If you like creamy pastas, this cheesy spaghetti squash with spinach recipe is for you! Made with tomatoes, goat cheese and walnuts for a healthy, but delicious twist.
“I received free samples of California Walnuts mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Walnuts and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
Most people define themselves as preferring sweet or savory snacks, and it turns out the preference for sweet or savory is built into our DNA. Crazy right?! Walnuts is challenging participants to pick a side – sweet or savory – and craft their tastiest, healthiest, and most creative walnut creations and post that recipe to their blog.
I’m usually team sweet, however I wanted to challenge myself for this recipe competition and think outside of the box. Say hello to my cheesy spaghetti squash with spinach recipe.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for a good creamy cheesy pasta. As a dietitian, I’m always looking for ways to include more good-for-you ingredients without sacrificing flavor.
This cheesy spaghetti squash with spinach is packed with nutritious veggies like spaghetti squash, spinach, tomatoes, and onions. It’s low carb if you’re looking for something a little lighter and best of all is super easy to make. All you need is 11 ingredients and most of them are pantry/ refrigerator samples. Make this delicious dish as a light meal/ side dish or top with chicken, shrimp, salmon. or chickpeas for a complete healthy dinner.
This baked spaghetti squash recipe gets its unique flavor and texture from a secret power packed ingredient- walnuts. I know what you may be thinking, walnuts in pasta? YES! Walnuts in pasta is a game changer. I got introduced to the concept of cooking with walnuts in Italy. They use walnuts in many of their pastas and sauces. Not only does it add amazing flavor and crunch, but they also provide an excellent source of plant-based omega-3 ALA. Walnuts are the only nut that provides that!
1 oz of California walnuts contains 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, and 2.5 grams of plant-based omega-3 ALA making it an excellent snack or addition to your meals.
Cheesy Spaghetti Squash with Spinach
- stove top
- l large spaghetti squash or two small ones
- extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 cup California walnuts toasted, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 cups spinach
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- red chili flakes to taste
- 4 oz crumbled goat cheese
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Cut off the stem and slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and ribbing. It may be helpful to microwave the spaghetti squash for 5-6 minutes prior to cutting. The squash tends to be very hard.
- Drizzle the inside of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place the spaghetti squash cut side down on the baking sheet. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly browned on the outside.
- Remove from the oven and using oven mitts, flip the squash so that it’s cut side up. Use a fork, check to make sure the squash is done and you can easily scrape the squash aways from the sides. If not, flip and place back in the oven.
- When cool to the touch, use a fork to scrape and fluff the strands from the sides of the squash.
How to Make the Sauce
- Sauté the onion and cherry tomatoes in olive oil over medium heat. Cook until the onions are golden and the tomatoes are about to burst.
- Turn down the heat to low and add 2 cloves of minced garlic and the spinach. Using a fork, mash some of the tomatoes to create a “tomato sauce”.
- Add the spaghetti squash, chili flakes, salt, and pepper.
- Stir in goat cheese and the toasted walnuts and enjoy!