Sponsored content and/or affiliate links to products I love, are often shared in my posts. I earn a small percentage from any purchase you make by clicking on these links, at no additional cost to you. This helps feed my coffee addiction, as I write free content for my readers. Thank you for your support! Full Disclosure

Monday, February 15, 2016

# casserole # cheese

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Casserole #secretrecipeclub

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Casserole is a twist on baked spaghetti, that is full of cheesy goodness, and loaded with veggies. For a healthy and filling meal you can feel good about serving to your family.


It's time for another yummy installment of the Secret Recipe Club, and this month I was assigned one of my favorite blogs, The Pajama Chef. Sarah went to school in my home state of Indiana, and now lives with her husband in one of my favorite places to visit, Tennessee. They own three of the cutest cats I've ever seen, and lists her favorite foods as Peanut butter, Yogurt, Fruit, and Brownies. A girl after my own heart.


I loved going through Sarah's recipe index. It's well organized, and in no time at all I had a list of foods I wanted to try. Bite Size Soft Pretzels, Teriyaki Meatball Bowls, Mashed Potato Casserole, Banana Cake with Cinnamon Glaze, and the recipe I eventually chose to make, Creamy Baked Spaghetti


A fun twist on baked spaghetti, Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Casserole. {Click to Tweet}

I adapted the recipe a little from Sarah's version to adjust it to my families taste preferences. First I used spaghetti squash, since my husband doesn't like regular spaghetti, and it's a great way of getting an extra serving of good-for-you veggies in. Secondly, yellow squash wasn't available when I went shopping for the ingredients to make the recipe, so I bought zucchini instead. I also used a mix of green and red bell peppers, instead of just green, and a blend of Colby/jack, and mozzarella shredded cheeses instead of an Italian blend, because that is what I had in stock in my freezer. I also used dried oregano instead of fresh, again because that is what I had in stock. And all I can say is W*O*W*Z*E*R*S, this dish rocked!


If you've never cooked with spaghetti squash before, then this is the perfect recipe for you to give it a try. It has lots of good for you veggies like spaghetti squash, bell peppers, and zucchini, wrapped in a meaty sauce, and blanketed with cheese.


It's full of flavor and cheesy goodness, and I devoured my share in no time at all. There are a few steps involved in making it, so this isn't one of my usual fast and easy recipes. But the time spent on preparing this dish is totally worth it. It got two-thumbs up from my family, and will definitely be made again. Thanks for a fantastic recipe Sarah!

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Casserole


Ingredients

1 small spaghetti squash
2 cups spaghetti meat sauce (recipe below)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup zucchini, chopped
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup shredded Colby/jack cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
nutmeg, fresh ground pepper, and sea salt


I used my own spaghetti sauce recipe.

Hearty Spaghetti Sauce

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 - 8 ounce cans tomato sauce
1 - 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
1 - 6 ounce can tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
3 or 4 grinds of fresh ground black pepper

Directions

Combine ground beef, onion, and garlic in a large saucepan.
Cook, stirring frequently, until meat is browned and vegetables are tender. Drain grease.
Stir tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, and sugar into the cooked beef.
Simmer sauce for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

To Make Casserole

Prepare Spaghetti Squash. (Follow my easy Crockpot method)
Once spaghetti squash is ready, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Save the squash shells to use as your baking dishes, or grease an 8x8 inch baking dish. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Add the garlic, green and red peppers, and zucchini, and saute until almost tender. (about 4-5 minutes) Set aside.
In another medium sized saucepan melt the butter over medium heat.
Whisk in the flour and cook 1 1/2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Stir in the milk and sour cream and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. (about 3 - 5 minutes) Divide sauce in half, and reserve half of the sauce for another use. (Add a little shredded cheese and some cooked macaroni to the left over sauce, for a yummy Homemade Mac and Cheese)!
In a large bowl add the spaghetti squash, meat sauce, green pepper mixture, oregano, and half of the white sauce. Stir gently until everything is well blended.
Add half of the shredded cheeses and all of the Parmesan cheese, along with a dash of the pepper and nutmeg each, and salt to taste. Mix gently to combine.
Spoon mixture into squash shells that are sitting on a baking dish, or place mixture directly into a greased 8x8 inch baking dish.
Top with remaining shredded cheese and bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly.
Cool for 5 minutes and serve.

Cooks Notes: *If placing mixture in squash shells to bake, you will have some leftover mixture. No problem, just serve it up on a plate and sprinkle with a little shredded Parmesan cheese. Add a slice of garlic bread on the side and Voila, spaghetti with meat sauce!





Did you make this recipe? I'd love to hear what you thought of it. Or snap a picture and share it on social media with the hashtag #myhomesteadrecipe. I'd love to share your creation too!

14 comments:

  1. I really love using spaghetti squash in different ways and this looks super tasty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my goodness Amy, it was delicious. I will be making it again soon.

      Delete
  2. I need to try making spaghetti squash again. I didn't have so much luck last time, but this recipe makes me want to try again. Great SRC recipe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Heather :) I love spaghetti squash. I highly recommend my crockpot method for cooking it. It's super easy, and cooks the squash perfectly every time.

      Delete
  3. this looks so good I like the idea of making it in a slow cooker

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the only way I cook squash Anne. Pumpkin, butternut, acorn, you just put it in the crockpot with a little water, and in about 2 hours, perfectly cooked squash.

      Delete
  4. I like the sounds of your homemade sauce to go with it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the only recipe I use for spaghetti sauce Lauren. My family loves it.

      Delete
  5. so glad you liked this recipe! :) love your twist on it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I haven't been able to get my husband to buy into spaghetti squash yet but if I let him know it's CHEESY spaghetti squash I bet he would at least taste it! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband isn't a big fan of spaghetti squash either Sarah, but he liked this version with the meat sauce and all that cheese! :)

      Delete
  7. I love this idea. It really is a fun twist.

    ReplyDelete



© April Tuell & Home Sweet Homestead 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express & written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.