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.
The gizzards aaahahaha! I’m going to refer to spaghetti squash innards as gizzards heretoforth ;)
I’m definitely psyched it’s spaghetti squash season, and am looooving these bowls! Simple healthy sauce plus cheese atop sketti noodles sounds like my idea of comfort food!!
We finally got some rain over here! I bet you guys got a sprinkle, too! Pray for snow!
Yes, we did get a little sprinkle. Such a tease! I’m begging for it to pour on us and snow on you!!
I’ve been making spaghetti squash once a week for the last 4 weeks. I jumped on that bandwagon way before pumpkin this year. I still haven’t had anything pumpkin yet. I’m pretty sure the first thing I do have will be those GF pumpkin pie pancakes! I can’t wait. This dinner looks so delicious and really easy to make. I’m definitely going to be giving it a try. We’re going to be cooking Vegetarian one night a week like we used to and this will be on the list!
Oh girl, you need some pumpkin in your life ASAP! :)
Def need to pick up some spaghetti squash asap! Love the use of cottage cheese here.
Loveeee spaghetti squash!!! And I feel like going the Italian direction just fits — the perfect healthy, hearty fall-y meal!
Hooray for spaghetti squash season!! I love this quick and easy version of one of my favorite squashes!! Delish!
haha I’d definitely do jazz hands for one of these bowls! And huge yay that squash season is here! We loved your mexican version of these so I can’t wait to try out this Italian version!!
I love spaghetti squash! I also love a good jarred marinara in a pinch. Making my own sauce is great and all, but sometimes there’s just no time for all of that!
I’ve never eaten any spaghetti ( No,I’m not alien) so don’t know how it actually taste but I may give it a try in future. The recipe is clear and simple but I guess I’ll still need someone to help me. The best I loved in post is inclusion of nutrition information as at the end of the day, it’s the nutrition that matter ( other than taste).
Definitely give spaghetti squash a try! It’s packed with nutrition! :)
thank you for sharing the recipe! It looks absolutely delicious! I really want to try eating spaghetti squash but I don’t know exactly how to cook it. This looks so good!! By the way, you are hilarious with the sarcasm and all :)
Thanks Tiffany! I hope you get a chance to try spaghetti squash soon. It’s so good!
It’s on my “cooking resolutions” list to finally bake a spag squash this year!
I love spaghetti squash and yet I have NEVER made it! This looks fabulous- pinning :)
Oh you HAVE to try it, Medha!
I JUST made spaghetti squash for dinner last night! Umm you must be super strong and have sharper knives than me… because I totally have to microwave the squash for a few minutes before I slice mine in half! Otherwise I’m afraid I’d cut my hand off trying to halve it ;-)
Ya, it’s not easy. I bet microwaving it helps a lot, thanks for the tip!
These sound great! We actually had stuffed spaghetti squash for dinner tonight! Ours was just marinara and a little fresh mozzarella on top but it was delicious! I definitely need to add some kale next time :)
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hahah i laughed at your 1/4 Italian part and then the picture of marinara in a jar. Perfect!
Man though these look soo good, and the photos you took of the steps is awesome! Thank you!
I’ve been loving spaghetti squash lately. It’s so great to eat a meal that tastes like pasta but it all veggies. These look beautiful!
I love spaghetti squash! I actually haven’t made one in a couple weeks- I have to get on that. I love the idea of the “squash bowl!”
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I love spaghetti squash, and your tutorial is so great! This is the perfect way to serve it with all the sauce baked inside. No need to dirty up a plate! :)
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I just made the burrito stuffed spaghetti squash and LOVED it, now I want to try them all, but why can’t I “pin” these other recipes like the burrito squash? Can you change this issue, otherwise I forget where to look for it?
Thanks Paula! I’m so happy you liked the burrito bowls. You should be able to “Pin” this recipe as well, you just have to wait for the page to finish loading before you hit “Pin”, otherwise it will say there isn’t anything to “Pin”. Try that and let me know if it still doesn’t work!
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I’m so excited to make this! recently have had some stomach issues so I’m looking forward great ways for high protein!
Instead of cottage cheese, can I use a different type of cheese?
Hi Sara! You can replace it with whatever type of cheese you prefer, although I would think a mozzarella would work best. I hope you enjoy it!
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