Spaghetti Squash Bowls with Mushroom and Lentil Marinara
Did you mispronounce the word spaghetti as a child?
I sure did. For much longer than I care to admit. I distinctly remember being asked to say it and I would confidently reply in my little voice, “ba-sketti!” as they all laughed hysterically in response.
My husband on the other hand was a child prodigy of some sort and came out of the womb saying spaghetti correctly. Psshh. Whatever.
Regardless of how you say it, there’s no doubt that SPA-ghetti squash is popular these days. I guess you guys just love eating out of compostable bowls, don’t ya? ;)
When I asked my Facebook fans last week what they were craving, I got one very specific response; something with spaghetti squash and lentils.
Considering the popularity of the burrito bowls, it took all of about 30 seconds for this recipe to pop into my head.
This time we’re combining mushrooms and lentils in an easy homemade marinara sauce to create a “meaty” texture for a filling and satisfying meal.
Whenever I cook with mushrooms, I feel compelled to add red wine so you’ll find that in there too. I think it kicks the flavor up about ten notches but it isn’t exactly necessary if you don’t have any on hand. But because I always happen to have some on hand (#imawino), I added some.
By the way, I’m currently loving One Hope’s pinot noir which donates half of their profits to pet adoption. How freakin’ cool is that?!
Stole my heart.
So after we simmer the onion, garlic and mushrooms in a little bit of red wine, we add in fire roasted crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes with some tomato paste and tender brown lentils. Then we take the sauce and layer it inside of the cooked spaghetti squash…
After that, we top it off with a little Italian cheeesssssse, broil it until it’s golden and bubbly and dinner is served!
Side note: if you’re only cooking for two, just wrap the other two halves in plastic wrap or foil (or place them in a sealed container) before adding the cheese and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Then when you’re ready to eat, top with cheese and reheat in the oven for 15-20 minutes before broiling.
Buon appetito miei amori! Muah!
2 medium-sized spaghetti squash
2 cups cooked brown lentils (about 3/4 cup dry)
8 ounces mushrooms (I used cremini), chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 (15 ounce) can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
1 (15 ounces) can diced tomatoes with herbs
6 ounces tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1/4 cup dry red wine (optional)
3/4 cup shredded Italian blend cheese
fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and then line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Slice of the stem (the top portion) of each spaghetti squash and then cut them in half. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and attached soft flesh pieces. Using your hands, lightly rub high heat oil on the insides and then place face down on the baking sheet. I was able to fit all four halves on my baking sheet but you may need two depending on the size of your squash. Transfer the squash to the preheated oven and cook for 40-45 minutes, until tender. Time may vary depending on the size of your squash (shorter for smaller and longer for larger).
- While the squash cooks, start your marinara by warming one tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan/skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes then add the garlic and the mushrooms to the pan and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Stir together and cook for another 3 minutes. If you have red wine on hand, pour in 1/4 cup and turn the heat up slightly so that the wine simmers for about 5 minutes.
- Next add the dried herbs, both cans of tomatoes and their juices and the tomato paste. Cover the pan and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. Then stir in the cooked lentils and cook for another 15 minutes.
- Once spaghetti squash has cooled enough to handle, gently scrape out about 1/3-1/2 of the middle filling but not the sides. Spoon in 1/2 cup of the mushroom lentil marinara and then top it with the spaghetti squash filling. Lastly, spoon in another 1/2 cup of the marinara on top and sprinkle with cheese. Repeat this step for all four halves then place them facing up on the baking sheet.
- Turn the oven to broil and place the baking sheet back in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese starts to bubble and brown on top. Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve warm with a fork and get ready to dig in!