Spaghetti Squash with Cannellini Beans and Roasted Red Peppers

September 22, 2014

I hope you’re excited for this recipe. I sure am. It’s delicious.

I was inspired to create this meal for my friend E after we had a lovely coffee date last week. We were talking about our love of spaghetti squash, while wishing it had more satiating power to keep you full and energized. Sure it has fiber, but a meal needs protein, too!

Motivated to make something that would fill me up, keep me going, but not weigh me down, I turned to a pantry staple, cannellini beans.

For some additional color I incorporated roasted red peppers I had purchased on a whim a few weeks ago; they provide a wonderfully tangy roasted flavor that is simply delicious.  Add in some tender baby spinach, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and you have an incredible dinner, packed with flavorful and nutrient dense ingredients, all in under 30 minutes. What more could you ask for?

Have you tried spaghetti squash before? What’s your favorite way to eat it? Let me know below!


Paula’s Notes:
To prepare your squash in the microwave, use a sharp knife to poke several holes in the hard skin of the squash. Then put the whole squash into a 9×9 pyrex dish and microwave for 2-3 minutes to soften the hard outer skin a bit.  Next, remove the squash from the microwave, cut off the top with a sharp knife, stand the squash on the flat side you just cut, and then carefully slice the squash in half lengthwise.

After you have cut your squash in half, scoop out the insides. Place one squash half, flesh side down, in your pyrex dish. Fill the dish with about 1/2 inch of water, return the squash to the microwave, and cook it for 5 minutes on high. If your microwave does not rotate automatically, rotate the squash after five minutes, and continue cooking an additional 3-5 minutes until you can pierce the top of the squash with a fork. (It takes me 8 minutes per half). Remove squash from the microwave (be careful, it’s hot!) and let it cool. Repeat with the remaining squash half. Let both halves cool a bit as you prepare the remainder of the dish.

Spaghetti Squash with Cannellini Beans and Roasted Red Peppers

Yields: 4 servings
Time: 30-35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 tbls. olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 7 oz. jar roasted red bell peppers, drained and thinly sliced
  • 12 oz. baby spinach (it’s a lot, but it cooks down)
  • 16 oz. can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 tbls. grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Prepare spaghetti squash by desired method. (For instructions on how to cook it in the microwave, see “Paula’s Notes” above.) Once squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape inner flesh into spaghetti-like strands.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
  3. Add roasted bell peppers, beans, and garlic cloves. Saute for about 1 minute.
  4. Add baby spinach, in batches if needed, stirring occasionally until spinach has wilted.
  5. Add spaghetti squash, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese. Mix ingredients until fully incorporated. 
  6. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Divide into four serving bowl, top with extra Parmesan cheese, and enjoy!

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