Fall is a wonderful time in the garden. As the autumn harvest yields its bounty, many of the fruits of spring and summer are still available. This stuffed spaghetti squash is a celebration of the season. Staples like Swiss chard, cherry tomatoes, and fresh herbs fill the squash like a colorful harvest basket. At serving time, the stuffing is mixed with the golden, spaghetti-like strands of squash to create a light, savory dish.
Roasting the squash a day ahead is a great way to maximize your time. Simply cool the squash and store it in a covered container in the refrigerator. The next evening, stuff the cold squash and bake until heated through. With a pre-prepared squash, you can have dinner on the table in about 30 minutes.
Spaghetti squash vary in size. This recipe calls for a large squash and uses only one of the halves. If you get a large squash, use one half for this recipe and then try your own variation another evening with the second half. The mild flavor of the squash makes a wonderful canvas for culinary creativity.
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 3 ounces salt pork (or slab bacon, cut into lardons or cubes)
- 1/2 yellow onion (diced medium)
- 2 cups Swiss chard (leaves and stems, roughly chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (sliced)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
- Salt and fresh ground pepper (to taste)
Gather the ingredients. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with foil or parchment paper.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Reserve one half of the squash for another meal or go ahead and bake and save the cooked squash for another night.
Generously rub the interior of each squash half with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place the halves cut-side down on the baking sheet and roast for 60 to 90 minutes depending on the size and thickness of your squash. The squash is done when the skin side is easily pierced with a fork.
Cook the pork in a skillet over medium heat until beginning to crisp.
When some of the fat has rendered, add the onions and sauté until softened and translucent.
Add the chard, garlic, and a few drizzles of olive oil. When the chard has wilted, add the cherry tomatoes and continue to sauté for 5 to 7 minutes more.
Remove the pan from the heat, add the Parmesan cheese and herbs, then toss to combine.
Stuff the squash with the chard and tomato mixture. Bake the stuffed squashed until steamy and the cheese has melted, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
- It's easy to make this dish vegetarian. Simply omit the pork and sauté the onions in olive oil instead.
- For a vegan version, swap the Parmesan for any vegan cheese option you like. There are some really wonderful vegan ricotta products that would be fantastic in this dish.