Cheesy Spinach Spaghetti Squash
Growing up all I could dream of was how delectable my mom's squash casserole was. To this day it is by far my favorite thing she makes. My heart just lights up when I come home and she says to me, "there's a squash casserole for you in the fridge."
When the holidays roll around and everyone has my mom's pecan pie in her arms (yes she makes a minimum of four pies a year) I'm walking out of the living room with a full squash casserole in my hands (just for me).
Now that I'm older, I realize how important it is to be healthier, especially around the fall when we're tempted by all of the sugary goodness that comes with the season. This year I've tried to have a more plant based diet. And what better way to do it than include a little inspiration from my mom. This spaghetti squash recipe is perfect for families or, if you're like me, a household of one (plus roommate).
Cheesy Spinach Spaghetti Squash
1 medium spaghetti squash (To find this delectable squash I recommend your local Publix, Fresh Market, or Trader Joe's)
3 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp olive oil
7 oz fresh spinach chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/3 tbsp cream cheese
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (save about 1/4 of this for the top!)
1/4 cup of freshly grated mozzarella cheese
Pre-heat oven to 400 F degrees.
There are two options for slicing your spaghetti squash. Most recipes tell you to slice it down the middle, but I prefer to make multiple slices. This will leave your spaghetti squash shaped like little rings. I find that by doing this it will leave your squash noodles longer once the vegetable has been roasted.
Tip: This squash can be hard to handle! To make your life a little easier pierce it a few times with a knight, and pop it in the microwave for about 4 minutes. By piercing the squash it will prevent the vegetable from popping while being warmed up.
The next thing you'll want to do is grab a lipped pan, and place your baking sheet on top.
Take a tiny bit of olive oil and sprinkle it over your squash, you want enough to add the flavor but not enough to make the pan overly greasy. Then place on the baking sheet. Roast the squash in the oven for about 30-35 minutes.
You will know your spaghetti squash is ready when you can stick the top of the surface with a fork.
While the squash is in the oven, you can start on the sauce.
In a medium pan or pot, set the eye on the stove to a medium-high heat. Drizzle the pan with olive oil and sauté the minced garlic until fragrant. Next, add the spinach and stir until wilted.
Add your cream, cream cheese, and parmesan cheese and stir until combined. Add a dash of salt and pepper, then remove from heat after the taste is up to your standard.
Once the spaghetti squash is finished roasting, set it aside and allow for it to cool until you can handle it in your hand (or if you're impatient like me, grab an oven mitt). Hold the squash in your hand and use a fork to poke, pod, and fluff the strands of spaghetti squash.
I prefer making mine in a casserole dish. If you have left your squash in it's boat you may pour the sauce over the squash, stir a little, and top it with a little of your leftover cheese. You can repeat this same technique in a casserole dish.
Lower your oven to 350 F degrees and bake for about 20 minutes or until it begins to bubble. To get a deliciously golden cheesy top, turn your oven to broil for a minute or two. Then, dig in while it's nice and hot, or place in Tupperware for meal prep!
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