Spaghetti Squash N’ Greens Gratin

I discovered spaghetti squash about 6 years ago when my mom served it as a bed for her delicious meaty pasta sauce – I love the slight sweetness it brings to a dish and the long spaghetti-like strands fascinate me. Since my initial encounter, I’ve made spaghetti squash numerous times, incorporating it in a veggie-packed lunch tossed with my arugula and spinach pesto, sauteed chicken and mushrooms or a hearty dinner with my turkey meatballs and spinach sauce and of course more parmesan cheese 🙂

For a sweeter dish, you can bake it with a little butter, honey and ground cinnamon, much like acorn or butternut squash for a delicious side or a light ending to a meal.

A couple weeks back, I was getting a little tired of my usual spaghetti squash recipes and needed to use up a gorgeous, fresh bunch of red chard in the fridge. After flipping through a few cookbooks for inspiration, I googled chard and spaghetti squash and ran across two recipes for a bubbly and cheesy gratin from Kevin at Closet Cooking and Kalyn’s Kitchen. That was all the convincing I needed…off the kitchen I went!

I made a few substitutions to lighten it up and add a little texture — Instead of sour cream, I subbed plain Greek yogurt for creaminess, decreased the parmesan slightly (feel free to add more if you’d like), added a a bit of cayenne and chopped mushrooms and topped it off with sliced almonds for crunch. I divided up the gratin into one 8×8 pan and the rest in two individual gratin dishes, it was delicious and I loved the leftovers! You can serve this vegetable-packed dish as a vegetarian main meal or as a side dish.

Chard and Spaghetti Squash Gratin (adapted from Closet Cooking who adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen)

Ingredients

1 spaghetti squash, cut in half and seeds removed
1 bunch hearty greens (I used red chard but kale or collards work well too), de-stemmed and roughly
1 onion (I used a medium white), diced
2 – 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten (or two egg whites)
3 green onions, chopped
5-7 mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (sour cream could be used if preferred for a richer version)
3/4 cup cottage cheese (I used 1 %)
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese, divided  (romano works too)
small pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 Tbsp sliced almonds

Directions

1. Microwave squash in a shallow dish with about 1/2 inch of water, cover with plastic wrap, and cook on high for 11 minutes (quick method) OR roast spaghetti squash halves in a preheated 400F oven until tender, about 1 hour. If using microwave, preheat oven to 400F.
2. Using a large spoon, scoop the strands out of the squash halves.
3. While the squash is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
4. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 3-5 minutes.
5. Add the garlic and mushrooms, then saute until fragrant, about a minute.
6. Add the chard and saute until it has just wilted, (just a few minutes, it will cook more in the oven).
7. Mix the cooked squash, chard-onion mixture, green onions, egg, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, 1/2 cup parmesan, cayenne, salt and pepper in a large bowl and pour it into a lightly greased gratin or casserole dish or in smaller individual gratin dishes.
8. Sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbsp parmesan and sliced almonds.
9. Bake in a preheated 400F oven until it is bubbling on the sides and golden brown on top, about 30-40 minutes for larger baking dish, 28-30 minutes for smaller dishes. Serve warm and enjoy!

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17 thoughts on “Spaghetti Squash N’ Greens Gratin

  1. Wow, that looks good! Just my kind of dish too. How convenient that squash should be in season. I get the feeling that I too, will be off to the kitchen prepping that very same dish fairly soon.

    Your pics are brilliant, by the way. Make me want to dig right in. 🙂

    • Thanks so much Sonia! Coming from you, that’s a huge compliment 🙂 your photos are always top-notch!
      It’s the cheese that makes it so pretty…bubbling and golden…I can’t ever go wrong with parmesan!

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  5. I made this today. I left out mushrooms and green onions, as I didn’t have any. I think I used way too much kale (you didn’t specify how much we need), as it didn’t look at all like yours and it was very watery. My mother loved it anyway, though.

    • I used a small bunch, whoops – I should have specified a little more! I wonder if your spaghetti squash was more watery than mine? I didn’t have that issue at all but Sonia did as well. I wonder if adding a tablespoon of so of brown rice flour, cornstarch or tapioca starch would help absorb some of the liquid? Or press the greens after cooking for excess moisture? I hope it was yummy nevertheless!

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