Adapted from Vegan Gastronomy’s Recipe (found on Pinterest)
If you’ve never tried to make a dish out of spaghetti squash, go to the store now (yes, right now!) and buy a spaghetti squash and start testing out recipes. I love spaghetti squash because it’s such a versatile vegetable and goes so well in just about any dish – I’ll make a low-cal spaghetti and meatballs dish or I’ll even chuck some spaghetti squash into a stir fry as a substitute for rice noodles!
I typically prepare spaghetti squash in the microwave rather than the oven or crock pot (though you can use any of those three methods with the same result – I’m only going to give directions for the oven and microwave methods since most people don’t have crock pots that can fit two spaghetti squashes), usually just because I am an impatient little f*er that really wants to be fed in the immediate future. Make sure that you don’t overcook the spaghetti squash because then it looses some of its spaghetti-like consistency.
- 2 small to medium-sized spaghetti squashes
- 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
- 1/2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 white onion, minced
- 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour (use rice flour for a gluten-free version)
- 2 1/2 cups of skim milk
- 1 1/2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 4-5 cups of baby spinach
- 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped
- salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, or to taste
To Prepare the Spaghetti Squash
Begin by poking a lot of holes in the spaghetti squashes with a knife (like a lot of holes). Make sure the holes go all around each spaghetti squash, in every rotational direction. So a lot of holes.
Microwave Method: Place one spaghetti squash in the microwave on top of a few paper towels or a dish towel. Microwave the spaghetti squash for about 10-12 minutes, or until the squash is tender enough to cut through it easily. Be careful while removing the spaghetti squash from the microwave as the spaghetti squash will be hotter than all hell. Slice the spaghetti squash in half and set aside to cool.
Once it is cool enough to handle, use a spoon or fork (or spork?) to remove (and discard) the seeds from the center of each half of spaghetti squash. Using a fork, separate the flesh of the spaghetti squash from the outer shell and place the flesh in a big bowl; the flesh should come out in spaghetti-like strands. Repeat this whole process with the other spaghetti squash.
Oven Method: Preheat the oven to 375ºF and lightly grease a baking sheet. Using a chef’s knife, cut each spaghetti squash in half and remove the seeds with a spoon. Place the spaghetti squash halves on the baking sheet and pop into the oven for about an hour. Let the spaghetti squash cool for a minutes; at this time, the spaghetti squash halves should be tender enough to separate the flesh of the spaghetti squash from the outer shell with a fork (and place the innards in a big bowl).
For the Casserole
Preheat the oven to 375ºF and grease a large pyrex or casserole dish. In a large sauce pan/pot, heat the butter and olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until the minced onions go clear. Add the flour and whisk or stir to combine – reduce the heat to low heat and stir the ingredients together for a few minutes.
At this time, raise the heat to medium and, 1/2 cup by 1/2 cup, add the milk to the pan. Keep stirring the milk to combine it with the other ingredients; as you add the milk until the mixture smoothes and starts to simmer/bubble a bit. Leave the milk to simmer in the pot and thicken a bit in consistency. The mixture should start to look like a thick sauce.
Lower the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese, combining until the sauce is smooth and the cheese is completely melted into the sauce. Slowly add the spinach to the pot, stirring and folding the spinach into the sauce as you go. Add the parsley, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Last, stir in the spaghetti squash to the sauce. Stir to mix and then pour the contents of the pan into the casserole dish.
Sprinkle the top of the dish with Parmesan cheese (the more, the better!) and place the dish in the oven; bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the top is bubbling and the Parmesan cheese has turned golden. Remove the dish from the oven and let the casserole cool for 5 minutes before serving.