Let’s talk about squash again. I am on a roll with all these squash recipes. This is a great dish — hearty, comforting and still managing to be light and healthy. A single (huge!) serving is only 8 Weight Watchers Points Plus.
I am classifying this as a Sunday Supper because it *can* take a while to put together so I feel it’s only fair to give you an accurate warning. The *can* part comes in depending on when you cook the squash.
If you plan to cook the squash in advance, cook it to the instructions, let it cool, shred with a fork and put in the fridge, this dish will come together really quickly.
If, however, you decide to do the entire dish at once, by first cooking the squash, then making the casserole, that’s what would earn it the Sunday Supper tag. The casserole needs about an hour in the oven after the squash is prepared, so it might not be a weeknight mainstay, but even going the Sunday Supper route, it is absolutely worth making during the weekend or on a day when you have the time!
The first time I made this, I didn’t put a topping on it. We all really loved the flavors but it was just missing something. After a bit of experimenting and tweaking, I decided to go with a simplified version of the topping I use for my Cheesey Baked Spinach and Artichoke Dip. I am really in love with the finished casserole and think you will be too!
- Spaghetti Squash Cooking Methods – my favorite way to cook spaghetti squash is to roast it. I have detailed instructions in this Spaghetti Squash with White Bean + Mushroom Ragout post. I suggest roasting the squash a day or two before you make this and just keeping it in the fridge. If you are pressed for time, another method is microwaving, here is a tutorial with instructions for how to do that.
- I made this with Beef, but I think ground Turkey or Chicken would substitute very nicely. A vegetarian idea would be to omit the meat and use a pound of mushrooms – I think a combination of Shitake, Crimini or Portobello would add great texture and give that Umami flavor to the dish.
- This reheated great in both the microwave and oven and is freezer-friendly!
- 1 large spaghetti squash, approximately 8 cups cooked
- 1 egg
- 15-ounce container full fat ricotta cheese
- ¾ cup packed parsley leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 medium cloves garlic
- 1 small yellow onion
- ½ pound lean ground beef
- 1 head dinosaur kale, stems removed and sliced into thin ribbons
- 2 cups (or 1 14.5-ounce can) crushed tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
- pinch salt
- If you haven't already cooked the squash, see NOTES section above for a couple different methods and complete the cooking before proceeding.
- Pull parsley leaves off stems (some stems are OK) and pack into a ¾ measuring cup. Roughly chop and set aside. Chop garlic and onion. Remove kale leaves from stems and slice into thin ribbons.
- Combine egg, ricotta cheese, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, black pepper,crushed red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning in a small bowl. Stir in parsley leaves.
- Combine ingredients for topping; 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, parmesan cheese and bread crumbs until well mixed. This will be easiest if you use your hands. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425F. Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Heat a large skillet with high sides over medium high heat. You need a pretty large pan to accommodate all of these ingredients so if you don't have a really big one, I suggest using a soup pot. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and then garlic and onion. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.
- Add ground beef and break up with a flat spoon. Cook 3 to 4 minutes until most of pink is gone.
- Add sliced kale, crushed tomatoes and remaining ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Stir to combine, place lid on pot and cook 3 to 4 minutes until kale is wilted.
- Remove lid and add pre-cooked spaghetti squash. Mix well until squash is evenly distributed among the meat and kale mixture.
- Remove from heat and slowly stir in ricotta mixture until well combined. Pour into prepared casserole dish and use a spoon or spatula to even out top.
- Cook for 40 minutes. Remove casserole from oven, turn heat up to 450F and evenly spread out the topping. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Place back in the oven and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until topping is browned.
- Let cool for 10 minutes and cut into 8 servings.
- Serve while hot. Excellent with some sauteed greens or a side salad. Enjoy!