Stuffed spaghetti squash with sausage and kale is an easy 6-ingredient recipe for a delicious, hearty, low-carb dinner!
Hiya friends! How are you all doing?
I had a little stomach bug earlier in the week -- thank you, back-to-school germs -- but am now mostly rested, recovered and hoping it doesn't make the rounds in our house.
We had J's 3-year-old check-up yesterday and he is a healthy, growing boy. Nothing I didn't know, but always good to have it confirmed by the professionals. 😉
I also had my first PTA meeting last night. I sometimes still feel like I'm just masquerading as an adult -- like I don't know what I'm doing and don't belong, while everyone else has their sh** together -- but I know we're all just doing our best and hobbling along. Right? Right?! Please just speak to me in soft tones and pat my head.
Anyway, can we talk squash? And specifically spaghetti squash.
It’s a fruit. Did you already know that? How did I not?
I guess since it’s prepared as a vegetable- baked, roasted or steamed - I just thought it was.
Nope. It’s a fruit. So is butternut squash. And pretty much every other winter squash.
It's because they have seeds on the inside, which is one of the defining feature of a fruit.
Should have know, but still, mind blown. 🤯
Anyway, I love me some spaghetti squash, whatever food group it might fall into. It’s light but rich and it makes a seriously fantastic low-calorie, low-carb, nutrient-dense alternative to pasta.
Plus it’s just crazy to see that hard squash yield those long, thin strands. A fun food for sure!
My spaghetti squash with pesto, peas and shrimp is a great light all-in-one meal. And I also love my 4-ingredient spaghetti squash with pesto chicken for an easy, healthy meal. And spaghetti squash with chicken and broccoli is something I can make with ingredients I usually always have on hand.
Today’s stuffed spaghetti squash with sausage and kale is still healthy and fairly light, but it’s also a nod to the coming cold weather and the need for all things comfort food.
And it’s only 6 ingredients (plus olive oil, salt and pepper)! Can't beat that for keeping things simple at dinnertime!
It’s hearty, earthy, fill-you-up food that will make your belly full and happy without packing on the pounds. I don’t need any more of that kind of insulation 😉
Now, I’ve got some notes, tips and substitutions coming up below. Just tryin’ to be helpful.
If you want to jump on down to the recipe, simply scroll right on through the rest of the text. The recipe card is near the bottom of the page, above the comments section.
Notes on sausage and kale stuffed spaghetti squash:
- I use hot Italian turkey sausage for a little kick. You can substitute mild turkey sausage or use pork sausage or chorizo.
- I’m lazy so I just tear the kale leaves as I’m taking the stem off and washing them. That’s good enough for this recipe, but you could certainly chop them more finely if you’d like smaller pieces.
- I like onion and the flavor it adds but you could reduce or omit it if you prefer not to have onion in the final meal.
- You can pull the strands of your spaghetti squash after it’s cooked and then add the sausage and kale stuffing mixture, or you can just pile it on top and let everyone scrape their own spaghetti squash as they’re eating.
Also, if you want to get this partially prepped ahead of time, to make things easier at night, you definitely can.
Make-ahead tips for spaghetti squash with sausage and kale:
- You can roast the spaghetti squash and make the sausage stuffing mixture ahead of time so they are completely cooked.
- Let cool slightly then store them separately in the refrigerator in a covered container. (You can just wrap each spaghetti squash half in plastic wrap.)
- Take everything out of the fridge while you preheat the oven to let the squash and sausage mixture come to room temperature a bit.
- Assemble thee stuffed spaghetti squash, then cook at 400 for 20 minutes or until heated through. Add the Parmesan cheese on top in the last 5 minutes to get it melted down.
And here’s my strategy for getting this on the table more quickly if you're making it at night.
Time-saving tips for sausage and kale spaghetti squash:
- I prep the squash and get it roasting first.
- While it’s in the oven, I start browning the sausage.
- While the sausage is cooking, I wash and prep my kale so it’s ready to go.
- While everything is in the oven to get the cheese melted at the end, open your wine -- or pour another glass if you’ve already started. No judgment. 😉
Get to stuffing your squash and enjoy!
- 2 medium spaghetti squash
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb. hot Italian turkey sausage (see notes)
- 1 large bunch kale, trimmed off stalk and roughly chopped
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, divided
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- Preheat oven to 400. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
- Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. (For easier cutting, you can microwave each squash for about 5 minutes to soften it.)
- Place each squash half, cut side down, on baking sheet.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the squash is tender. (Exact timing will depend on the size of your squash. You’ll be able to tell by pushing on the outside or putting a fork into the inner strands of the inside of the squash if it’s tender.)
- While the squash is cooking, prep the filling.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 2-3 minutes, until tender. Add garlic and saute another 30 seconds.
- Add sausage and cook until well browned on both sides and cooked through, breaking it up with your spatula as it cooks, about 7-8 minutes total.
- (While the sausage is cooking, I prep my kale.)
- Next, add the kale to the pan and stir to combine and help it wilt down. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper.
- Once kale is wilted, turn off heat and set the pan aside.
- When the spaghetti squash is cooked, season the inside of each squash with the remaining salt and black pepper. You can either use a fork to pull out the strands of each squash first or you can add the kale and sausage stuffing right on top.
- Sprinkle each stuffed spaghetti squash with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.
- Return the spaghetti squash to the oven at 400 for about 5-7 minutes to melt the cheese and get everything warmed through.
You can substitute mild turkey sausage or use pork sausage or chorizo.
I tear the kale leaves as I’m taking the stem off and washing them. That’s good enough for this recipe, but you could certainly chop them more finely if you’d like smaller pieces.
I like onion and the flavor it adds but you could reduce or omit it if you prefer not to have onion in the final meal.
You can make the spaghetti squash and the stuffing mixture ahead of time and store them separately in the refrigerator. Take everything out while you preheat the oven to let it come to room temperature a bit then cook at 400 for 20 minutes, or until heated through.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 442Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 115mgSodium: 1338mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 8gSugar: 13gProtein: 35g