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Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Casserole. Just the name alone is probably bringing back memories of warm dinners at home on a chilly winter night. Casseroles are comfort. Casseroles are home. But unfortunately, casseroles can be notoriously unhealthy. So we’ve decided it was time to get into the MRC kitchen to come up with a casserole that still provided all of the warmth and comfort without all of the carbs and calories. Introducing MRC’s Spaghetti Squash Casserole!

We’ve played with Spaghetti Squash in the MRC kitchen before, and let us tell you - we are BIG fans of this vegetable. It’s a low-calorie, low-carb alternative to traditional pasta. We won’t try and tell you that it tastes exactly the same as pasta - it doesn’t - it tastes like squash. But it’s a mild flavor that easily absorbs all of those wonderful toppings and sauces that go into traditional pasta dishes and casseroles. Its peak seasons are Fall and Winter, but you’ll find it available (and enjoyable) in most local grocery stores all year round. 

Not only is it a low-carb and low-calorie alternative to traditional pasta, but nutritionally speaking, it’s far superior to any pasta on the shelf (including enriched varieties). Spaghetti squash is chocked full of beta-carotene, Vitamin A, Potassium, and Folic Acid. And one cup comes in at just 40 calories. Compare that to just one cup of other traditional casserole insides:

  • Potatoes: 116 calories
  • Spaghetti (pasta): 221 calories
  • Cubed bread: 92 calories
  • French Fried Onion Strings: 360 calories
  • Rice: 206 calories
  • Beans: 218 calories

And those counts don’t even include all of the gooey goodness that goes along with the casserole! By using Spaghetti squash in our casserole, we’ve eliminated the unpleasant decision of having to choose between healthy and delicious - now you can have both! Prepare the whole pan because you’ll be coming back to this one again and again (that’s if the other members of your household don’t eat it all first!).

 

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz. cooked Spaghetti squash, shredded
  • 5 oz. broccoli, steamed
  • 4 oz. low-fat Cottage cheese
  • 2 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 oz. green onion
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or diced
  • 4 oz. thinly sliced cheese from the deli
  • To taste: Mrs. Dash, sea salt, black pepper
  • For added spice: sliced fresh jalapeno or crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8x8 in. baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Prep the vegetables:
    • Steam the broccoli and measure out 5 oz.
    • Cook the spaghetti squash and shred 10 oz. For instructions on easy spaghetti squash prep, see our Lasagna Boats recipe or check out the link below these instructions for a video on both microwave and oven prep methods.
    • Spray a small frying pan with cooking spray and saute garlic over medium-high heat just until fragrant. Add green onions and saute together until softened, just a couple minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Remove excess water from the spaghetti squash by pressing between two towels (you may need to do this more than once to remove all excess water).
  4. In a large bowl, combine the spaghetti squash, steamed broccoli, cottage cheese, and block cheese. Season with Mrs. Dash, salt, and pepper to taste.
  5. Spread mixture into the lightly greased 8x8 in. pan and top with cheese slices.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, just until the cheese on top has browned.
  7. Remove from oven and serve warm.

For those of you who are visual learners or are preparing this one on a display in your kitchen at home, check out this video for different ways to cook Spaghetti squash.

Servings: 4 | One Serving: 4 inch square (or ¼ of baking dish) | Replaces: 4 oz. protein, 4 oz. cooked vegetables

Can’t get enough casserole-y goodness and need other recipes to calm that casserole fever? Be sure to check out these MRC menu-friendly casserole adaptations, too!

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