We strive for a healthy, vegetable-heavy diet most of the time. This particular recipe is a great example of our family’s general approach to eating. A veggie-centric entree that includes quality, local meat and even more vegetables on the side.
While this meal does take a bit longer to prepare than most of my regular-rotation recipes, much of the work can be done ahead of time. Both the spaghetti squash and the enchilada sauce can be prepared in advance. I often do this in the morning while I’m cleaning up breakfast; that way, dinner can come together in about an hour, most of that being hands-off time.
Cooking spaghetti squash is simple. The hardest part is cutting into it! My preferred method is this:
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and stringy bits.
- Lightly brush cut sides with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Set cut-side down on rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until the shell is easily pierced with a fork (time depends on size of squash).
- Set aside until cool enough to handle, then shred/scrape out squash with a fork.
Store-bought enchilada sauce will definitely work in a pinch, but I strongly suggest making your own. It’s easy, doesn’t take much time, and there are no added sugars or questionable ingredients. The recipe I use is below and is adapted from this one from Oh She Glows.
We love Graze The Prairie‘s pastured lamb here because it is so full of flavor, but their beef would work too, or even ground turkey or cooked lentils for a vegetarian option.
Another delicious, local addition we love as a topping for this casserole is Sarah Jane’s Jalapeño Mustard. It takes this to the next level of yum, but probably leave it off the kiddo’s portion because it’s got a kick!
The texture of this casserole can be a little on the mushy side, which I don’t mind, but it’s nice to offset that by serving alongside some tortilla chips or a crispy vegetable, such as lightly steamed broccoli.
Enchilada Spaghetti Squash Casserole
A veggie-loaded, protein packed dinner that reheats wonderfully for leftovers throughout the week!
- FOR THE ENCHILADA SAUCE:
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
- 2 tablespoons flour (we use spelt)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 small can (8 ounces) organic tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth, bone broth, or water
- 1/2 teaspoon Orie’s Smoked Garlic Artisan Sea Salt or plain sea salt, ground finely FOR THE CASSEROLE:
- 1 medium spaghetti squashed, cooked & shredded
- 1 pound pastured, ground lamb or beef
- 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 large handful favorite leafy greens, such as spinach, tat soi, baby kale, or Orie’s Farmhouse Greens Mix, chopped
- 1 batch homemade enchilada sauce (recipe above) or a large can/jar (roughly 28oz.) store-bought
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano, or 2 tablespoons fresh (minced)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 eggs, whisked TOPPINGS:
- cilantro, yogurt, mustard, black olives, crushed tortilla chips, avocado, etc.
- FOR THE ENCHILADA SAUCE:
- Warm a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add oil, then stir in flour until a thin paste forms.
- Stir in chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, onion powder (we combine these in a small bowl beforehand and simply dump into the pan all at once). Cook for a couple of minutes, until fragrant.
- Add tomato paste and then broth, whisking until smooth.
- Simmer over medium-low for about 5 minutes, until thickened. Stir in salt. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. FOR THE CASSEROLE:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9×13″ casserole dish with oil.
- Warm skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add lamb, breaking apart with a slotted wooden spoon. Add garlic and onion. Stir to incorporate.
- Cook lamb & onion mixture for 5-7 minutes, or until meat is cooked through and onions are soft.
- Stir in leafy greens for a minute or two, until wilted. Turn off the heat.
- To a large mixing bowl, transfer lamb mixture with the slotted spoon. Add spaghetti squash, enchilada sauce, nutritional yeast, oregano, salt & pepper. Stir together. Pour in whisked eggs and stir again, until fully combined.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, until browned and crispy around the edges.
- Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving. Add toppings of choice and devour! Leftovers store in the fridge for about 4 days and reheat nicely for lunches or a quick dinner another night.