Friday, February 17, 2012

Recipe for Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin

Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin
Spaghetti Squash and Chard, mixed together in a cheesy gratin.

(For Phase One Fridays I highlight Phase One recipes from the past that have been my personal favorites.  This Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin from 2009 is one of my favorite ways to cook spaghetti squash.)

Besides writing this blog, I also write about food twice a week for BlogHer.com, and recently I wrote about spaghetti squash. Of course that made me think about cooking some of my own spaghetti squash from the garden. I found great-sounding spaghetti squash recipes for the BlogHer post, but the one that inspired this recipe was Spaghetti Squash Gratin from Daily Unadventures in Cooking. Adding the chard was one of those "wonder how it would work?" experiments, but really liked the combination of spaghetti squash and chard in this cheesy gratin.

Spaghetti squash is an ingredient you'll never forget after you've tried it once. It's quite magaical, the squash strings apart in a way that makes it look like spaghetti when it's cooked, and it's a mild-flavored squash that can get along well with many other flavors. I've been growing spaghetti squash for years, and I love to eat it when it's green like a summer squash, but if you don't have a garden you'll have to settle for the ripe spaghetti squash. This recipe for spaghetti squash is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging, being hosted by Susan from The Well Seasoned cook this week.

The hardest part of this recipe is cutting the spaghetti squash in half. I've heard you can cook it whole and then remove the seeds after it's cooked, but I like to season the inside of the squash before it cooks. Use a big chef's knife, cut off the stem and blossom end, then stand the squash up and carefully press down to cut in half.

Then use the sharpest spoon you can find and scrape out the seeds and the slimy material that surrounds them. Throw that away.

Spray the pan with non-stick spray or olive oil, then rub the cut surface of the squash with olive oil rub and some seasoning. (I used some Rosemary Garlic Rub, but any seasoning that tastes good on vegetables would work.) Pour a little water on the baking sheet before you put the squash in to bake, which helps prevent the bottom of the squash from burning.

Squash is done when it strings apart in strands that look like spaghetti (if you use your imagination.)

While the squash is cooling, chop the onion and chard. I wanted small pieces of chard so it would mix well with the spaghetti squash, so I sliced it thinly one direction, then turned the cutting board and sliced the other direction. Saute onion a few minutes with seasonings, add garlic, then add chard.

It only takes a couple of minutes for the chard to go from the previous photo to this state of being about half wilted. It will cook more in the gratin, so turn off the heat as soon as it looks like this.

Use a large fork to gently mix in the shredded spaghetti squash and finely chopped chives or green onions.

Combine the sour cream, drained cottage cheese curds, Parmesan, and beaten egg and gently mix it into the spaghetti squash/chard mixture.

Press the mixture into a gratin dish and sprinkle on a bit more grated Parmesan, then bake at 400F/200C for 30-35 minutes.

Here's how it looked when it came out of the oven. I didn't think this photo showed off the true beauty of the dish, but that didn't stop me from eating a big plateful of this for lunch. The next day I reheated some leftovers in an individual gratin dish to get the first photo and the one by the recipe.


Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin
(Makes about 6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from Spaghetti Squash Gratin at Daily Unadventures in Cooking.

Ingredients:
1 large spaghetti squash (mine was 2.5 lbs)
1 T + 1 T olive oil
2 tsp. Rosemary Garlic Rub, or any all purpose seasoning that's good on vegetables
1 large onion, diced small
1/2 tsp. Spike seasoning (optional but good)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 T minced garlic (or less)
12-16 oz. chopped chard leaves (about 5-6 cups chopped chard, you could also use other greens like spinach, collards, or kale. The cooking times might be longer for some greens.)
2 T finely chopped fresh chives or sliced green onion
1/2 cup low fat sour cream (don't use fat free)
3/4 cup low fat cottage cheese curds (put the cottage cheese in a fine strainer and rinse with cold water to get the cheese curds)
1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese plus about 1/4 cup more for topping the gratin
1 egg, beaten

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Wash the outside of the spaghetti squash if needed, then cut off the stem and blossom end, stand squash upright, and using a large chef's knife, carefully cut in half lengthwise. Use a sharp spoon to scrape out seeds and the slimy material that surrounds them, and discard. Rub cut sides of squash with about 1/2 T olive oil for each half, then sprinkle each with 1 tsp. Rosemary Garlic Rub or other seasoning of your choice. Spray the roasting pan with non-stick spray, Put squash on baking sheet and pour 1/4 cup water around bottom of squash. Roast squash about 45-50 minutes, or until it separates easy into strands when pulled with a fork. Let squash cool for a few minutes, then shred into spaghetti-like strands.

While squash cooks, wash chard leaves if needed and spin dry or dry with paper towel. In two batches, stack up chard leaves on top of each other and slice into thin ribbons, then turn the cutting the board the other way and slice again into small pieces. Chop onion.

Heat 1 T olive oil in heavy frying pan, add chopped onions, season with Spike seasoning, dried thyme, and black pepper, and saute until onion is softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook about 1 minute more, then add chopped chard all at once. Cook chard about 1-2 minutes, turning a few times. until it's wilted to about half the size it was. (The chard shouldn't be completely cooked, since it will cook more in the gratin.) Turn off heat.

Put 3/4 cup low fat cottage cheese in a fine strainer and rinse with cold water until only the cheese curds remain, then let drain. Spray a glass or crockery gratin dish with non-stick spray or olive oil.

Using a large fork, gently mix the chopped chives or green onion and shredded spaghetti squash into the onion/chard mixture. Combine the sour cream, drained cottage cheese curds, Parmesan cheese, and beaten egg and mix into the chard/spaghetti squash mixture. Then put the combined ingredients into the gratin dish, and press down so it's evenly distributed in the dish. Sprinkle top with about 1/4 cup more Parmesan cheese.

Bake about 30-35 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling and cheese is browned on top. Serve hot.


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South Beach Suggestions:
Spaghetti squash is low-glycemic enough to be approved for phase one of the South Beach Diet, which makes this a perfect side dish for any phase. I think this would taste great with Greek Meatballs, Balsamic and Onion Pot Roast, or Chicken Cordon Bleu.

More Tasty Ideas for Spaghetti Squash:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Parmesan from Kalyn's Kitchen
Spaghetti Squash Gratin from Daily Unadventures in Cooking
Spaghetti Squash Gratin from Laura Rebecca's Kitchen
Spaghetti Squash Gratin from The Wednesday Chef
Spaghetti Squash with Crispy Bacon and Turnip Greens from Cooking by the Seat of My Pants
Spaghetti Squash Casserole from A Fridge Full of Food
Joe Leone Spaghetti Squash Recipe from Jersey Bites
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)counter customizable free hit

84 comments:

Georgie Fear, RD, CPT said...

Wow, that's a beautiful and delicious looking recipe! I'll have to go get some spaghetti squash and have a go at it myself. Thanks for all the detailed photos as well, it makes the process so easy to follow.

Meghan said...

This looks fantastic! I need to start making more squash since it's fall. I love spaghetti squash!

Maggie said...

Yum, I'm a huge fan of spaghetti squash. I always just prick it and cook in the microwave, the scrape out the cooked strands. Love the combination you give here!

katrina said...

What a wonderful combination, Kalyn! Always looking for more ways to cook with chard ( my favorite vegetable right now) and the spagetti squash is very inventive.

Mona said...

holy moly kalyn this looks fanfreakintastic. what a perfect fall dish for a potluck!

Katerina said...

This looks great, I think chard is a really nice addition and makes such great colour.

SO glad you liked my recipe!

Sarah Caron said...

Mmm. Spaghetti squash! I love it, and as a gratin it looks really amazing.

Katie said...

This looks great! After I struggled to cut open a spaghetti squash myself last night, I heard (via @MangoTomato) that it's much easier if you microwave it for 5 min. I'm definitely going to try it next time, which will probably be when I'm trying this recipe!

Johanna said...

yum - now I will have to look out for spaghetti squash - looks great

Fiber said...

Kalyn, this looks fantastic! I just used spaghetti squash myself for the first time in an Indian-spiced gratin, but I love your addition of chard.
I'm definitely bookmarking this for future use!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I never think to buy spaghetti squash, but with a recipe this good, I think I'll amend my ways.

Kalyn said...

Thanks to everyone for all the nice thoughts about this recipe. I do love Katie's tip about microwaving the spaghetti squash for 5 minutes before cutting it in half too, going to try that!

PJ said...

Spaghetti squash has always been something on my list of things to try. Now I know what I want to make with it! Thanks for sharing, Kalyn, dish looks wonderful.

Velva said...

This looks really good. Tasty, healthy and delicious. I need to start enjoying spaghettis squash. Thanks for the inspiration.

Karly said...

Wow! I'm not sure vegetables have ever looked or sounded so yummy!

gissie said...

wow this looks great and I love the combination with chart and gratin , I wanna make it for Halloween , thank you

Joanne said...

This looks delicious. I have a spaghetti squash sitting in my room that has this recipe's name on it. Thanks so much for this!

Pam said...

Perfect fall dish! You know you can save the seeds and roast them, just like pumpkin seeds.

CinnamonQuill said...

Brilliant! Finally a perfectly appealing way to use spaghetti squash.

Barbara said...

Great recipe! I love spaghetti squash and have several delicious recipes I use when I make it. Yours sounds delicious and crunchy on top too.

Sheetal & Rahul said...

I always thought Squash was a high GI item and avoided it. Thanks for the information. Iam surely going to right the veggie :)

Kalyn said...

Other types of winter squash aren't approved for phase one, but spaghetti squash is.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

My first encounter with spaghetti squash was when I was in college. It was new and fun and oh-so-trendy, especially for students on a budget. One squash could feed all of my roommates. We'd make marinara sauce and pretend we were eating spaghetti. I don't make spaghetti squash often enough these days, so thanks for the reminder.

Chigiy at Gardeners Anonymous said...

This recipe looks very good. But I have a huge fear of cutting large squash and melons. You can only image how dangerous it can be when I have a large, sharp cutting instrument in my hand. This is something I and people that know me often have nightmares about. xo

Easy Recipes said...

I never tried Spaghetti Squash, it look amazing I'm going to try it.

Kevin said...

I don't use spaghetti squash nearly enough. This sounds like a really nice and tasty and healthy way to enjoy it!

C(h)ristine said...

Kalyn, in a quest to cut down carbs in my life, I made this delicious sounding gratin today. WOW. YUMMY! I didn't even MISS the carbs, and I'm getting a bunch of fiber to boot. You have also helped me lose my spaghetti squash virginity! My first time consuming spaghetti squash! I'm a fan.

Kalyn said...

Lydia, fun memories of the spaghetti squash! I've never been a fan of eating it as a substitute for pasta, but lately I've thought of trying it again.

I do think the suggestion to microwave for a few minutes is good for that "cutting the squash in half" anxiety. And it is VERY hard to cut if you don't do it!

Love to hear that I'm enticing people to try spaghetti squash.

Susan said...

That's some gorgeous casserole. It reminds me a bit of a frittata - would make a fabulous brunch.

Thanks, Kalyn!

gissie said...

Dear Kalyn,
I made this delicious Spaghetti Squash and Chard gratin today,Yummy Yummy, nice,tasty and healthy to,hard to fine hier in Belgium bud I did, thank you Kalyn for the recipe!

tobias cooks! said...

Good idea to use the squash like that. Thanks for the recipe.

Ipasha said...

Looks yummy..thanks for share your recipe

Rachel said...

yum! i love spaghetti squash and this looks great!

Anna said...

thank you for demystifying the spaghetti squash. i wonder whether you just opened it up and strong bits came out . . .
that gratin looks deliciosu too.

Mary Ann said...

We had this for dinner last night and I have to say it was so delicious. I love spaghetti squash and swiss chard and never, in a million years, would have thought to pair them together.
So good. My kids and hubby loved it.
Thanks for sharing.

Kalyn said...

Mary Ann, thanks for letting me know you enjoyed it! (Especially like hearing that the kids ate it, wow!)

Calico Road said...

Wow Kalyn, this was GOOOOOOOD. I have a question for you though, why rinse out the cottage cheese? I know you have a reason, but since i've never seen this done, i was wondering why?

I'd also like to thank you for all the great recipes. I have done the SB diet, and it works well for me, but frankly, I tend to run out of ideas for food. I'm so glad I came across your blog. Again, thanks!

Jennifer

Kalyn said...

Calico road, you might be able to make this without rinsing the cottage cheese, but I do that when I want to use the cheese curds as "cheese" and don't want the creaminess. I use cottage cheese in eggs this way quite a bit.

Mrs. Ed said...

What a great looking recipe. I'm trying to learn to like new vegetables. In my gluten eating days I would prefer a box of Triscuits to a veggie. I have never had Swiss Chard and this looks like a great way to try it. I'll try substituting the sour cream and cottage cheese with Yogurt Cream for a SCD version.

Kalyn said...

Mrs. Ed., would love to her about how that works in case other people want to try it.

Ross S said...

I've never eaten or cooked with either chard or spaghetti squash. This was good! It took a long time to put together. I mean a really long time. But it was worth it. I used red Swiss Chard. I guess they all taste the same? The leftovers are awesome! I have some butternut squash and turkey sausage. I'm going to try those next..

Lisa said...

If the dish looks that good in the photo you didn't think did it justice . . . wowie! :) Looks beautiful to me. I love both spaghetti squash and chard (well, and gratins), so this is a no-brainer for me. I think you're right that it would be a lovely T-giving dish.

Susan said...

I made this recipe last week and it was delicious -- great flavors and texture. The only changes I made was I used fresh thyme and gruyere instead of parmesan.

Kalyn said...

Ross I do think all the chard tastes the same, but I love the red chard. Glad you liked it!

Lisa, thanks! I didn't mind the top photo, but that was my second attempt at a picture!

Susan, love your changes. I bet Gruyere was fantastic in this!

FabFrugalFood said...

Kalyn, I just made this today, and I am having the hardest time not eating this ENTIRE RECIPE before my SO gets home! Seriously.

I had no sour cream, so I subbed nonfat Greek yogurt, and I think it worked very well. Also added a touch of smoked paprika (one of my go-to spices). But that was it. Really, this is a KNOCKOUT.

* . . . summoning willpower . . .*

-- Anne

The Station Master said...

Yummy! Well, I guess I should explain. I have cooked spaghetti squash in the microwave since I can't cut the darn things. I nuked it for 5 or 6 minutes in a largish bowl with a tea towel covering in case it pops open (and sometimes they do!) It was cooked enough to easily cut open and then I dirzzled the oil and used Season-All and some Magic Seasoning (salt free) by Paul Prudhomme. I then bkaed for 30 minutes. As I shredded the squash, I had a taste. It was sooo good! My DH and I just decided to eat it like that as a side dish to our dinner. The best of both worlds- ease and savory taste. I will follow through with the full recipe next time since we love chard. Thanks for the delicious recipes. :)

Karen said...

I made this for dinner tonight and it was crazy good! Instead of chard, I used a 10oz package of frozen spinach and added 8 oz. of mushrooms and served it with turkey meatballs on the side. I didn't have the right quantities of cheese so I added a little feta at the end which was really tasty. Thanks for another wonderful recipe. You make following SB really easy, fun and delish! Thank you!!

Kalyn said...

Karen, I love the sound of your version. And so glad to hear you're enjoying the blog, I always love to hear that.

marla {family fresh cooking} said...

Kalyn, this spaghetti squash recipe looks amazing. Love the sour cream & cottage cheese in there!

Kalyn said...

Marla, thanks. Glad you're liking the looks of it.

Jana said...

I made a big batch and have been eating this for a meatless meals. It is terrific and very satisfying. Thanks for another great dish!

Kalyn said...

Jana, thanks for letting me know you liked it!

Kingdom Writer said...

This looks like a great recipe to add chicken breasts for a one-dish meal. Love the convenience of a one-dish!

Kalyn said...

I'm guessing you mean pre-cooked diced chicken? I think that would be great in this.

Kingdom Writer said...

Hi Kalyn - I was a little frustrated by all the comments that said how great the spaghetti squash & swiss chard recipe looks, but very few from folks who made it. I made this recipe today, but used spinach since I didn't have swiss chard. I also sauteed chicken tenderloins with onion, garlic, and adobo for a caribbean flavor, then added the spinach at the very end. THIS WAS AMAZING! My son ate half of it in a single sitting! I was hoping to have leftovers, but it probably won't make it til bedtime. Next time, I think I'll add water chestnuts for a nice crunch. A great dish that is already a family favorite.

Kalyn said...

I know what you mean; I always like to get feedback from people after they've actually tried a recipe. So glad you liked it with those variations, and I love the sound of your version.

Nicole said...

Kalyn I was wondering if any part of this dish can be made ahead of time? I'm considering making this for tomorrow but my brother in law has a small kitchen. Thanks!

Kalyn said...

The top photo is a dish of this that was leftover, refrigerated over night and then reheated, so I think you could assemble the gratin on Wednesday night, refrigerate, and then cook the next day. I might wait to sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese right when you're going to cook it. It would be best to let it come to room temperature before you cook it.

Mia@ loose green tea said...

I've always wanted to try spaghetti squash, but this kind of squash rarely sold on our local market. I'm from Southeast Asia by the way. If I can find one, I'll definitely gonna try you recipe here. Thanks a lot for sharing this.

Kalyn said...

Mia now I am curious about where spaghetti squash originated. I first remember seeing it here in the 70's, but only in gardens at first. Now it's in every store here when it's in season. Hope you find some!

Nora @ Natural Noshing said...

This looks so good! I am going to have to try this - I love spaghetti squash and am always looking for new ways to use it!

mcyprice said...

I made this tonight and loved it. (Thanks for your very helpful pics, as always.)

I used collards (and almost didn't cook them long enough in the onions) but it turned out great and hubby and I both enjoyed the dish.

As some folks suggested, I did microwave my squash for a few minutes before cutting it. Much easier that way!

Thanks Kalyn!

Kalyn said...

So glad that you liked it! I have a big spaghetti squash sitting on my counter so I'm glad you reminded me about that tip with the microwave.

em said...

I was looking for a non-tomatoey spaghetti squash recipe and found this and made it tonight (minus the cottage cheese that I didn't have) - it was delicious! I sprinkled on a few panko crumbs for extra crunch too :) Thanks for a great recipe!

Kalyn said...

Em, glad you enjoyed it!

Sharon said...

This tastes and smells amazing! I used some collard and radish greens. I think next time I'll keep the liquid in the cottage cheese to make it a touch creamier. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kalyn :) I can't wait to try this recipe! i'm on a diet to lower my cholesterol and your website is going to be very helpful!! my husband is allergic to egg yolks though and i was wondering if i could omit the egg or use egg whites instead? thank you very much and please keep coming with the recipes :)

Kalyn said...

I think two egg whites would work just fine in this. Hope you enjoy it.

Kalyn said...

I think two egg whites instead of one egg would work just fine. Hope you enjoy.

Unknown said...

Yum! I will be trying this soon! Spaghetti squash saved us from feeling deprived of Italian food when we switched to low-carb to deal with my husband's diabetes.

Jamie said...

Great recipe - and we've been making more and more gratin this year. Love absolutely love chard but I would never think to pair is with squash. We are now seeing more varieties of squash on our market now....so this would be a great lunch dish!

Kalyn said...

Jamie, so glad you like it!

MaryContrary said...

Sounds delicious and something we can play with. Will be trying it soon.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Can't wait to try this!

Holly said...

I made this recipe for Easter lunch using homegrown chard and spaghetti squash. A HUGE hit!! We have several people in the family who are gluten free and another who is vegetarian, so this was the perfect dish. Even my husband, a squash hater, asked if I would make it again. Thank you!

Kalyn said...

Holly, glad to hear it was such a hit!

Rebecca said...

You wrote on the recipe 1 T plus 1 T olive oil.... does that mean 2 T (Tablespoons?)

Or did you mean 1 T plus 1 t?

Just confirming. It is Dec 1st and I live in Utah --- I STILL have Chard growing in my garden and I also have spaghetti squash sitting in my makeshift "cellar" on my back porch.

Thanks!
Rebecca

Kalyn Denny said...

Yes, it does mean 2 T. I used one tablespoon to rub the squash before I seasoned it, and then 1 T more when I sauteed the chard. If you use a non-stick pan you might be able to get away with a bit less for the sauteeing.

I still have chard too! Can hardly believe it.

Bethany said...

I just found this recipe online and it really got me excited as I had chard growing in the garden and a spaghetti squash waiting in the house. It's fantastic, so delish, what a great recipe and combo. Thank you!

Kalyn Denny said...

Bethany, so glad you like it!

colleen said...

Thanks, Kalyn-- Made this last night for supper and it was delish! I used spinach, as I didn't have any kale. Tasty, and light--but filling. Yummy~~

Kalyn Denny said...

Colleen, so glad you liked it!

Aamyy said...

Does anyone know the nutritional breakdown of this recipe?
I recently had it in my house, and it was a big hit! I would love to know number of calories and carbs and other nutrients per serving.

Kalyn Denny said...

Of you look under FAQ there is a link for Calorie Count which will calculate it.

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