Super easy week night dinner that your whole family will love! You can even just make the squash and skip the Primavera for an even easier version that is super tasty. The kids and I love topping ours topped with some nutritional yeast. It tastes super yummy and adds a boost of protein, iron and those essential b-12 vitamins. This makes A-LOT so there will be plenty left over for lunch the next day.
Start by preheating your oven to 400°. Then slice your squash in half with a large heavy chiefs knife and scrape out all the seeds. I use to save the seeds and dry them out in the oven the next day but I have found recently that they just sit on the counter for days and end up getting moldy. I need to just start doing it again…INSERT RECIPE FOR DEHYDRATED SEEDS…
Once you have cleared all the seeds from the squash place both sides face up (meaning you can see where the seeds use to be, because my husband would ask me to clarify) on a baking sheet or in a baking dish. Season with salt, pepper, basil, garlic and olive oil. I get my hands dirty and rub the mixture into the squash to make sure it gets absorbed. Then turn the squash over so the inside is facing down.
Place the squash in the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes. It can take anywhere from 30-40 minutes depending on the size of the squash and how evenly you cut it. I have had to remove one of the halves from the oven before the other finished cooking on more than one occasion.
While the squash cooks prep all your other veggies. Chop them how ever you want, the smaller you cut them the faster they will cook for you. For this version I used mushrooms, broccoli stems (left over from another dish that I really only wanted the crowns for), zucchini, yellow squash, onion and garlic. You can really use whatever you want in this. You can’t go wrong…peas, kale, carrots, peppers, eggplant….
Pre-heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil or veggie broth (a lower fat option), depending on how many veggies you end up having to sauté. I will talk a little later about the different oils to use for cooking and why I choose the ones I do. Start by cooking the onions and garlic first only for two to three minutes until they become translucent. Then add the mushrooms and broccoli. These two tend to take a little longer to soften. At this point I also season with salt and pepper. The salt helps to absorb the extra moisture that will come from the veggies and, well, pepper just always goes with salt, right?! After about 5 minutes add the zucchini and yellow squash. Sauté everything for another 3 minutes stirring often, then add the sauce. And yes, I know, I’m shaming every red-blooded I-talian out there when I say this, but I alway use jarred sauce. Organic, straight from a glass jar sauce that’s on sale. I wish I could tell you that I am one of those amazing moms that makes homemade sauce from my tomato garden….which I don’t have…..yet…..maybe. But let’s be real, I don’t have the time for that nor do I plan that far in advance.
After three minutes, cover the veggies drenched in that jar sauce and reduce the heat to low, just a simmer. Keep covered and cook until the spaghetti squash is done or the veggies start to stick. I would stir it occasionally to make sure it’s not getting over cooked.
Once both halves of the spaghetti squash are cooked, (you can tell by the color and texture of the squash, it should be golden and grainy and consistent throughout), use a fork to scrape the strands of spaghetti out of the shell and into a large bowl. I highly recommend that you wait for the squash to cool for a bit like 10 minutes or use oven mitts to do this part because that squash can get super hot, I have learned my lesson trying to rush dinner onto the table.
Finally top the squash with the Primavera sauce and voilà you have a super healthy, vegan, Gluten-free, Nut-free, filling, nutrition dinner that the whole family will love!!
Click here for the full recipe:
I’m dying to know what you think and what version you made. Let me know in the comments below.