The spaghetti squash was one of those vegetables I always used to look at in the grocery store with skepticism. It’s a larger vegetable than most that I was used to, and it definitely intimidated me. Then one day I heard of spaghetti squash pasta. The squash replaces the traditional noodles to create an entirely vegetable-based, vegan, gluten-free pasta. Spaghetti from a vegetable?!
Naturally spaghetti-less spaghetti piqued my interest. Pure witchcraft and lies. I didn’t think it could be done. However, the squash vegetable family had surprised me before. From delicious pumpkin black bean brownies, to butternut squash cheese dip, to this hearty acorn squash dish, I was on the squash loving train and totally willing to try!
Boy, was I impressed! This spaghetti squash pasta takes just over an hour to make, but it is well worth the wait! High in vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese, making spaghetti squash pasta is a healthy low-carb alternative to traditional spaghetti dishes. Sautéing onions, garlic and kale to mix in with squash deepens the flavor and adds a nice pop of color. Drizzle some olive oil, add salt, pepper, and paprika, and enjoy a delicious and satisfying “spaghetti” meal. Or you could even use some of my vegan walnut pesto for sauce!
I made this dish to surprise my mom with a home-cooked meal on her birthday. My dad enjoyed the fringe benefit of being home for dinner too, and they both loved it! The squash noodles are a vibrant yellow color, slightly crunchy, and have a sweet and nutty taste. Who knew that a vegetable could look exactly like angel hair pasta?!
Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Kale
First, preheat oven to 350ºF. Then you have two options for cooking the squash.
The first option is to roast it. I prefer this because I like the dark caramelized color it gives the squash. To roast it, slice the spaghetti squash in half, horizontally (like the equator), so you have two long halves. Then scoop out the seeds and rub a tiny bit of olive oil on the flesh. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 1 hour in the oven.
BE CAREFUL when you cut! It’s harder than it looks! *Pro tip: Stick the knife through the middle of the squash and then slice downward, cutting through half of the squash. That method is easier than trying to saw the squash in half. But, be warned that sometimes the knife gets stuck and you’ll have some karate chop action going on in your kitchen as you flail the knife around trying to unstick the squash. If that happens to you, please video tape it so I can laugh hysterically, ok? Thanks.
The second option for cooking the squash is to cook it whole. I’d recommend this if you don’t have a good knife, or if the thought of karate chopping a squash intimidates you. If cooking it whole, just poke a few holes in the flesh and then place it in a baking dish and roast for an hour. After an hour, you can cut it open horizontally and scoop out the seeds then. *Pro tip: when you remove it from the oven let it sit for a few minutes before cutting it open because it’ll be hot. Be very careful of the steam when you remove the seeds.
Either method you choose, just get the squash in the oven. About 15 minutes before the squash is done roasting, heat some oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until the edges begin to turn translucent. Add in the minced garlic and stir for about a minute. Then add in the torn kale.
Season the kale with salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook until the onions are brown and the kale is wilted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. When the spaghetti squash is done, let it cool for 5 minutes. Use a fork to scrape the flesh into the bowl. *Pro tip: Scrape lengthwise for longer strands.
Toss the spaghetti squash pasta with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. You can also add nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor and/or and paprika for a little heat, but both are optional. Add in the sautéed kale, garlic and onions and mix to combine.
And that’s all there is! This dish will make enough pasta for 4 servings. The glass bowl in the picture with my parents gives you an option of how much spaghetti there is.
Spaghetti squash pasta with kale is a hearty, healthy vegan and gluten-free dinner that I find incredibly fun to make. Who would have thought that a vegetable could act so much like pasta? If you don’t like olive oil for the dressing, serve spaghetti squash pasta just like you normally would eat regular noodles: add marinara sauce, homemade pesto, or some vegan alfredo sauce. Regardless of how you top your dish, definitely try spaghetti squash pasta. It’s wild!
Have you ever cooked spaghetti squash? What’s your preferred way to slice it open? If you try this recipe, let me know! Rate it, leave a comment, take a picture and tag @Rabbitfoodruns on Instagram. I’d love to see your vegan chili creations!