Marinara and Kale Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Bowls
Roasted spaghetti squash stuffed with marinara and kale make for a healthy and comforting meal that you can eat straight out of the bowl!
Are you guys as excited as I am that spaghetti squash season has returned?
Based on how much love these got last year, I would guess that you probably are.
If not then I hope this recipe gets you excited but it’s really, REALLY good.
Instead of Mexican, this time we’re going for a little Italian flair (insert jazz hands here).
Because I’m 1/4th Italian which means I know everything there is to know about cooking Italian food.
Exhibit A: Jarred Marinara. From California.
That was sarcasm.
Believe me, nothing would make me happier than having my own Italian garden that produces enough tomatoes to make homemade marinara but I live in a condo with a 3 x 6 foot patio. It’s just not happening. So instead we’re going with jarred marinara for this recipe. And for the record, I happen to love Muir Glen pasta sauce even though it’s not Italian.
Okay, so I know it’s been a while since we’ve cooked with spaghetti squash so I put together a little review on how to prepare it.
Step One: give it a quick little wash then chop off it’s head.
Step Two: tighten your abs, grit your teeth and hold your breath to slice it in half.
Step Three: scrape out the gizzards. (p.s. real gizzards are the grossest thing EVER)
Step Four: lightly massage the outer rim with oil then place it face down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Step Five: Pop it in the oven for about 45 minutes (time will vary depending on how big your squash is), until the outside is slightly pliable.
Step Six: Use a fork to scrape the inside until those fun little spaghetti strands appear!
While the squash cooks, you can prep the sauce by sautéing onion, garlic, and kale with seasonings then add the jar of marinara.
Then you make the bowls by layering a little bit of marinara inside with cottage cheese on top and then another layer of marinara on top of that.
After that you top it off with a little shredded cheese, broil until it’s nice and bubbly then everyone’s new favorite dinner is served! :)
I hope you guys love this one as much as we do! Enjoy!
4 small or 2 large spaghetti squash (approx. 7 pounds total)
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 large onion, diced (approx. 2 cups)
4 garlic cloves, minced (approx. 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt & pepper
pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
1 bunch of kale, stem removed and chopped (approx. 2 cups packed)
25 ounces marinara
16 ounces low-fat (or non-fat) cottage cheese
1 cup shredded Italian blend cheese for topping
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and then line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or two, depending on the size of your squash). Prepare the squash by slicing the top stem off of of each one, then cut them straight down the center into two separate halves. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds and any soft, dark yellow strands. Lightly brush the inner edges with 2 teaspoons of olive oil then place them facing down on the lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the outside is somewhat pliable when you squeeze it (be sure to wear an oven mitt when doing this).
- While the squash is cooking, prepare the filling by warming the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the garlic, oregano, thyme, salt & pepper, and crushed red pepper and stir together. Continue to cook for another 2 minutes then add the kale. Stir together and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until the kale begins to wilt. Pour in the marinara, stir everything together and let sit over low heat.
- Once the squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape the inside so that the strands begin to appear. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the marinara mixture inside then top with about 1/4 cup of the cottage cheese (this is assuming you are using a smaller size squash so it may vary if you are using a larger one). Top with another 1/4 cup marinara then sprinkle with shredded cheese. Repeat until all of the squash are stuffed.
- Lastly, turn the oven to broil and place the squash back on the baking sheet, facing up. Transfer them to the oven and broil until the cheese is golden and bubbly, for about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the oven then using oven mitts to plate the squash. Sprinkle with fresh herbs such as parsley (optional), serve and enjoy!
For a vegan option you can replace the cottage cheese with crumbled tofu or cashew herb cheese. Top with nutritional yeast or shredded non-dairy cheese.
The nutrition facts are for one bowl, assuming you make 4 large bowls (1/4th of the entire recipe). I usually eat about 1/2 to 3/4 of one bowl but my husband eats an entire large bowl. The calories may vary depending on what size spaghetti squash you use.