Turkey and Harissa Squash Skillet

Kari Lund


Recipes, Nutrition


Squash is a vegetable that many love to hate. Maybe it’s the texture or perhaps the somewhat bland flavor that is sometimes attributed to it, but the squash has a high nutritional value and it is worth finding ways that you can truly enjoy it and even learn to love it.


Spaghetti squash makes an easy entry point into the squash dinner scene because it’s so delightfully shreddable and maintains a noodle-like texture rather than turning to mush. This dish utilizes that desirable characteristic as a bottom layer in a turkey and harissa squash skillet that will have your taste buds dancing.



This family-friendly skillet is a rustic cross between a Greek-style moussaka and a skillet lasagna. Because spaghetti squash is less intensely flavorful on its own and doesn’t get too soft, it makes the perfect base layer for this skillet rather than eggplant which would be traditional in moussaka.


I’ve lightened up this dish by using turkey rather than lamb to provide a lean protein option that absorbs as much of the tangy sauce as possible. The sauce is made with a red pepper harissa sauce, tomatoes, and it is enriched with spinach and traditional moussaka seasonings. Instead of a béchamel, I’ve topped it all off with large dollops of ricotta cheese resulting in an easy and flavorful family dinner.


Turkey and Harissa Squash Skillet

Harissa Turkey Squash Skillet

Calories 447, Protein 37g, Total Carbs 20g, Fat 25g


Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 60 minutes

Serves: 4




  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 3 cups fresh chopped spinach (about 1 whole 5oz package)
  • 1 jar (10oz) prepared harissa sauce either mild or spicy
  • 1 can (15oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 15oz container ricotta cheese
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped, to garnish


Preparation Instructions:


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place cut side down on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake squash about 30-40 minutes just until it’s easily shreddable. It may still be al dente for better texture.
  4. While squash is baking, heat olive oil in an oven-proof skillet (like cast iron) with the onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and allspice.
  5. Once turkey is cooked through, add the spinach and cook until spinach is wilted.
  6. Remove turkey spinach mixture from skillet and place in a bowl (keep the skillet out). Stir in the harissa sauce and crushed tomatoes then set the bowl aside.
  7. When squash is finished, remove from oven and scrape out the squash with a fork. Keep the oven on.
  8. Place the squash in the same skillet used for the turkey and spread the squash evenly across the bottom of the skillet.
  9. Spoon the turkey spinach mixture over the top of squash.
  10. Top with dollops of ricotta cheese.
  11. Bake 20 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven and serve hot garnished with chopped parsley or cilantro.
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