Spaghetti Squash w/ Chickpeas & Kale

Sun-dried tomatoes give this vegan spaghetti squash recipe a savory pop. Hearty from chickpeas & kale, it's a great fall or winter weeknight dinner.

Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas and Kale

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. Check out this post to see how I cook spaghetti squash to get the yummy al dente strands you’ll want for this recipe.

Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas and Kale Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas and Kale

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 – freshly roasted tomatoes, 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

If you loved this recipe, try these roasted fall vegetable recipes next:


5.0 from 160 reviews

Spaghetti Squash w/ Chickpeas & Kale

 
This easy spaghetti squash with kale is a great healthy weeknight dinner! Flavored with rosemary, lemon, and sun-dried tomatoes, it's a delicious vegan and gluten-free dish.
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 2 to 3
Ingredients
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, sliced thinly
  • 1 whole garlic clove
  • ½ tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • Pinch of chile flakes
  • ½ cup chickpeas, cooked drained and rinsed (or roasted)
  • 2 (packed) cups chopped kale leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (or capers or olives)
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Prepare your squash following the directions in this post.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, add enough olive oil to lightly coat the pan, then add the shallots, the whole garlic clove (we’ll remove it later), rosemary, chile flakes, and pinches of salt and pepper.
  4. Once the shallot starts to soften add the chickpeas and cook for a few minutes until lightly golden brown. If you’re using roasted chickpeas, add them at the end of the recipe instead. Remove the garlic clove, add the kale and lemon juice, and stir.
  5. Once the kale is partially wilted, add the squash strands, the sun-dried tomatoes, a little grated Parmesan, 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

 

278 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Lucca
    01.29.2023

    I made this delicious recipe, but I altered it to make to make it suitable for a family member that has GERD. I left out the pepper, garlic and chili flakes. It was delicious! Roasting the squash in the oven really enhances the flavor of it. It only take 20 minutes and it was better than ever.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.30.2023

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Kay
    01.27.2023

    Wonderful recipe but, I would never roast spaghetti squash in the oven when it’s so easy to cook in microwave!

  3. Kristy
    01.11.2023

    Absolutely one of the best spaghetti squash recipes I have ever made!!! Fabulous!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      01.13.2023

      Hi Kristy, so glad you loved it!

  4. Robin
    01.11.2023

    I love this recipe and have made it several times as written. Tonight I riffed on it because of what I had in the fridge. Subbed frozen spinach for kale, a few canned plum tomatoes, olives and tofu cubes I baked along with the squash. Threw in chopped garlic clove along with the rosemary. Small spaghetti squash was perfectly done at 30 minutes. Topped with chopped walnuts and nutritional yeast. So happy with how it turned out.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      01.13.2023

      That sounds so yummy! Great to hear you love the recipe.

  5. Maggie
    12.21.2022

    I tried it – unfortunately the squash was definitely overdone at 45 minutes. I think my squash maybe ws on the small side. But the flavours were great – will definitely try again!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      12.22.2022

      Hi Maggie, A small squash can take as little as 30 minutes to roast, so I’d start checking it then. Glad you loved the flavors!

  6. Carla @ Foodie Digital
    12.06.2022

    I’ve always loved spaghetti squash, but my husband has refused to eat it for years, complaining that its mushy texture was no stand-in for pasta with marina sauce. This recipe has CHANGED all that. We both loved the firm texture of the squash as well as the chickpea/kale sauté. I am allowed to buy it again 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.07.2022

      Hi Carla, I’m so happy to hear that! Glad you’re both enjoying the squash now 🙂

  7. Christine Whittington
    11.20.2022

    I have never been a big fan of spaghetti squash (or zoodles) because it seems like a fake food–pseudo spaghetti. This dish, on the other hand, is wonderful. The flavor is exquisite, thanks to the aromatics, Parmesan (which we did add), the pine nuts, the sun-dried tomatoes. and the drizzling the spaghetti squash with a really flavorful olive oil. I am going to get a spaghetti squash every time I go to the store.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.22.2022

      Hi Christine, I’m so glad you’ve been converted to spaghetti squash!

  8. Ang
    11.20.2022

    I have never enjoyed spaghetti squash. My husband bought one despite my protests and I let it sit on the counter for weeks!
    I love love loved this recipe.
    Thank you so so much for this recipe!

    • Christine Whittington
      11.20.2022

      Same! I always thought of spaghetti squash as “pseudo spaghetti,” but this recipe puts it in a whole other universe! Followed the recipe exactly. I do have to wonder, though, if you used a chain saw to split your spaghetti squash?

      • Theresa Capri
        12.06.2022

        Oh I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who found the rind super hard! In reply to my vocal struggling, by husband asked if he could help. I finally got it cut open, but there was no way I was going to pierce it with a fork for roasting.
        I made this and it was very good. I accidentally cooked the squash longer than the recipe called for, but it was fine really. I used collards out of the garden, chopped the garlic and left it in and was worried the rosemary would be too strong, so only put in 1 tsp and it wasn’t overpowering at that. Didn’t have pine nuts, so used toasted walnuts. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.22.2022

      Hi Ang, I’m so glad it was a hit!

  9. Jamie lynn
    11.16.2022

    This recipe is a winner! All the ingredients compliment each other well. I plan to make this again. Thanks for sharing!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      11.18.2022

      Hi Jamie, I’m so glad you loved it!

  10. lori
    11.11.2022

    How would you prepare ahead and reheat for a dinner party?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      11.17.2022

      Hi Lori, I would roast the squash ahead of time, up to 3 days in advance. Then, I’d do the stovetop part of the recipe (sautéing the shallot, kale, etc.) just before serving, which will also reheat the squash.

  11. Abby
    10.24.2022

    So delicious! Have made this at least 10 times now. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Phoebe Moore
      10.28.2022

      I’m so glad you enjoy the recipe!

  12. KRJRWR
    10.17.2022

    Ah👏ma👏zing👏!!
    New go to for spaghetti squash! Bye bye marinara ✌️
    Thank you so much for sharing this ❤️

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.21.2022

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.