You can feel good about these spaghetti squash noodles topped with a lean and beefy Bolognese.

Lisa Lillien is the author of the popular Hungry Girl website and email newsletter, featuring smart, funny advice on guilt-free eating. She is also the author of thirteen books, six of which debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Read her blog every Monday for slimmed-down celebrity recipes and more.

Who doesn’t love a big bowl of noodles with meaty tomato sauce? I definitely do, but to keep the starchy carbs down, I make mine with spaghetti squash instead of traditional pasta. Top it off with a lean and beefy Bolognese, and you’re good to go!

Spaghetti Squash Bolognese
Serves 4

1 spaghetti squash (at least 4 ½ lbs.)
3 ½ cups canned crushed tomatoes
¼ cup tomato paste
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
½ cup chopped celery
⅓ cup chopped onion
⅓ cup chopped carrots
1 Tbsp. olive oil or grapeseed oil
1 lb. raw extra-lean ground beef (at least 96% lean)
¼ tsp. salt
⅛ tsp. black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Microwave squash for 6 minutes, or until soft enough to cut. Once cool enough to handle, halve lengthwise; scoop out and discard seeds.
3. Fill a large baking pan with ½ inch water, and place squash halves in the pan, cut sides down. Bake until tender, about 40 minutes. (For alternative cooking method, see below.)
4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar and Italian seasoning. Add ½ tsp. each garlic powder and onion powder, and mix well.
5. Bring a large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Add celery, onion and carrots, and drizzle with oil. Cook and stir until slightly softened, about 2 minutes.
6. Add beef to the skillet. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and remaining ½ tsp. each garlic powder and onion powder. Cook, stir, and crumble until veggies have softened and beef is fully cooked, about 8 minutes.
7. Carefully add tomato mixture to the skillet. Cook and stir until hot and well mixed, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
8. Use a fork to scrape out spaghetti squash strands. Place in a strainer to drain excess moisture. Thoroughly blot dry, removing as much moisture as possible. Transfer 5 cups to a large bowl. (Preserve any extra squash for another time.)
9. Top squash with saucy beef, stir and serve.

Time-Saving Alternative: Instead of baking the squash, cook it in the microwave. After scooping out and discarding the seeds, place one half of the squash in an extra-large microwave-safe bowl, cut side down. Add ¼ cup water, cover, and cook for 7 minutes, or until soft. Repeat with remaining squash half.

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Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes

Nutritional Information: ¼th of recipe (about 2 cups): 330 calories, 8.5g total fat (2.5g sat fat), 717mg sodium, 33.5g carbs, 8g fiber, 15g sugars, 29.5g protein

‘Til next time… Chew the right thing!