Sunday Suppers: Lasagna Inspired Spaghetti Squash Casserole with Kale

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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!

NOTES:

  • 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!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Lasagna Inspired Spaghetti Squash Casserole
 
8 Points Plus Per Serving -- Serves 8
By:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 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
TOPPING:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • pinch salt
Instructions
PREP:
  1. If you haven't already cooked the squash, see NOTES section above for a couple different methods and complete the cooking before proceeding.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
COOK:
  1. 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.
  2. Add ground beef and break up with a flat spoon. Cook 3 to 4 minutes until most of pink is gone.
  3. 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.
  4. Remove lid and add pre-cooked spaghetti squash. Mix well until squash is evenly distributed among the meat and kale mixture.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Place back in the oven and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until topping is browned.
  8. Let cool for 10 minutes and cut into 8 servings.
  9. Serve while hot. Excellent with some sauteed greens or a side salad. Enjoy!

 

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Comments

    • says

      You can definitely freeze this Sheena – just put the topping on right before baking. If you mean freeze after cooking, yes to that as well, but freeze in individual portions.

  1. says

    Thank you for posting this recipe! I did 1/2 the steps last night and refrigerated it so that tonight when I get home from work all I have to do is pop it in the oven for the baking part and make the breadcrumb topping. I can’t wait to try it! I will let you know how it is. I started my “lifestyle change” mid-January and was starting to backslide a bit because I get so tired of making the same things all the time. I will definitely have to dig into this site more for some inspiration! Thanks again.
    Jebbica recently posted..Days 87-90: DemonsMy Profile

  2. Nicole says

    This recipe was great! Very flavorful and turned out like the picture. I also took your tip on cooking the squash and it came out perfectly. What a great alternative to lasagna. Thank you! I can’t wait to try your other recipes (and eat his for lunch tomorrow)!

  3. Shawn says

    This looked very intriguing to me, so I printed the recipe and had it setting on my kitchen counter for a few weeks before I got around to obtaining all the ingredients and taking the time to make it.
    This is at the top of the most delicious casserole dishes I’ve ever made! Great recipe! Thank you VERY much!:)
    You’re a genius for creating this.

    • EverydayMaven says

      Thank you Shawn – that is awesome and I really appreciate you taking the time to give me the feedback!

  4. Sara says

    Made this tonight after looking forward to the weekend ever since seeing this recipe posted and it did not disappoint. I’m looking forward to the next couple days of leftovers!

  5. Kris says

    Re watery squash: it gets that way for me if I microwave. I’ve had great luck cutting it open, removing seeds and baking cut side up, no water, at 350 till just tender, then scraping it out. Mine has had a nice texture done that way.

    • EverydayMaven says

      Thanks Joanne – Are you thinking meat substitute, mushrooms, or just omitting? I can’t wait to see how you make it Vegetarian!

  6. says

    Yum, yum, yum is all I can say … But I do have a question for you. How do you get your squash strands to become dry? When I make squash, I string my strands and then the pile just keep leeching water. I have put these in a fine mesh strainer but it just never seems to dry up. Looking forward to your expert opinion :-)
    CJ at Food Stories recently posted..The Vegan ExperimentMy Profile

  7. Kris says

    I love spaghetti squash, but I am a vegetarian, so I am going to try this with either fake meat or none at all. I’m also curious why you use full-fat ricotta; my tendency would be to reduce point value by using skim ricotta.

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Kris! I would do a meat substitute or a mix of meat substitute and mushrooms or just mushrooms! As for the ricotta, the full fat has a lot more flavor and is 20 Points Plus for the amount I used, the part-skim is 15 Points Plus for the same amount and really changes the flavor IMO. For a recipe with 8 servings, the 5 PP difference doesn’t change the per serving points much but really changes the final taste. I didn’t test it with the skim b/c I don’t usually buy skim dairy products. I like to stay away from the additives / processing it takes to make them “skim”. Have a good day :)

  8. says

    Very creative way with spaghetti squash. May require a bit more prep time but once in the oven one can just sit back and wait for the dish to finish baking and enjoy..

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