Warning: this tastes like it’s bad for you.
Many baked and cheesy foods leave you feeling heavy, like you have to eat kale salad or go on a juice fast for 7 days straight (not that I’d mind, bring on the kale!) to counteract the effect of whatever you just ate. But sometimes comfort food is just what your body craves. Sometimes your tummy just needs to be full of warm and cheesy deliciousness.
But be of good cheer, I have wonderful news! The exact recipe you are currently reading is comforting, filling, warm, full of cheesy deliciousness… and doesn’t leave you feeling like you just ate a 5-10 pound free weight!
Healthy comfort food. Now how great is that? Baked Spaghetti Squash is the perfect cold weather dish. It is naturally gluten free, can easily be made vegan, and is pretty much loved by everyone who has tasted it. So it is a great dish to make for any friends or family with special dietary needs.
Special thanks to my friend Julio, of Julio-Adrian Photography for collaborating with me on photography for this post. Between the two of us shooting (mostly Julio), there were so many beautiful photographs!
Makes enough for 4-6
1 large spaghetti squash (2-3 pounds)
1 large zucchini, or 3-4 small, shredded
2 small sweet onions, caramelized
1+ cup or large jar tomato sauce, you may need more depending on the size of your squash (You can make your own, but I used Dave’s Organic Red Heirloom Pasta Sauce that I fancied up a bit with some herbs and spices. )
salt & pepper
1 block of mozzarella (Just use as much as you’d like, I go for more cheese. The cheesier the better!) - Vegans can substitute Mozzarella Daiya
1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano (cow’s milk) or pecorino romano (sheep’s milk) - Vegans can omit
1 bunch fresh thyme
Begin by preheating your oven to 360 degrees Fahrenheit.
There are two possible methods of cooking the spaghetti squash (both require piercing of the squash with a fork so it doesn’t explode as it cooks). One is roasting at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes to an hour, until the skin is nicely browned. The other option is to cook it in the microwave for about 12-15 minutes on high (the time depends on your microwave’s power). Either work, it’s simply a matter of personal preference, and how much time you have on your hands.
While the squash is cooking, prepare the other ingredients. Grate the zucchini and cheeses, sauté the onions. Once the onions have finished sautéing, add the tomato sauce to the pan to heat. Stir to combine onions and sauce. Add spices if desired. I added oregano, cayenne for a little heat, and cracked black pepper. Stir to combine.
Allow squash to cool, and cut in half lengthwise. Remove seeds. Using a fork, remove the “spaghetti” flesh of the squash into a large bowl. Add the zucchini and sauce. Mix throughly to combine. Spoon the mixture evenly into a baking dish. Top with mozzarella and parmigiano reggiano. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, until cheese is golden brown in spots and bubbling.
Remove from oven, and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Cut and serve warm. Enjoy!