Spaghetti Casserole with Bison, Walnuts & Cranberry

by Marla on January 28, 2013 · 42 comments

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Spaghetti Casserole with Bison, Cranberries & Walnuts | recipe on FamilyFreshCooking.com

This is a combo I have been aching to try. I love pasta with bison and any kind of ground meat. I also love combining savory flavors with sweet fruity ones. In this dish you have browned bison, sweet dried cranberries, green onion, smoky sweet paprika, walnuts and fresh oregano.

A perfect cool weather meal that will warm you up from the inside out…

Spaghetti Casserole with Bison, Cranberries & Walnuts | recipe on FamilyFreshCooking.com

Tomato based sauces are a favorite of mine ~ though sometimes I crave somethin’ like this.

A sizzlin’combo of some of my favorite ingredients. Nothing more, nothing less.

Spaghetti Casserole with Bison, Cranberries & Walnuts | recipe on FamilyFreshCooking.com

Spaghetti Casserole with Bison, Cranberries & Walnuts | recipe on FamilyFreshCooking.com

Use your favorite pasta: whole wheat, gluten free brown rice, spelt. If you don’t want the pasta quinoa would be great too. As would brown rice.

Take your pick.

Spaghetti Casserole with Bison, Cranberries & Walnuts | recipe on FamilyFreshCooking.com

Spaghetti Casserole with Bison, Cranberries & Walnuts | recipe on FamilyFreshCooking.com

If you have bison, then great. If not try ground beef, chicken or turkey.

The beauty of this recipe is how simple it is.

Spaghetti Casserole with Bison, Cranberries & Walnuts | recipe on FamilyFreshCooking.com

Enjoy!

Spaghetti Casserole with Bison, Walnuts & Cranberry

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Spaghetti Casserole with Bison, Walnuts & Cranberry

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound Gluten Free or Regular Spaghetti, cook according to package directions
  • 1 pound ground Bison, Beef or Turkey
  • 1 bunch Green Onions, chopped and divided in 1/2
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Walnuts
  • 1/4 cup fruit sweetened Dried Cranberries
  • Sea Salt
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Black Pepper
  • Dried Parsley
  • handful Fresh Oregano
  • Olive Oil

Method

  • Cook spaghetti, drain and toss with olive oil and some fresh oregano. Swirl some olive oil in a skillet, cook garlic until softened. Brown meat in the skillet with the garlic, season to taste with salt. smoked paprika, parsley and black pepper. In the last minute fold in 1/2 of the green onion, walnuts and cranberries. Remove from heat.
  • Combine the meat with spaghetti. Top with fresh oregano and the remainder of the green onion.
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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rosa January 28, 2013 at 6:59 am

Divine! I’d love to taste bison meat.

Cheers,

Rosa

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2 Julie @ Table for Two January 28, 2013 at 7:20 am

this looks absolutely wonderful and so comforting. i love the multitude of unique flavors in this dish, Marla!

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3 HeatherChristo January 28, 2013 at 7:22 am

I have had bison chili, and I couldn’t really tell the difference- maybe leaner and the texture is just slightly different! Bison is hard to find in Seattle- but now I am inspired. I think I remember that there were a lot of Bison Burgers when I was in Colorado?

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4 Maria January 28, 2013 at 7:25 am

Great pasta dish! Love the cranberries!

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5 Liz @ The Lemon Bowl January 28, 2013 at 7:29 am

Loving the combination of flavors – bison is so delicious!! I bet this was incredible.

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6 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective January 28, 2013 at 7:38 am

Amazing recipe, Marla. I LOVE cooking with Bison!

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7 Cookin Canuck January 28, 2013 at 7:59 am

Oh, I am totally diggin’ this. A little salt, a little savory…and bison! Bison is such an underused meat, but the amount of flavor that you get for such a lean meat really makes it a fantastic option.

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8 Jenny Flake January 28, 2013 at 8:26 am

Oooo, I haven’t really tried bison before, but I’d have no problem making this my first dish!! Gorgeous girl!

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9 Iwona January 28, 2013 at 8:37 am

I love to cook! Very interesting blog:) Great food:) I greet:)

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10 Gaby January 28, 2013 at 8:40 am

mmmmmm love me some pasta bake!

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11 Michelle @ Eat Move Balance January 28, 2013 at 8:42 am

You’re right–this recipe idea is really versatile. Although, I wouldn’t mess with the bison, cranberry and walnut combo part. Yum!

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12 Cassie | Bake Your Day January 28, 2013 at 8:52 am

This sounds so good, Marla. I love the unique ingredients you chose!

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13 Alex January 28, 2013 at 9:21 am

Looks delicious! Do you think it would work with spaghetti squash?

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14 Marla January 28, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Absolutely Alex….I KNOW that will be fabulous! Usually spaghetti squash is my “pasta” of choice.

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15 Toni | Boulder Locavore January 28, 2013 at 9:27 am

Like you Marla I love these flavors and the sweet-savory combo. I find despite loving tomato based sauces I can use them like a crutch. I’ve been thinking of something like this; flavors standing on their own with a swirl of olive oil. Perfect timing and beautiful dish!

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16 Marla January 28, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Thanks Toni ~ glad to hear you appreciate a non-saucy diversion :)

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17 naomi January 28, 2013 at 9:28 am

Now I want a big bowl of this! btw-nicely shot. :)

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18 Erika @ The Hopeless Housewife January 28, 2013 at 9:47 am

Great flavor combinations!

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19 carolinaheartstrings January 28, 2013 at 9:52 am

I love love love bison. It is so delicious. Great recipe.

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20 Marla January 28, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Glad to heat that Carolina! Hope you get to try this recipe soon :)

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21 Laura (Tutti Dolci) January 28, 2013 at 10:41 am

I’ve never tried bison but these flavors sound perfect together. Beautiful photos!

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22 Marla January 28, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Laura, bison is like a fuller flavored beef ~ but leaner and usually raised in very sustainable conditions. A GREAT choice :)

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23 Denise Browning@From Brazil To You January 28, 2013 at 11:13 am

Yummy!
Love the addition of the nuts and cranberries to the pasta!!! xx

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24 wholesome kids January 28, 2013 at 11:52 am

What a delicious combination! It’s better for flavor (and for the arteries) to use bison instead of beef, and I love the walnuts- great idea! I think I’ll try with quinoa or with whole wheat pasta.

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25 Bonnie K January 28, 2013 at 1:42 pm

I never would have thought of this combination. Sounds good. A definite save.

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26 Marian (Sweetopia) January 28, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Mmm, making me hungry, Marla! Loving the dishes too btw.

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27 Aimee @ Simple Bites January 28, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Game + Berries is a combination that is meant to be, as you’ve demonstrated here, Marla. I’m sure the walnuts round out the dish perfectly. Gorgeous photos, too!

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28 Julia | JuliasAlbum.com January 28, 2013 at 10:15 pm

Oh, this pasta looks so good! I don’t have bison meat, but I do have boar sausages, which I think should work. By the way, it finally snowed here in Telluride (after a long dry spell), I think we got something like 2 feet of snow, and I was able to get some nice photos, just posted a couple of them on my blog. Will post more soon: it’s so beautiful outside!

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29 Joanne January 29, 2013 at 5:07 am

The mix of sweet and savory in here is so much fun! Love the dried cranberry addition.

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30 Kelly Senyei (Just a Taste) January 29, 2013 at 8:12 am

I absolutely LOVE bison burgers, but have never thought to use the lean(er) meat for spaghetti! Great idea, Marla!

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31 Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet January 29, 2013 at 8:25 am

Wow! I have never had bison meat but I am totally intrigued now. This dish is so pretty, Marla!

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32 Amanda January 29, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Oh Marla, this looks amazing! Gorgeous!

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33 Carla @ Carlas Confections January 29, 2013 at 1:06 pm

I love the possibilities with this one. I think it’d be hard for me to find Bison, but I want to try making this one with quinoa and lean ground beef :)

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34 Yvonne @ bitter baker January 29, 2013 at 8:15 pm

This looks absolutely delicious! I love new pasta recipes, it’s so easy that you get stuck in bolognese-mode.

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35 helen January 30, 2013 at 2:34 am

Looking yummy….:-)

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36 Kevin (Closet Cooking) January 30, 2013 at 5:46 am

I like the use of the cranberries in this casserole!

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37 Gerry @ Foodness Gracious January 30, 2013 at 6:22 am

I love trying alternative meats like bison and elk…this looks so hearty and delicious!!

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38 Margie February 6, 2013 at 9:03 pm

The combination is unique and great but I honestly feel like the flavor was very bland.

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39 Marla February 7, 2013 at 3:08 am

Margie, perhaps you need to add more seasoning next time?

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40 Andrea DiGeronimo February 11, 2013 at 11:05 am

Love the simplicity. Pasta is great without tomato sauce sometimes so you can taste the other flavors.

Xo, Andrea

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41 Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet February 17, 2013 at 3:19 pm

I love the combination of chewy cranberries and crunchy walnuts. And the smoked paprika…a heavenly addition! Unexpected but beautifully harmonious ingredients for an original and delicious pasta dish.

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42 Marla February 17, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Hi Kimberly! I am so happy you understand my unexpected flavors :)

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