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 140 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

 

247 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Tracy Radack
    10.02.2022

    This recipe will change your mind about spaghetti squash (if you’ve always felt is was soggy!) SO much flavor, very straightforward and healthy!! I only made half tonight but can’t wait to share the other half With my husband who is a spaghetti squash skeptic!! Delish!!!

  2. Laurie A from abelabodycare.blogspot.com
    10.02.2022

    This was my favorite spaghetti squash dish so far! Thank you for sharing a recipe that we’re both happy to eat. I’ll definitely be making it again.

  3. Sheryl Jackson
    09.22.2022

    This was so delicious!! Thank you!!
    We ate it all before I saw that you wanted a picture!!

  4. Olivia
    09.19.2022

    Can you freeze and reheat this dish? I would like to do it as part of my freezer meal prep. Thank you!

  5. Toni
    08.18.2022

    What a wonderful way of eating spaghetti squash. not only was it delicious all the flavors went so well together and a very healthy dish as well. Definitely going on my make again list and would love to serve it at a dinner party.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.19.2022

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  6. Alem
    07.21.2022

    Great recipe for a different way to eat spaghetti squash. Loved the kick of rosemary and the squash and chickpea went really well together. Added green olives, pickled jalapenos, nutritional yeast instead of cheese, lots of italian seasoning and pepper flakes. . Made for a hearty lunch.

  7. Liz
    06.15.2022

    Thank you for this recipe!!! The perfect way to roast them, so good and tender not mushy at all😄 and this dish was amazing!!! Used spinach instead of kale, didn’t have any 🙁

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.18.2022

      I’m so glad you loved the spaghetti squash!

  8. Gayle
    05.06.2022

    Thank you for this recipe and the how to cook spaghetti squash recipe. I never liked it with sauce either. This is so good. I substituted with what was on hand (white beans, bok choy leaves, and capers).

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.07.2022

      Oh yum, I’m so glad you loved the squash!

  9. Patty
    04.18.2022

    Made this for my vegan guests on Easter and it was a huge hit. My non-vegan guests were asking for the recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.27.2022

      I’m so glad it was such a hit!

  10. Michele
    04.04.2022

    Wow this was so delicious! You have changed my mind about Spaghetti squash. I tried spaghetti squash 10 years ago and hated it but today I thought I give this recipe a try and glad I did!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.05.2022

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  11. Cathy
    04.01.2022

    This was so much more flavorable than expected! Quite delicious. We added both the green olives and the sun dried tomatoes. Yum

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.02.2022

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  12. Shannon Thorpe
    03.06.2022

    I plan to make the spaghetti squash, cheek peas and kale recipe this week. Looks so delicious. I am type two diabetic and this recipe should fit right in with my eating plan. I will comment on how the recipe tasted.

  13. Maureen
    02.25.2022

    I didn’t have fresh rosemary, so I made it more Mediterranean ….substituted Zaatar for the Rosemary and added chopped olives and Feta cheese instead of the Parmesan, everything else the same…SO GOOD!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.27.2022

      Hi Maureen, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  14. Sheila Palmer
    02.22.2022

    This was so delicious. I love the chickpeas and lemon. Plus the fresh Rosemary! So quick, as I had half of a huge spaghetti squash from the previous day. I did omit the Parmesan on my portion but the family used it and also raved! Wonderful flavors. Thank you!

  15. Sus
    02.10.2022

    Getting ready to make this. Sounds really good. It says preheat oven but it doesn’t say when to put it in the oven or how long!

  16. Janet Sullivan
    01.22.2022

    Delicious! I made it with sun dried tomatoes AND capers. I think it is a good meal for non-vegetarians as it is so flavorful. Quickly becoming a favorite at my house…. Another time, I did add some regular spaghetti as I had unexpected guests show up and needed to extend the dish – it was just as delicious.

  17. Whitney
    01.21.2022

    I totally forgot about the rosemary but it did not matter. We absolutely LOVED this recipe. My fiancé asked for it weekly. Jokingly, but I think he would still go for it.
    One of the best vegetarian recipes I’ve ever had. I will be saving this for future reference.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.22.2022

      I’m so glad you both loved it!

  18. Made Spaghetti Squash with Kale and Chickpeas. Delicious recipe! I wish I had had fresh rosemary. I think that would have made this perfect. Low fat but filling and I would guess nutritious, given chickpeas, kale and cheese.

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.