato chip topping. I know, right? The potato chip topping is extra, but a must in my opinion. Growing up, my mom always served potato chips when she made homemade sloppy Joes, so it’s totally nostalgic (and just plain awesome). It was such a treat because we never really had potato chips in the house and I loved classic potato chips. We usually only had baked chips or tortilla chips, which I always felt were subpar and unsatisfying…because they were! Anyway, I liked to carefully nestle the salty chips between the bun and sloppy Joe mixture, so I’d get a bit of crunch in each messy bite. To me, it was the only way to eat sloppy Joes.
Overall, this delicious one-pan meal is:
- stick-to-your-ribs good
- satisfying and hearty, but not a gut-bomb
- perfect for a chilly fall or winter day
Lastly, catch me making this recipe on Friday, October 5th on Portland’s KATU Afternoon Live. The show airs from 2-3pm PST (note the new time). It’s also my 2-year anniversary as a guest on the show! Watch the replay of my segment HERE.
Cheers and enjoy!
Spaghetti squash, homemade sloppy Joe meat sauce and crushed potato chips come together to create this healthy, satisfying and savory casserole. No gluten, grains or dairy either.
- 1 medium-large spaghetti squash, cut in half with seeds scooped out
- 2 tsp avocado oil or grass-fed butter/ghee
- 2 lb lean ground turkey or grass-fed ground beef
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups strained tomatoes or tomato puree
- 2 Tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 Tbsp raw honey
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- Heaping 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Black pepper, to taste
- Avocado oil potato chips for topping, optional
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place squash face down in a shallow pan and fill with roughly 1/2 inch of water. Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes or until flesh is tender, but not overdone. Set aside to cool.
Add avocado oil, butter or ghee to a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté a couple minutes, until softened slightly. Then, add the ground turkey or beef. Continue to cook for 7-10 minutes, until meat is browned. Break up the large pieces with a spatula as needed.
Once meat is browned, add the strained tomatoes or puree, coconut aminos, raw honey, Dijon mustard, chili powder, paprika, sea salt and black pepper. Mix well. Simmer over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Then, remove the meat mixture from the heat and scrape out spaghetti squash with a fork into the pan. Stir well to coat and then pour into a 9x13 baking pan.
Lastly, top mixture with desired amount of crushed avocado oil potato chips, if using. Place in preheated oven and bake for 60 minutes. Once done, let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Thank you for sharing! I made this last night and everyone enjoyed, even my pickiest child loved it. Wondering if this would freeze well…
That’s so wonderful, Laura! Thank you for trying the recipe and sharing your success! I haven’t tried freezing this dish, but I do think it would freeze well. I would just skip putting the potato chips on before freezing and put them on when reheating the dish in the oven. You could probably also assemble the dish and just immediately freeze it (don’t bake ahead of time). Then, thaw it and bake it with the chips as normal. Hope that makes sense! Anyway, if you try freezing it, let me know how it works out.