Not gunna lie, this meal is kind-of high maintenance.
But, wait! Don’t leave!
The kind of supervision I imagine myself giving to my kids (after I actually have kids) when I take them to the park. Like, I want to check on them every now and again, but mostly just want to be that mom that keeps watch from afar and let them do their thing and learn.
Who am I kidding? I’ll totally be the helicopter mom.
This nutrient dense meal will speak to your soul! It’s so full of flavor that for one hot minute you might feel like you’re doing something naughty. Like eating the fourth piece of pizza instead of stopping at three. Wait, what? You only eat two pieces? I don’t think we could ever be friends in real life.
It jam-packed with good-for-you veggies, fresh herbs and a homemade red sauce that pulls it all together.
It’s totally customizable, too. Want more veggies? I pondered dicing an eggplant and adding it to the mix. I also meant to add in some kale or spinach but totally forgot! And, after having this a few times, I think that slicing and dicing a jalapeño and caramelizing it with the onion would be the bomb dot com. If you’re into spice, that is. 🍅🍆🌶
Chicken thighs would work well! I’d prob add them to the homemade red sauce and cook them for a bit in there before transferring everything to the oven. Spicy Italian sausage meatballs might take it over the top good.
And what would you say if I told you to put a fried egg on top? You’re pallet isn’t that quite evolved? It’s ok; you do you, mmmmk?
If you hate caramelized onions and roasted garlic, you can now exit the tab. I give you permission. (Who does that? Like there are people that actually don’t like garlic and onions.)
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 2 onions
- 1 head of garlic
- olive oil for roasting
- 1 12-ounce can tomato sauce
- 2-3 tbsp fresh basil
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano
- 2 tea honey or maple syrup
- dash of cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 4 ounces mushrooms (1/2 a pack)
- 5 ounces frozen broccoli (1/2 a pack)
- ½ c freshly grated Pecorino Romano (optional—omit to make the recipe vegan!)
- Optional add-ins:
- 1 jalapeño
- ½ c sliced eggplant
- 2 c greens of choice (kale, spinach, a mix)
- Begin by thinly slicing two onions and putting them in a pan with 2 tbsp EVOO and/or melted butter. Toss to coat, turn the heat to low and cover. Periodically check on the onions and stir—every 10 to 15 minutes. Adjust the heat accordingly if they're browning too fast. This process of caramelizing on a low heat will take nearly an hour.
- Next, prepare a spaghetti squash for the oven. I like to cut my squash in half, scoop out the seeds, season it with olive oil, salt and garlic powder and throw it in the oven at 350 for about an hour. There are many different methods to cooking squash (some people even do it in the microwave, others roast it cut side down ...), so if you have a tried and true method that works for you, do it. I've been roasting cut side up for several years and looooove how it turns out!
- Since the oven is on, why not roast some garlic, too? See a note below the recipe box for roasting garlic.
- After an hour, remove the squash and garlic from the oven. Set aside.
- Add one 12-ounce can tomato sauce to the onions. Squeeze the cloves from one head of garlic and add them to the sauce mixture. Add in 2-3 tbsp fresh chopped basil and 1 tbsp fresh chopped oregano. Mix in 2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup and just a tiny dash of cinnamon. Add a pinch of salt. Optional: add up to a tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes. Mix, cover and keep on low heat.
- Carefully (it will be hot) turn the squash into 'spaghetti'. See video below for an embarrassing YouTube video I uploaded last year.
- Put the noodles in an ovenproof pan (I like cast iron skillets). Add ½ package washed and dried mushrooms and ½ package frozen (or fresh) broccoli. Note: I just added as much as I could without making it seem like it would overflow. Pour the red sauce on top of everything else and put it back in the oven.
- After 20 minutes, sprinkle about ½ cup freshly grated cheese. This time I used Pecorino Romano, but Parmesan and even mozzarella would taste good, too! Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
- Remove from oven and let cool about 5 minutes before serving.
- Note: This recipe is right-in-the-middle saucy. If you like things to be super saucy and well covered, I'd double the tomato sauce, herbs and spices.
I’m sure this would be awesome with a glass of red and some French bread, but we’re trying to keep things from getting too out of hand over here, right? 😉 However, if you do decide on some French bread, roast some extra garlic and smear it on top of the bread! Oh yea, and invite me over! 🍞🍷🍝
Not sure how to roast garlic? Check out this super helpful tutorial!
Not sure how to turn spaghetti squash into spaghetti? Check out this super embarrassing YouTube video I uploaded last year.
Have you ever roasted a spaghetti squash before?