Cheesy Broccoli-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Bowls are a modern makeover of twice-baked potatoes. Each roasted squash half gets stuffed with a mixture of shredded cheese, steamed broccoli florets, and basil pesto. Dinner done! Easy. Family Pleasing. Vegetarian. Gluten Free.
Spaghetti squash is my go-to winter squash because it cooks up quickly, and it’s super versatile. My boys love the mild flavor and I love its endless dinnertime possibilities. You can top it with just about any combo of ingredients:
Beans, sauteed bell pepper, and gooey cheese for Taco-Topped Spaghetti Squash Bowls
Meat-free crumbles, mushrooms, baby spinach, pasta sauce, and cheese for Spaghetti Squash with Meat-Free Bolognese Sauce
Never roasted a spaghetti squash before? Check out my how-to guide.
We’ve always loved twice baked potatoes, but I’m impatient and prefer the 40 minutes it takes to roast spaghetti squash vs. the hour-plus for potatoes. And as far as I’m concerned, the squash is just as versatile as potatoes, and for some kids it might also be more fun. Think, spaghetti!
A few words about cheese:
I recently posted a spinach mac & cheese recipe, and I got pushback from a reader on the use of low-fat cheese.
For years, I’ve used low-fat cheese in most of the recipes here on Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen. I am not a fan of fat-free cheese, because I don’t like the way it melts (or shall I say, the way it does not melt). But I’ve always had great luck with low fat in terms of the flavor and meltability.
Cheese provides calcium, protein, a complex mix of fats, and a flavor kids (and adults) adore. While I typically cook with low fat, lately, I’ve been turning more and more to full fat. Yes, the calories are higher, so when I use it, I use it in moderation. But I don’t worry about its impact on heart health like I used to. A growing body of intriguing new research shows that the calcium, some of the fats, and the good bacteria in cheese (cheese is a fermented food) may protect against heart disease by lowering blood pressure and raising our body’s good HDL cholesterol. I’m not talking about giant cheeseburgers here. Adding a small amount of luscious cheese to a diet rich in fruits, veggies (like spaghetti squash!), whole grains, nuts, and seeds is the goal. Think, healthy eating pattern.
- Serves: 4
- Serving size: (1/2 squash)
- Calories: 225
- Fat: 11g
- Saturated fat: 2g
- Carbohydrates: 15g
- Sodium: 585mg
- Fiber: 5g
- Protein: 17g
- Two 1½ to 1¾ pound spaghetti squash
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cups small broccoli florets
- 1 cup + 4 tablespoons shredded part-skim or whole mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup prepared basil pesto
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray.
- Carefully trim off the squash stems. Cut squash in half lengthwise, and use a spoon to remove the seeds. (To soften the squash first, poke a few holes into the squash, place on a microwave-safe plate, and heat in the microwave about 3 minutes.) Brush the insides of the hollowed out squash with the olive oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.
- Place, hollowed side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake until tender, 35 to 40 minutes.
- While the squash is in the oven, steam the broccoli until tender, about 4 minutes.
- Remove the cooked squash from oven and allow to cool about 10 minutes. Shred the cooked squash into spaghetti-like strands. Scoop the strands into a large bowl. Add the broccoli, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and basil pesto. Stir well to combine, and season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
- Scoop the mixture back into the empty squash bowls, and sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup mozzarella cheese evenly over the tops.
- Place back into the oven until the mixture is heated through, about 10 minutes.
Ok spaghetti squash fans. Go ahead and share YOUR favorite ways to prepare it.