I remember when my mom introduced me to spaghetti squash.
I was in literal awe of this vegetable that could transform itself into noodles! At the time, I was very carb-conscious, so this discovery was of great significance.
My mom is quite the minimalist with her food preparation, in that she uses very few spices or extras in her meals, so her simple way of preparing the amazing gourd was simply to top it with some butter and salt.
Obviously, times have changed and spaghetti squash is right up there among health food favorites like kale and chia seeds.
Any way you can think to prepare noodles, chances are there’s an equivalent recipe substituting spaghetti squash, and since I’ve come to recently realize that I am not the biggest fan of zucchini noodles (AKA, ‘zoodles’), spaghetti squash is my go-to vegetable for (most) things pasta-related.
This is a meal my daughters and I make together at least once a week, and my husband recently became a fan, though his typical response is to ‘add some chicken or beef and it’ll be perfect!’. My typical response to that is then a big fat ‘goodbye’. We sass a lot. 🙂
If you are so inclined though, either meat would be a nice addition, but it really does a great job of being a meal on its own!
However you make it, I am sure you will love this modern version of an Italian favorite!
Vegetable-Packed Spaghetti Squash Lasagna (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free)
- 1 T. coconut oil
- 1/2 c. yellow onion chopped
- 1/4 one-quarter of a green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 medium celery stalk chopped
- 1 medium carrot chopped
- 1 c. mushrooms chopped
- 3/4 c. broccoli chopped into small pieces
- 2 c. your favorite marinara sauce
- ~4 c. cooked spaghetti squash
- 1/4 c. fresh parsley plus a bit more for sprinkling on top
- 8 Kalamata olives sliced
- 2 c. part-skim mozzarella
- 1/3 c. grated parmesan
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Saute the onion, bell pepper, garlic, celery, and carrot, along with sprinkles of both salt and pepper, in the oil for about five minutes, until everything softens.
- Add in the mushrooms and broccoli and cook for another 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms release their water and soften and the broccoli becomes bright green.
- Stir in the marinara, cooked spaghetti squash, and 1/4 cup parsley.
- Adjust salt and pepper, if desired.
- Heat through just until everything is warm, then remove from the hot stovetop.
- Lightly oil an 8 x 8 baking dish with coconut oil.
- Add in half of the spaghetti squash mixture to the baking dish.
- Top with one cup of the mozzarella cheese.
- Layer the remaining half of the spaghetti squash mixture atop the cheese.
- Top that with the remaining one cup of mozzarella.
- Sprinkle the parmesan on top of the mozzarella and arrange the olive slices atop the cheeses.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until bubbly.
- For a golden top, broil the lasagna for 1-2 minutes, watching carefully.
- Cool, top with freshly chopped parsley, and serve!
To cook my spaghetti squash, I simply add it whole to a preheated 400 degree oven, then let it bake for 35-40 minutes until easily pierced with a fork. Cool it and cut into it as usual.
I use my Homemade Pizza Sauce in this recipe, which should really be titled ‘All-Purpose Marinara’ because I use it for everything!
One of my favorite little additions to this recipe is the olives on top. It adds a slight, briny bite to the mildly sweet sauce and gooey cheese that I just love!
Do you enjoy spaghetti squash? What is your favorite recipe with it?