Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Easy and Delicious Spaghetti Squash Casserole

I really like to cook and make new things but with my new work schedule I have had limited time at home.  This means I have been eating lots of easy to make meals like casseroles, pbj sandwiches, eggs, and hummus. 
I wanted to branch out a little and try something new and went through my long bookmarked recipe list.  I found this recipe from Real Simple last year and thought it sounded good and relatively easy to make.  After looking over it again I thought I could add some more to it to give it a little punch.  
I decided to add fresh spinach and marinara sauce.  Then I read the comments below which mentioned that it needed some more flavor so I added some Italian herbs to the ricotta mixture.  Someone also suggested adding beans which sounded good to me to give it some more protein.
Before this I had only eaten spaghetti squash once, but I am usually up for trying something new so I went for it.  The whole thing was pretty easy to make.  I simply roasted the squash, shredded it, and then layered everything in a baking dish to stick in the oven.

Spaghetti Squash Casserole (adapted from Real Simple)

1 3lb Spaghetti Sqaush
15 oz Fat Free Ricotta Cheese
1 Egg
15 oz can Cannelloni Beans
1 Tbs Italian Seasoning 
3 cups Fresh Spinach
1-2 cups Marinara Sauce
5 -8 oz Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
Salt, Pepper & Garlic Powder to taste (1-2 tsp each)
Olive Oil

1. Slice the squash in half long ways and scoop out seeds.  Then cover sliced side with olive oil and a little salt and pepper.  Place cut side down on a baking sheet.  Roast 45 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
2. Meanwhile in a bowl mix together the ricotta cheese, egg, beans, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic.  Also shred the mozzarella cheese and put to the side.

3. Once squash is done use a fork to scrape out the spaghetti-like strands.  
4.  Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.  Then layer spaghetti squash, the ricotta mixture, fresh spinach, marinara sauce, and top with mozzarella.  

5.  Bake 20-30 minutes until the dish is bubbly and cheese is melted. Enjoy!

More veggies could definitely be added to this and everything could just be mixed together instead of layered if you wanted.  Next time I think I am going to add zucchini and maybe mushrooms.  It is not the prettiest meal all mixed together but it was really tasty and filling.  I love the idea of using the squash as a noodle substitute.  It is a great vegetarian meal to add to my recipe book!

Have you had spaghetti squash before?  If you have any casserole or easy weeknight meal suggestions please share!