Scooter's Spaghetti Pie

>> Tuesday, October 18, 2011

As a self-proclaimed lover of anything pasta, I knew I had to make this recipe when I first spotted it on Pinterest. It looks like a simple, classic spaghetti casserole with a fun layer of cream cheese and veggies thrown in to spice things up a bit. Oh, and it's topped with French Fried Onions!

While I'm sure the original recipe is to die for, I wanted to try to 'healthify' it a little bit. I substituted whole wheat pasta, low fat cream cheese, replaced butter with olive oil and added a shredded zucchini. Also, I've never cooked with Fried Onions before - I didn't even know where they were located in the store! I was pleasantly surprised that my grocery store sold an all natural French Fried Onion option, so I didn't have to feel guilty about serving my family something packed with tons of preservatives. Bonus! But of course, they are still fried...but every little bit helps, right?!

Also, this recipe made enough for two pies, one to eat for dinner and one to freeze for later. Double bonus!

Sccoter's Spaghetti Pie
adapted from Salad in a Jar

16 oz whole wheat spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small white onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 zucchini, shredded
1 8-oz package low fat cream cheese
1 lb ground turkey, bison, or beef
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 large jar (26.25 oz) of spaghetti sauce
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 6-oz can French Fried Onions

Cook pasta one or two minutes shy of al dente. Drain.

Spray two deep dish 9-inch pie plates (or one 9-x-13-inch pan) with nonstick spray. Divide the pasta evenly between the two plates.

Meanwhile, in a saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil. Add onions and bell peppers, stirring occasionally, and cook until softened and translucent. Add zucchini and cook 1 more minute. Lower heat and stir in cream cheese until just melted. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over the noodles.

In a large pan, cook meat over medium heat. Drain grease. Stir in Italian seasoning and cook 1 minute. Add spaghetti sauce and parmesan cheese and let cook for a few minutes. Pour sauce evenly over the cream cheese mixture.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Remove pan and sprinkle with French Fried Onions. Return to oven and bake 5 more minutes, being careful not to let them burn.

* If you're freezing half, let the casserole cool completely (do not bake or top with Fried Onions), wrap tightly with foil and freeze. If the casserole is defrosted, bake at 350 for 60-75 minutes, or until heated through. If it is still frozen, bake at 350 degrees for about 2 hours. Sprinkle Fried Onions on top and cook 5 more minutes.


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