Sausage, Cheese, and Spaghetti… Squash!

Last week, when I started thinking about this week’s meals, I had a craving for spaghetti squash. It’s been quite a while since I made it, and I was in the mood for a warm, hearty pasta-like dish. I love using spaghetti squash in pasta-casserole style dishes, it makes a great substitute, since it is similar in texture to pasta and holds the flavors of the other ingredients very well. And of course, it greatly cuts down on calories.I knew I had some Trader Joe’s Sundried Tomato Chicken Sausge, so I planned to use that as well. When the What’s Cooking Nesties decided on a pasta, sausage, and cheese bake as the recipe of the week, I decided this would be my very loose interpretation. It was very tasty and satisfied my cravings, but I wouldn’t call it anything very special as I have made many similar versions of pasta with sauce and cheese and sausage without using any recipes at all. I also wished I had some veggies on hand, like spinach or zucchini, to give it a little more bulk and color. One great thing was that it was super easy and quick. I actually prepared it in about 15 minutes the night before (after roasting my squash, of course), and left it in the fridge for my fiance to pop in the oven when he got home today. Here’s my version for two individual casseroles:

4 cups cooked spaghetti squash
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 links TJ’s Sundried Tomato Chicken Sausage, sliced
14 oz can diced tomatoes
Small handful of fresh basil and oregano, chopped
sprinkle of salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste
1/2 cup of your favorite Italian cheese blend – mine is TJ’s Quattro Formaggio

In a nonstick pan coated with cooking spray, saute onion and garlic over medium heat until onion is softened and translucent. Add sausage, tomatoes, and seasonings and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Spray two individual casseroles with cooking spray. Place 1 cup of spaghetti squash in each dish, top with 1/2 cup sausage mixture and 2 tbsp cheese. Repeat. Cover and bake at 35o for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

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