About five years ago was my first time on Weight Watchers. I had lost about 35 lbs that time. I’ll admit I didn’t cook as much as I do now because I worked a lot. However, I did have a few staple meals that I loved to have on hand! This is one of them. Even when I wasn’t doing weight watchers this continued to be one of my favorite ways to eat spaghetti!
The bake is one’a of my favorite recipes. It’s creamy, cheesy, packed full of yummy nutrient rich veggies, and quick and easy to prepare! People will think you spent HOURS in the kitchen. But you didn’t, and it’ll be our little secret.
This can also be one of those casseroles that you have to “clean out the left over vegetables in the fridge quickly” type of deals. I’ve added different things over the years, but the zucchini, spinach, tomato, and onion combo is my favorite. I’m sure Eric would love if I were to put mushrooms in it, but not on my watch. I’d throw them or him out the window.
Also, I have some incredibly lovely friends who are vegetarians. This can also EASILY be turned into a vegetarian meal or a Meatless Monday meal. I add lean ground beef or turkey because I like meat and the extra protein kicks it gives me. Plus, I’m from the midwest, and we like our meat and potatoes.
I hope you enjoy!
Garden Veggie Spaghetti Bake
- 8 oz Whole Wheat Spaghetti broken up into pieces
- 1 lb Extra Lean Ground Beef
- 3/4 cup Mozzarella, shredded
- 1 cup non fat cottage cheese
- 4 cups Marinara Sauce
- 2-3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 2 medium zucchinis (chopped)
- 2-3 cups fresh Spinach torn into small pieces
- 1 14.5 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- cooking spray
- salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray.
In a skillet over medium-high heat add ground beef and season with kosher salt. When meat is broken up add onions and garlic. Continue to cook until the meat is browned and garlic and onions are soft. Drain any excess grease.
While the meat is cooking, boil spaghetti noodles in salted water according to package instructions.
In the pan with your ground beef, onions, and garlic. Add the diced tomatoes and zucchini. Cook for 5-8 minutes until veggies are softened. Add spinach and cook for another couple minutes, until it’s lightly wilted.
Add your marinara and cottage cheese to the skillet and mix together well.
Transfer the noodles and marinara/meat/vegetable mixture into the 9×13 casserole dish. Mix together until combined. Top with mozzarella and bake for 30-35 minutes until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Let sit for a few minutes before cutting into six servings. Enjoy!