The BEST Healthy Spaghetti Ever!

In case some of you are new to my personal blog, I have lost 120 pounds over the last 3 years.  I did this by gradually changing my diet into a permanent healthy one, and by exercising 4 times a week.  I have been overweight since 7 years old, and trust me, there’s NO magic pill or easy way to lose weight.  (I’ll do more tips on what I’ve done in the coming months :)) With me being Italian, I loooooove pasta!  But pasta doesn’t love my thighs.  So I had to alter how I made my spaghetti so it was thigh friendly and still tasted good.  This is as healthy as I could get it, and it really does taste amazing!  I hope you like the recipe 🙂 Stay happy and healthy, and good luck in your weight loss journey! xoxo, Marlena

Healthy Spaghetti


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 16 slices turkey pepperoni
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small onion or 1/2 large one
  • 4-5 cloves crushed fresh garlic
  • 1 jar prego sauce – three cheese flavor
  • 1 jar prego sauce – tomato basil flavor
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 3 tbs sundried tomatoes (optional)
  • 1 box rice noodles (or whatever type of noodles you like)
  • Chop onion, garlic, and mushrooms into small pieces and cook over medium heat until slightly soft
  • Add ground turkey and cook until brown.  Season with dried italian seasoning or Mrs Dash garlic and herb
  • Lay pepperoni slices on paper towel and cook in microwave for 2 minutes until crisp. Crush into small pieces and add to ground turkey mixture.
  • Add to mixture:  sundried tomatoes, canned diced tomatoes, prego sauce, and chopped fresh basil.  Simmer over low heat for 15 -30 min
  • Boil noodles according to box directions.
  • Spoon sauce over noodles, and enjoy your delicious and healthy spaghetti!!


  • Brandy

    This looks delicious! I would have never thought to use rice noodles. I will have to try it out.

  • Lori Soto

    Thanks for the great recipie. Any idea how many calories this has?

  • Ebony Henry

    Another really great way to make your pasta dishes healthier is to use Quinoa pasta. It’s high in protein and fiber, and is gluten free. Plus it has really good flavor and texture. 🙂

  • Kris

    White rice is just as bad as regular spaghetti noodles. They make brown rice noodles. Gluten free doesnt aid in weight loss, it only helps if you have Celiac disease. And you would know if you had Celiac disease because you would fall over in pain after eating wheat. It also makes you underweight, not overweight. Gluten free is just another diet hype that won’t do anything. Bottom line, you’re not doing yourself any favors by eating white rice noodles. Go for the brown rice, quinoa or whole wheat noodles.

  • Rebecca

    I really like your recipe and I know you are a super busy person, but why do you use so much processed foods if you are trying to live healthy? Also have to agree with the previous posts.

  • Jessica

    This looks so yummy 🙂 I love having a little bit of organic spaghetti with my Bolognese though. I can also highly recommend adding some spinach!

  • Begga

    I felt so sorry for your knife while watching this! If your going to scrape your ingredients in with the knife please use the back! Otherwise your risk ruining the blade 🙂

    Anyways seems delicious 🙂

  • Robyn

    I’ve been on my own WLJ since June and I’ve lost 105lbs! I had to break up with things like pasta or I use whole wheat but I hadn’t thought of rice noodles! I’m totally trying this! Thanks for being so open about your journey!

  • Susan

    Hey marlena!! Your recipe sounds delish. I’m going to try this and combine it with another recipe I learned a about on the sarahfit blog. What she does for a healthy pasta alternative is use eggplant and cuts them into strips and uses them as noodles. I think it’s an interesting idea especially cause I love eggplant parm and I get the the feeling it may taste similar. Here’s a link to her recipe if you’d be interested.

    Thanks as always for all the motivation and healthy recipe ideas!!!

  • Liz

    These are some other fun noodle substitutes that I like.

    Tofu Shirataki Noodles – made from yams and tofu with 20 cal and 3g of carbs per serving

    Vegetable pasta (Zucchini, carrot, & yellow summer squash)- like Susan suggested eggplant. I love it becuase it’s so colorful!

  • Liz

    btw photo sources are and

  • Becky

    This is entirely untrue. I have gluten INTOLERANCE myself – NOT Celiac, for which I tested negative – and eating wheat and bread caused me to GAIN over 80 pounds. Once I cut gluten out of my diet my body was able to heal and I lost weight. Please don’t assume everyone is the same when it comes to food sensitivities. A lot of other people who aren’t Celiac find that they are just generally more bloated and don’t feel as well when they eat wheat, bread products, and other processed grains. It’s ignorant to assume that Celiac is the only reason to remove gluten. Please educate yourself.

  • Becky

    The only things she used that were processed were the turkey pepperoni and the rice noodles. That’s maybe 10% of the entire meal. So it seems to me she actually used about 90% whole, unprocessed ingredients. The pasta sauce in a jar has additives but is, again, at least 80% tomatoes.

  • Becky

    Marlena, thank you so much for taking the time to post this recipe AND for making the video!! You have inspired me SO much! I’ve been following your WLJ for the past 6 months or so and even in that amount of time I have really seen your confidence double or triple! Just through watching your videos I can tell you are an incredibly hard worker, you are passionate and driven, and you won’t settle for less than exactly what you want. That kind of drive and motivation is so inspiring and it reminds me to keep pursuing my own goals and dreams.

    I once was down to my lowest weight, about 20 pounds from my ultimate goal weight, and then I went through a messy breakup, moved, changed jobs multiple times, and then in the midst of all that, I met my now husband (a blessing in disguise!) Over the last 2 years with him, we have both steadily gained the weight we once lost. (He was overweight growing up and also was at his goal when I met him.)

    However, I decided recently that it is time – and the year – for me to get back in touch with myself – not the person I was, letting life push me around and “make me” unhappy. I have been working toward losing ALL the weight and more to finally reach my goal! Since my wedding day (my highest weight) I’ve lost 16 pounds! It’s only a small percentage of the goal, but it’s a really good start!

    I can’t commend you enough on finding what worked for you and pursuing it. Don’t listen to people who criticize or correct you. If it works for you that’s all that matters. Whenever you are having a rough day or you are down on yourself, think of all the people – especially all the young women – that you’ve inspired. And keep going, I will be right along with you! You are almost at your goal!

  • Spaghetti Squash is an even better alternative. My whole family loves it.

  • Kirs10

    Can you make a video on how to curl ur hair like that!!!

  • Brandy

    Looks great and I think I could even get my son and husband to eat this too 🙂 Your weight loss is an inspiration. I am so glad that you are doing videos like this to help those of us on our own weight loss crusade. Keep up the great work!

  • Tavia

    Thank you for sharing this recipe with us Marlena. I’m crazy over pastas so I will definitely try your healthy spaghetti next time. I also like to make my own recipes for pasta, boil them or cook them in the oven. 🙂

  • Apparently what she’s doing is working. Losing 120 pounds is an amazing feat. Try to be more encouraging to others.

  • Pili

    You are an inspiration and a source of encouragement for those of us who need to lose weight. I feel encouraged just seeing how much weight you’ve lose and how good you look. Thanks for sharing your story on this forum.

  • Suzy Vargas

    Hi Marlena. Just to let you know that I tried this recipe yesterday and my husband said that it was the best tasting sauce that he has ever eaten! And… he’s 36! Thanks for sharing and please share more!!!!

  • Amber

    Marlena have you ever tried to use spaghetti squash instead of noodles? =)

  • Cynthia

    Such uninformed negativity….many have lost weight becoming gluten free and have benefited by not only losing pounds, but feeling less bloated. (Simply sugar and gluten free blog) Thank you, Marlena, for sharing recipes and inspiring others to make healthier choices about food. 🙂

  • tanya

    Marlena! That recipe was the bomb. Very delish and satisfying! I even ate some without pasta. The texture of the ground turkey and mushrooms made it very substantial and the flavor of all the ingredients was very yummmm! Sorry about all the !!! but I really enjoyed making this recipe (I had tutorial cooking video playing on the counter) and the end result. Blessings to you. Rock on girl!

  • Leesa

    I’ve talked my hubby into trying this (it was the pepperoni that got him!) Thanks for the recipe!

  • Courtney

    I have your blender! It’s the best! and it was super cheap(:

  • wesome

  • where do you buy this spag squash?

  • Cindy

    Hi Marlena!!

    I tried this recipe with normal pasta (oops I cheated) but loved the Turkey mince and fresh basil made a real difference! thanks so much for posting this recipe and YES I tell everyone i’s your recipe 🙂
    You are looking freaking amazing BTW. Hourglass figure like JLH from The Client List!!! your blessed with a beautiful heart too

  • Missgreenflower

    Gluten free doesn’t helps in weight loss. Gluten free just helps intolerants people or celiac people. Pay attention to label, gluten free are generally rich in sugar and that doesn’t helps to loose weight. Use different type of flour ( not only wheat) and small portion (50 or 70 grams of pasta are sufficient), and first of all use FEW FRESH ingredients: 1 fresh tomato, extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 of onion, a pinch of salt and fresh basil that’s all to have a good dish healthy spaghetti!

  • Stacy Imhoff

    Love this healthy recipe!!!! This is the only way I make spaghetti now 🙂

  • Rosa

    I made this spaghetti and my family loved it! thank you for sharing this recipe, keep up the healthy lifestyle.

  • Emely Aguino

    Rice noodles! That’s brilliant 🙂 I will try this bad boy later. Thanks!

  • Chelsea

    I made this for me and my boyfriend tonight. only instead of using the ground turkey in the sauce i used turkey meatballs!!! it came out delicious

  • Megan

    Marlena I made an account just to comment on your page. You are an AMAZING woman and you are so strong! I’ve been watching your videos for a very long time and I always look forward to seeing more! I hope you get better soon I really do. We all love you and we all want you to get better and non of us are ever disappointed with you for anything. Just continue to be the amazing person you are, that’s enough for us. Don’t listen to your haters, they’re trying to tear you down because they have nothing better to do with their limited time and it really affects them more than anyone else anyways. Anger is like grasping a hot coal with bare hands, you are the one getting burned. I really hope you get better soon! All your fans (myself included!) love you regardless of how much you weigh, what you do with your body (regarding your surgery), or changing anything about yourself, it doesn’t matter! Continue to be the vibrant, happy, upbeat person you are and that’s more than enough for anyone. I love you Marlena and I really really really hope you get better soon!!!

  • tina

    Hi Marlena you look amazing. I just wanted to let you know you are very motivating and have inspired my to start the weightloss journey again. I have watched your videos and tips and recipies and am ready to try again. Thank you sooooo much for taking the time to make these videos it has motivated me again.