Nutrition in Pregnancy: Spaghetti Squash Casserole

When I lived in Phoenix, the first True Food Kitchen opened up near my house, and I fell in love with their spaghetti squash casserole. It was so amazing! The True Food here in Denver doesn’t have it, which is a major bummer – but this recipe gets us close. And it’s great for nutrition! The squash brings you plenty of vitamins, minerals and fiber, and you get some calcium and protein in the mozzarella (plus fresh mozzarella is delicious). Here’s how it goes:

  • 1 largish spaghetti squash
  • olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced and carmelized
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce, around 25 oz
  • dried or fresh oregano, thyme, and parsley
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese

To begin, wash the spaghetti squash and slice it in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and strings. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place face down on a baking sheet with a small amount of water (about 1/4 cup). Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour, or until tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

While squash is cooling, caramelize the onions by cooking in olive oil in a heavy skillet for 25 minutes or so, tossing frequently with tongs. When the squash is cool, scoop out flesh with a fork and place in a bowl. As you break it apart, it should start to look a lot like spaghetti noodles.

To assemble the casserole, layer half of the squash in a baking dish, top with half of the onions, lightly sprinkle with herbs and half of the parmesan. Top with 1 1/2 cups of sauce. Repeat for the next layer with the remaining ingredients, and top with mozzarella cheese. (I chop up the mozzarella slices a bit and arrange them, but you can just lay them on whole if you wish. You can also use mozzarella pearls here).

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until it is bubbly and cheese is a bit browned. Let sit for 5 minutes, and enjoy with some crusty bread and olive oil.