2013 – Gluten Free Living
I absolutely adore this fabulous way of making spaghetti squash! It’s very similar to Eggplant Parmesan and Zucchini Parmesan in style, yet this recipe is FILLED with lots of fresh veggies and three different types of cheese. While my Spaghetti Squash with Salsa is also a very great favorite, I have to say that this recipe even trumps that one. Spaghetti Squash Parmesan is made with spaghetti squash, of course, but it’s also filled with celery, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, red and orange bell peppers, onions, garlic, and leeks which are added to crushed tomatoes so that it makes it’s own marinara-type sauce. This is then seasoned with oregano and basil, and the whole is layered between layers of parmesan, romano, and mozzarella cheeses. It is S-E-N-S-A-T-I-O-N-A-l!!!
Spaghetti Squash Parmesan has so many health benefits, too. It’s filled with antioxidant veggies, it’s also gluten free, low calorie, and a fantastic way to use up garden produce–especially if your garden is brimming with any of these veggies. You could even make your own homemade crushed tomatoes for the sauce if you had an abundance of tomatoes you were trying to use up. Truly, the sky is the limit with this casserole. You could easily add butternut squash, broccoli or cauliflower to this dish and still get amazing results. And, if you wanted a southwestern flavor, consider adding black beans and corn with a little cumin, cilantro and chili powder.
I found this recipe on the Internet back in 2000, way before there were such a thing as food blogs with lots of delicious-looking pictures which we have today. I printed out the recipe but I don’t even remember seeing a picture of it back then. However, at the time I had been wanting to try more recipes with spaghetti squash and this one sounded good. The link I’ve provided no longer includes a notation that I have on my original downloaded page, that this recipe was adapted from Chef Alice Waters. While I have not been able to find the original recipe, I wanted to make sure she got credit for it even if I have deviated from the recipe somewhat over the years.
The awesome thing about this dish is it’s a great idea for Meatless Mondays since it’s so filling and satisfying. For those of you trying to cut down on your weekly intake of meat, it’s hearty and a great comfort food as well. Nowadays, spaghetti squash can be purchased almost any time of the year, too, so you don’t have to eat this only in the late summer or fall when the harvest comes in. While I served this dish last week for company with Tijuana Torte, I’ve also served it for Thanksgiving dinner! The first time I made this was for a Thanksgiving dinner where we had a houseful of company–at least three or four other families. Even the finicky eaters of the group raved over this delicious casserole.
I think you will LOVE Spaghetti Squash Parmesan just as much as our family, and our company have enjoyed it over the years. It’s one of those special casseroles that becomes memorable so you make it over and over and over again. If you’re looking for a fabulous way to use up spaghetti squash or other garden veggies, then consider making this dynamite recipe some time soon–how about for the Thanksgiving holidays?
Here’s a look at the interior of the Spaghetti Squash Parmesan.
Spaghetti Squash Parmesan is one of our favorite casserole recipes!
Here’s a look at the dish hot out of the oven.
Here’s a serving of Spaghetti Squash Parmesan. I prefer serving it in bowls like this so it doesn’t spread out all over the plate.
You can see the juices drain a little bit because the veggies cook down while heating.
Spaghetti Squash Parmesan is a great casserole to make for the holiday season.
Here’s what I did.
Bake a spaghetti squash about an hour in the oven at 350. I didn’t poke it or do anything to it but stick it on one of the racks in the oven. This is what it looks like after baking.
Meanwhile, in a LARGE cast-iron Dutch oven heat olive oil. This one holds 9 quarts!
Add diced onion and saute.
Add carrot chips or crinkle cut carrots.
Add diced leeks. Leeks provide a wonderful aroma and flavor to your casseroles. They are also great in soups.
Add red pepper cut in strips,
Add orange or yellow bell pepper cut in long strips.
Add yellow squash that’s been julienned or cut in long strips.
Add julienned zucchini.
Add celery cut on the diagonal.
Add red pepper flakes.
Stir veggies to combine and saute.
Add crushed tomatoes.
Add finely minced garlic.
Add basil and oregano. The original recipe calls for allspice but I’ve always eliminated that from the recipe because it seemed an odd addition. I would recommend fennel seed or a chopped up fennel bulb for more flavor if you desire it, however.
Cut spaghetti squash in half and remove pulp and seeds. With a fork, remove the strands of squash.
You can see how every bit of spaghetti squash comes out of the shell and leaves nothing behind.
Continue cooking the veggies.
Add the spaghetti squash. This was really a whopper. I probably should have added more crushed tomatoes to make this a little more tomato-ey.
Combine spaghetti squash with all the other veggies in the large Dutch oven.
Spray a large 10×14″ glass baking dish with cooking spray. Spread HALF of the spaghetti squash mixture into the pan.
Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
I added freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Here is the freshly grated Romano cheese. I also added that on top of the Parmesan cheese.
Spread remaining spaghetti squash mixture over top of the cheese layer.
Here’s what that looks like. It pretty well fills up the whole dish!
Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese.
Now sprinkle with the remaining finely grated Parmesan cheese.
Add the finely grated Romano cheese.
Now all the cheese has been added.
Place Spaghetti Squash Parmesan in the oven and bake at 350 about 30 minutes tented with foil, or until casserole gets bubbly.
Here is the casserole fresh out of the oven.
You can see the bubbles on the surface. Tent the casserole with foil while baking (don’t put on tightly or the cheese will stick to the foil), as this will help the cheeses melt and not dry out.
Here’s a serving of this fantastic Spaghetti Squash Parmesan recipe.
Here’s a close up so you can see the gooeyness of the texture.
Spaghetti Squash Parmesan is a fabulous casserole to make for Meatless Mondays or anytime you want a wholesome veggie main dish supper.
Here’s the interior of the casserole.
We served this the second night with Chunky Homemade Salsa and chips.
Here’s the recipe.
SPAGHETTI SQUASH PARMESAN
1 spaghetti squash
10-oz. carrot chips or 2 large carrots, crinkle-cut
2 ribs celery, sliced diagonally
1 large zucchini, julienned
1 large yellow squash, julienned
1 leek, green top removed, quartered and sliced
1 large yellow onion, julienned or one bunch of green onions, sliced
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 orange or yellow bell pepper, julienned
2 tbsp. olive oil
28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 tsp. kosher salt, or to taste
5 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese
about 3-4-oz. block Romano cheese, which when finely grated = about 2 cups
about 3-4-oz. block Parmesan cheese, which when finely grated = about 2 cups
Place squash on cookie sheet and bake in oven about 1 to 1 and ½ hours. (I just placed the squash in the oven on a rack and baked it). Allow to cool slightly so you can work with it. Slice in half and remove seeds. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet and add the onion, leek and carrot. Sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add remaining vegetables, red pepper flakes and season with salt, as desired. Sauté stirring frequently, until vegetables are nearly tender, about 7 to 10 minutes. I cook mine over a lower heat so it took about 15 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, garlic, basil and oregano. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove the strands of meat from the spaghetti squash with a fork. Mix squash with vegetables and put half in the bottom of a large, 10×14″ lightly greased baking dish. (Or spray with cooking spray). Top with half of the cheeses, the remaining squash mixture, and then the remaining cheeses. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes, covered lightly with foil or until cheese is bubbly and slightly browned. Let cool a few minutes before serving. Makes about 10-12 servings.
Spaghetti Squash Parmesan is healthy, low calorie and gluten free!
This is a great way to get your kids to eat their veggies!
Here’s a close up so you can see the surface of the casserole.
Doesn’t Spaghetti squash Parmesan look wonderful?
This mouthwatering recipe should be on your holiday baking list! It’s a great way to get lots of healthy veggies in your diet during a time when Americans consume too much sugar!