Spaghetti Squash w/ Chickpeas & Kale

Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas and Kale / @loveandlemons #glutenfree

The first time I had spaghetti squash, it was served with a big scoop of store-bought marinara sauce mixed in. It was slimy and goop-y and decidedly not spaghetti-like.

About a month ago, ditching the pasta idea completely, I planned a post for bbq spaghetti squash tacos. I have a super cute photo to prove that the meal existed, but the recipe ended in total disaster.

So, long story short, I’ve learned that I prefer my spaghetti squash as simple as possible and most importantly: sauce-less. The roasted strands come out of the oven with a nice al-dente bite but, smothered in sauce, they become just too mushy for me.

Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas and Kale / @loveandlemons #glutenfree Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas and Kale / @loveandlemons #glutenfree

In this recipe, the roasted squash strands are lightly tossed with olive oil, garlic, rosemary, and a good squeeze of lemon. I added chickpeas and kale to make it a full meal and toasted some pine nuts for crunch. Sun dried tomatoes add a nice pop of flavor but you could add anything briny that you like – capers, or maybe some chopped kalamata olives.

So while spaghetti squash is not pasta and it never will be, this veggie-packed bowl just moved up my list as a healthy weeknight favorite.

Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas and Kale / @loveandlemons #glutenfree

5.0 from 9 reviews
Spaghetti Squash w/ Chickpeas & Kale
 
Serves: serves about 2-3
Ingredients
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, sliced thinly
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • pinch of chile flakes
  • ½ cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (packed) cups of chopped kale leaves
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • ¼ cup chopped sun dried tomatoes (or capers or olives)
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • salt & pepper
  • optional: a bit of freshly grated parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Slice your squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and pulp from the middle. Place the squash on a baking sheet, cut side up. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 1 hour or until the flesh is tender and you can scrape noodle-like strands with a fork. (If your squash is difficult to cut, roast it whole for the first 20 minutes until it softens a bit, then cut and continue).
  3. Remove squash from the oven, let it cool slightly and use a fork to scrape the squash into strands. (set aside).
  4. In a large skillet over medium heat, add enough olive oil to lightly coat the pan, then add the shallot, garlic, rosemary, chile flakes, salt and pepper. (I added my garlic clove whole and removed it later).
  5. Once the shallot starts to soften, add the chickpeas and cook for a few minutes until they turn lightly golden brown. Remove the garlic clove, and add the kale leaves, lemon juice, and then give everything in the pan a good stir.
  6. Once the kale is partially wilted, add the squash strands, a little grated cheese, sun dried tomatoes, and more salt and pepper, to taste. Toss to incorporate. Remove from heat and top with toasted pine nuts and extra grated cheese.
Notes
vegan option - skip the cheese

 


If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.

94 comments

  1. This looks amazing and I’ll definitely try it out! Pinned!

  2. Rachel Cooks from rachelcooks.com on said:

    I’ve always had spaghetti squash with marinara and also found it gets kind of wet, like it needs to be drained or something. Can’t wait to try your version.

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      that’s what I thought too :)

  3. Mareen from eenysuniverse.blogspot.com on said:

    it looks and sounds so delious. i wish i could find some spaghetti squash anywhere. somehow the seem to not sell them anywhere here.

  4. I am SO with you. I like my spaghetti squash sauce-less as well. Love the chickpeas and kale in there. Yum!

  5. Kathryn from londonbakes.com on said:

    I’m going to keep a real look out for spaghetti squash from now on – you don’t often seen them in the UK and I couldn’t see how they would be non-mushy – but this recipe sounds delightful. So bright and fresh.

  6. Yum! I seriously have to get my hands on some spaghetti squash :)

  7. I’ve got 2 spaghetti squash needing so loving. I think one of them is going to get this very simple yet elegant treatment! Thanks for sharing :)

  8. I like your simpler approach to spaghetti squash. Allowing it to be its own thing rather than mimicking other foods should be a lot more satisfying anyways. The kale, pine nuts, and sun-dried tomatoes look like a great combo here.

    • Turner on said:

      My thoughts exactly!

  9. YUM! This makes me want to go out and buy a spaghetti squash ASAP.

  10. yum yum yum, spaghetti squash is one of my favorite parts of fall, and I love introducing it to people who have never heard of it or seen it in action. and you said it right, it’ll never be pasta, but it’s versatility with flavors make it a suitable wannabe. yum! xx

  11. yum yum yum, spaghetti squash is one of my favorite parts of fall, and I love introducing it to people who have never heard of it or seen it in action. and you said it right, it’ll never be pasta, but it’s versatility with flavors make it a suitable wannabe. xx

  12. yum yum yum, spaghetti squash is one of my favorite parts of fall, and I love introducing it to people who have never heard of it or seen it in action. and you said it right, it’ll never be pasta, but it’s versatility with flavors make it a suitable wannabe. xx

  13. Heather Mason from nuttynutritionistheather.com on said:

    Yes, I love this idea. I think that spaghetti sauce should not be seen as a replacement for spaghetti, but something entirely different. I love the sauce-less idea! Definitely going to try this. Not a fan of sun-dried tomatoes so I think I will try the olives!

  14. I have to agree with you. It always turns up slimey and watery for me when I add sauce. I cannot wait to try this recipe though. Thank you for the inspiration!

  15. Eileen from hampiesandwiches.blogspot.com on said:

    I definitely agree that spaghetti squash treated like actual spaghetti leaves something to be desired. But this combination with hearty greens and chickpeas sounds fabulous!

  16. Elizabeth from themotherhubbardscupboard.com on said:

    My experience

  17. Elizabeth from themotherhubbardscupboard.com on said:

    My experience was the same as your the first time I had spaghetti squash, so I have avoided it since… I will have a go at this recipe as I have some beautiful kale growing in my garden! Thanks for sharing! Liz x

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  19. Alex from dalyankofte.tarifi.info on said:

    It looks great. I must try. Thanks for the recipe

  20. Loving your simple approach and how versatile this is with any veggies. Putting it on my list to try next week!

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  22. Candice on said:

    I have always wanted to try spaghetti squash but I have NEVER been able to find one. I’m iriginally from Australia and nor year I searched in fruit and veg markets everywhere, but no luck! :( nowadays I live in Germany, but still haven’t spotted one here..! Any tips on where to find one?

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Aw, I’m not sure, maybe they’re grown more in the US than other places?

  23. I love spaghetti squash. I am always surprised what wonderful food dishes
    uses that squash as the main foundation. This is a wonderful example.

  24. I’m a big fan of spaghetti squash, but I agree, the more sauce and toppings involved, the worse for wear the spaghetti squash gets. I’m trying to get some more of my family members on board with it, though. They tend to shy away from things like this, haha.

  25. I completely agree with you on sauce making spaghetti squash mushy! Keeping it simple is totally the way to go :)

  26. What a beautiful dish. Love the simplicity of it, but at the same time it sounds so flavourful!!

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  29. rae from lovefromberlin.net on said:

    Great post, I have never actually had spaghetti squash but i am def. not a fan of normal soggy spaghetti so will have to take your word for it and avoid sauce with spaghetti squash at all costs! This recipe looks great. bookmarking it! And – lovely photography as always.

    rae of love from berlin

  30. Pingback: spaghetti squash w/ chickpeas & kale | Love and Lemons » webindex24.ch - News aus dem Web

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  32. Lisa Slovin from thirdactevolution,wordpress.com on said:

    Absolutely positively delicious! Here’s a photo:
    /Users/llslovin/Desktop/DSCN2087.JPG
    I made the vegan version and used capers. The mix of flavors is fantastic. Can’t wait to blog about this one!!

  33. Judy on said:

    I made this last night and it was absolutely delicious!!! This is definitely a new favourite in our house. Thank you!

  34. I’ve always found the same thing with spaghetti squash – way too runny and mushy when mixed with sauce even though the flavor is fantastic. I love the simplicity of this recipe – letting the spaghetti squash shine!

  35. Allison on said:

    This was my first time trying spaghetti squash and I really enjoyed this dish. I think the squash I used was unusually large so the ratio of “spaghetti” to toppings was a bit off. Next time I would add more of the “good stuff,” but great flavor combo nonetheless!

  36. Samantha on said:

    I love this recipe! It was so easy to make-especially when you allow enough time for the spaghetti squash to cool. The flavors were refreshing and crisp. I always feel so empowered when I make such a colorful and fresh vegetarian meal! Thank you for all of the inspiration!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Hi Samantha, I’m so glad you liked it!

  37. Sofia on said:

    I just made this with some substitutions and it was fantastic! This was my first time cooking spaghetti squash and it was delicious and very easy. I used chicken instead of chickpeas (I just cooked it in the oven at the same time as the last fifteen minutes of the squash); collard greens instead of kale; and sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts. Thanks you so much for sharing such a wonderful recipe! I can’t wait to try other types of squash :o)

  38. Jill from jillheffron.com on said:

    Made this dish yesterday and it was delicious! I substituted rainbow chard for the kale (I know it’s good for me, but I just don’t like it!), and instead of sundried tomatoes, which I find to be too acidic, I roasted some cherry tomato halves tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper for 1 hour at 200 degrees, then for 20 minutes at 300 degrees. I really loved the combination of flavors and textures in this dish. Thank you for the inspiration!

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  40. Laura on said:

    Delicious idea, it’s cooking right now on the stove and smells wonderful. I have gone with capers as I love them. Can’t wait to eat!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Hope you liked it! I love capers too :)

  41. Emma from emmaslittlekitchen.com on said:

    I made this last night- the hubby and I LOVED it! Such a simple, fresh and light dish for the autumn and winter. I think you hit the nail on the head but letting squash be squash. The only other time I tried spaghetti squash, I did the marinara thing and it was hugely disappointing. We will be making this one again for sure!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Hi Emma – yay, I love hearing about squash success! Glad you and your husband both loved it.

  42. Pingback: spaghetti squash w/ chickpeas & kale – Recipe by Love and Lemons » webindex24.ch - News aus dem Web

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  44. Jo from ahappyblog.com on said:

    All of my favorites, can’t wait to try this tonight! Thank you.

  45. Jamie on said:

    I made this recipe for the forts time tonight and I have to say, I was so impressed. The flavors are perfect with one another!

  46. Foodeaser(dot)com on said:

    Yum Yum

  47. Megan on said:

    I pinned this recipe a couple months and I don’t know why it took me this long to make it! It was delicious and super flavorful. The sun-dried tomatoes are a really nice touch!

  48. Megan on said:

    I pinned this recipe a couple months ago and I don’t know why it took me this long to make it! It was delicious and super flavorful. The sun-dried tomatoes are a really nice touch!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Ha, well I’m so glad you liked it :)

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  52. wendy on said:

    I started a mostly vegan diet and thought that i was doomed because i couldn’t find any recipes i liked. I figured I’d be stuck eating plain raw veggies. I just made this and it was sooooo good! I love the mixture of the different spices and all the different textures of the food. I will definitely be making this again!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Aw, I’m so glad – I hope you find some more delicious things so you don’t feel so doomed!

  53. Lillypilly on said:

    Where I am these squash vary in size, how large or small is the one this recipe uses?

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Mine was sort of medium in size – I’d say I used around 5 cups full in the recipe.

  54. sara from dogmemad.wordpress.com on said:

    thanks for this recipe, which saved me from throwing out a spaghetti squash from the co-op bag that had been lying around for ages since i hadn’t been able to find inspiring way to use it – like you i find that the whole idea of uding it like spaghetti really doesn’t do it for me. i left out the dried tomatoes but used a nice portion of parmesan and it all worked out quite well – although i have to say i’ll never choose to buy a spaghetti squash and i do hope they won’t be adding them too often to my subscription bag…

  55. Traunza on said:

    Made this tonight. It was pretty good! Sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts are what set it off. Spaghetti squash was just a wee bit mushy. Overall good, I would make it again.

    • Traunza on said:

      Update–This dish got better the next day, after the flavors had melded a bit. Will definitely make again!

  56. Julia on said:

    Just tried the recipe -Delicious!!

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  59. Cher on said:

    Love your site

  60. Becky on said:

    I’m looking forward to making this tonight. Can I make the spaghetti squash ahead of time?

  61. Sally from lifeloving.co.uk on said:

    I love spaghetti squash so this is a great recipe to try. The only downside is that spaghetti squash is hard to come by in the UK. I’ve seen it sporadically in Waitrose. Do any others in the UK have suggestions on where you can get it?

  62. Jan on said:

    This is delishious! Used dried rosemary and roasted sunflower seeds. I did not use cheese.

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  72. Seema on said:

    It turned out so nice! Thanks for the recipe.t

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  74. Hope on said:

    This recipe has become one of our favorites in the fall/winter. I make it probably every other week. I use spinach instead of kale because my husband and I are spinach aficionados. I also add capers and use goat cheese instead of Parmesan. Add the goat cheese right before serving and it melts a bit to take on a creamy sauce-like texture. Fantastic!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Hi Hope – that makes my day to hear! Your version sounds so delicious!

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  76. Rachel on said:

    this dish was INSANELY good!! can’t wait to make it again.
    used sundried tomaotes (not in oil) and soaked in water for a little bit before adding in.

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  78. Marla from marlasmuffins.com on said:

    Just made this for dinner. YUM! Thank you for the recipe:)

  79. Kim on said:

    Terrific recipe that was easy to follow and resulted in a delicious dinner!

  80. rachel waters on said:

    I’m making this tonight w/some sauteed mushrooms instead of sun-dried tomatoes and am quite excited. Thank you for the great idea!!

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