Fall Recipe: Baked Spaghetti Squash with Spinach

Depending on where you live, it does not always feel like fall when the calendar says it should. Despite the first official day of the season happening in September, here in North Texas, the weather doesn’t get the message until well into October.

Now that brisk mornings, falling leaves and pumpkin patches have arrived, the Nutrition Services team at the North Texas Food Bank has some great recipes that elevate fall flavors and create the cozy, autumn feelings we crave this time of year.

Our team has chosen Baked Spaghetti Squash with Spinach to highlight for fall. Not only is it nutritious and features a fall favorite, squash, but it is also a great dish to cook up in honor of October being National Vegetarian Month. The milk and cheese in this recipe provide you with protein as well as needed calcium and vitamin D. Beans can be added to this dish as a great plant-based protein and they will add more fiber.

Fall Recipe: Baked Spaghetti Squash with Spinach

Servings: 8                                    
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach, washed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 spaghetti squash, cooked (see details below)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
  • Salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon each)

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Put cooked spaghetti squash in baking dish (recommended size 9 x 13).
  • In a large saucepan, heat oil on medium heat.
  • Add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Then whisk in flour, and slowly add in milk and stir constantly.
  • Remove from heat and stir in shredded sharp cheddar. Add spinach, salt and pepper and combine.
  • Pour mixture on top of spaghetti squash in baking dish. Top with parmesan cheese.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes, until top is golden brown. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Full nutrition information, tips for baking the squash, and additional recipes can be found here: https://ntfb.org/recipes/


As you wait for your dish to bake, be sure to check out the new virtual programming the NTFB Nutrition Services Program is offering. We previously shared how our Nutrition Services Program has ramped up its virtual services in light of the pandemic. Organizations that serve at least 50 percent low-income clients can host a virtual nutrition education series at its site. Programs include:

Cooking Matters at Home (adults and families):

  • 5-week course (once a week) in which we will cover Food Storage and Kitchen Safety, Family Meals, Kids in the Kitchen, Recipes, and Snacking. For more information, including a look at the online participant booklet, you can go here. Sessions are 30 – 45 minutes each.

Serving Up MyPlate (2nd-6th graders):

  • 4-week course (once a week or once a month) that introduces the importance of eating from all five food groups with a variety of hands-on activities while also learning the importance of physical activity and staying healthy. Sessions are 30 – 45 minutes each.

Eat Smart, Live Strong (seniors 60+):

  • 4-week course (once a week or once a month) that helps to improve fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity in older adults. Sessions are around 45 minutes each.

MyPlate 10 Tips (adults)

  • 4-week course (once a week or once a month) that helps families stretch food dollars, prepare easy and healthy meals, and be more physically active.

Cooking Matters at the Store (adults and families):

  • One-time virtual grocery store tour that provides participants with the knowledge of how to plan, budget, and shop for healthy, affordable, and delicious meals for their families.

If your organization is interested, you can make your request here.


Happy Fall! Enjoy the colors, the aromas and the flavors that come with a new season.

Caryn Berardi is a Communications Specialist for the North Texas Food Bank.