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.
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.
- 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
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- 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).
- Remove squash from the oven, let it cool slightly and use a fork to scrape the squash into strands. (set aside).
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.