October 17, 2010


Spaghetti Squash Casserole

This post was written last November, and I thought I would repost it since the recipe was so good, and it fits well with the Squash Fest.  Unfortunately, it does contain cheese and is not dairy free unless you use a substitute. 

spaghetti squash casserole on plate
My only experience with squash that I remember from childhood was when my mom would slice, batter, and fry yellow squash.  I hated it.  I hated the flavor and texture.  That experience led me to believe that I didn’t like any squash.  Somewhere down the road I learned to like zucchini, and it has been a staple vegetable in our house for a while. 

Other than that, I stayed away from squash until last fall when I made butternut squash soup.  My family wasn’t too thrilled with it, but I enjoyed it.  I made that soup again last week and their tastes had improved to tolerating it.

spaghetti squashThis fall I tried spaghetti squash.  I’ve used it twice now.  The first time I had a rather large squash  that I baked in the oven, whole.  It was still a little crunchy when I served it in place of spaghetti noodles.  The family didn’t mind the taste, but thought crunchy spaghetti was a little weird.

The second time I bought a smaller squash and cooked it in my pressure cooker.  It turned out a little bit too done and the strands were not as distinguishable.  That was okay because I decided to use it in a casserole.  I didn’t have any ricotta cheese to make a lasagna type dish, so I decided on a variation of my pizza casserole.  It turned out great, and everyone liked it!  My oldest said he didn’t mind the squash as long as there was plenty of meat and cheese, which there was.

spaghetti squash in pressure cooker If you’ve never cooked a spaghetti squash before, there are several ways you can do it.  You can bake it whole by putting some holes in it with a sharp knife or a skewer and placing it in a pan.  Bake it at 375 degrees about 1 hour.  You can also cut it in half, clean out the inside and bake it cut side down in a pan with some water for 30 –40 minutes.  I cut it in half and placed it in my pressure cooker.  I cooked it under high pressure for 10 minutes, but 8 might have been better.

spaghetti squash in bowl
When it is done cooking, use a fork or large spoon to pull out the flesh and scrape it away from the outer rind.  It will look something like this.  For this recipe you should cook the spaghetti squash first and have it ready to go into the casserole.

Gluten-Free Spaghetti Squash Casserole
spaghetti squash casserole ingredients

Cook the spaghetti squash and scrape out the flesh.  Cook the ground beef, onion and garlic together and drain any fat.  In a greased 9 x 13 inch casserole dish put half the squash, spreading it over the bottom of the dish. 
ss casserole 1
Put half the beef/onion mixture on top of the squash.

ss casserole 2
Spread half the pasta sauce on top and then sprinkle with half the cheese.
 ss casserole 3 
ss casserole 6
Repeat the layers.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Let sit for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.

View Printable Recipe

Spaghetti squash is a great alternative to pasta, especially this time of year when they are in season and inexpensive.  It’s an easy way to make a gluten free dish, but this recipe is worth making whether you have to eat gluten free or not.

This post is linked to Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Ultimate Recipe Swap, and Friday Foodie Fix.  Some of the carnivals are not gluten free, but do include links to naturally gluten-free recipes as well as ones that could easily be converted.

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Yum,, this looks really good. I get a lot of push back from using this squash. What a great way to hide it from my hubby. I'll be using this next time I get a spaghetti squash. Thank you for sharing it on Friday Foodie Fix.
I just bought a spaghetti squash for the first time. I may have to try out this recipe. Thanks.
Spaghetti squash was never a favorite of mine but, I think it's because it's never been done right everytime it was served to me. This recipe looks good. If I can get my hands on one, will have to try this.
That sounds delicious!
I love spaghetti squash. My hubby, not so much. You can also prepare it in the microwave - poke holes in it and cook until tender, like 8 minutes or so!
This looks fabulous! Love the flavours!
Thank you for showing how to cook it and how to make it look like spaghetti. I thought I was the only one to never eat or cook squash. My reason is the same as yours. So far this Fall I have cooked pumpkin and found it far superior to canned, made Butternut Squash Bisque and it was not only fun to make but good to eat. I looked at a spaghetti squash at the grocery store this week, now I can buy one and actually know what to do with it. I am enjoying branching out very much. My family is more reluctant but maybe slowly but surely. Thanks.
I never thought about using spaghtetti squash in a casserole. What a good idea!
what a wonderful idea -- this looks so yummy :)
Very interesting recipe! It looks yummy!
Apparently I commented last year on this post, but again, it looks so good!
Thanks for sharing this again - I missed it last time around. This is going on my menu this week!
Looks really good! I'm glad you posted it again since I missed it last year :-)
These look really good, Linda! Yep, same requirements for squash dishes in my house--meat and cheese. I might have to start buying the Daiya (sp?) to keep both of us happy. Well, unless I make pureed and sweet squash recipes, which I do, but that wouldn't work with spaghetti squash I don't think. ;-)

Oooooh,..This dish looks so appetizing, Linda!

MMMMMMM,..a lovely & flavourfull dinner!

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