Inspiration: The beginning of fall is one of my favorite times of the year. Summer will always win out for me, but there’s something so wonderful and comforting about the leaves turning, the wind blowing, the holidays approaching, and of course, fall food. I absolutely adore cooking with fall squash (butternut is my favorite, but spaghetti squash is pretty awesome, too), so as soon as the first fall day hits, I’ve probably got squash on the menu. I first discovered this recipe and blogged about it a couple of years ago, and it has since become one of our favorite spaghetti squash recipes that we make all of the time. When fall hit this year, I simply couldn’t wait to redo my old post and encourage everyone to try out this wonderful dish ASAP.
What we Loved: This meal is the definition of comfort food to me. Any dish that is as rich and as cheesy as this one is just has to fall into that category. The sour cream mixed together with the squash results in such a fantastic creamy texture, and the Parmesan cheese adds that great nutty flavor that I love so much about Parmesan. The cheese on top of the casserole browns just a bit, which results in loads more flavor and just a bit of an awesome crunch. And as if that wasn’t enough, the sauteed onions add a lovely browned onion flavor that is killer and absolutely essential to the dish. With a beautiful in-season squash (I just love its bright, fresh taste), browned onions, cheesy Parmesan, and plenty of sour cream, what’s not to love?
Tips: This dish works really well in a multitude of ways. I most often serve it as a main vegetarian entree alongside a green vegetable for a light meal, but it’s also excellent topped with sauteed and sliced chicken breasts for some protein (as shown at the end of the post). It works great as a side dish, and leftovers reheat well and are one of my favorite work week lunches. I also have a feeling that any number of mix-ins would be good to throw in, too. Sauteed mushrooms, spinach, or crumbled Italian sausage all sound like great additions to me.
Spaghetti Squash Gratin
Source: Adapted from Daily Unadventures in Cooking
1 medium-sized spaghetti squash
1/2 Vidalia or sweet onion, chopped
About 1 cup sour cream
About 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded (or more, to preference)
Kosher salt and black pepper
1. Cook the spaghetti squash. Poke it all over with a fork, and bake at 400 degrees for one hour or in the microwave for about 15 minutes.
2. While the squash is cooking, heat a pat of butter in a saute pan, and add the onion. Cook until softened and browned.
3. When the squash is done cooking, let it cool until you are able to handle, and then cut it in half. Remove the seeds from the center of the squash.
3. Scrape the squash strands into a mixing bowl. Mix with the sour cream, half of the cheese, the sauteed onions, and a healthy amount of salt and pepper.
4. Pour the mixture into a baking dish, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.
Wow, I am not a squash lover, but this is one of the best squash recipes I’ve ever seen! I’m thinking of taking it as the vegetable dish to my sister’s for Thanksgiving–a nice break from the old green bean casserole…
Thanks, Sherry! I think that this would be great at Thanksgiving time….it’s such nice comfort food.
The gratin looks awesome. I especially love the last pic with the beans and sauteed chicken. Thanks for the recipe. Bookmarked and waiting for the appearance of spaghetti squash in the markets here to try it out. :)
Thank you! It is particularly good with the chicken on top – and I’m thinking that any protein that you’d like would probably be great (shrimp sounds good to me right now!)
This looks and sounds amazing….and I was wondering what to cook to go with bbq chicken tonight. We have a winner! Thanks! ~Nancy
I hope that you like it if you try it, Nancy! Sounds great with BBQ chicken. :)
I made this for lunch today and WOW! It was SO delicious!
Oh good! So glad that you liked it!!
This is one of the tastiest recipes I’ve made! I subbed cheddar for the parmesan (because that’s what we had) and it was amazing. Reminiscent of the hashbrown casserole my grandma makes. Thanks!
So glad that it turned out so well, Madelyn! Using cheddar sounds awesome…..I may try it out that way next time. Thanks for the idea :)
I have 3 HUGE spaghetti squash that need to be used. One of them has this recipe on it! Thank you once again for your great posts.
Oh good! Hope that you like it :)
mmm… I think I know what I’ll do with spaghetti squash next week!
If you end up trying it, Cara, I hope that you enjoy it!
Im just wondering how this is paleo with all the cheese? Is there a substition for the cheese that I can use to make this a Paleo recipe? It sounds and looks delicious!
Karen – the recipes on my blog are not all strictly paleo, though a lot of them fall into that category. I post what my husband and I typically eat, which is generally food with quality ingredients and low carbs.
That said, I guess this recipe wouldn’t be considered paleo to the hard-core paleo diet followers, but I know that some are more liberal and eat cheese, dairy, etc. in moderation (as long as it’s quality). Especially those who follow more of a primal plan versus a strict paleo one. So I guess it just depends on what you’re looking for personally.
As for replacing the cheese/sour cream in this recipe to make it paleo, I’m not sure it can be done! The cheese and sour cream are pretty much the essential ingredients that give the dish the flavor that it has. If you come up with anything, though, I’d love to hear what you try!
I just found your blog via Pinterest yesterday, and fell in love with this recipe – made it last night and it was AMAZING!!! Wow. Could not believe how good it was. I accidentally used an entire caramelized onion, threw in 3 minced cloves of garlic with the onion, and think I shall keep it that way. Also, my sour cream was scary, so I subbed a cup of 2% Fage yogurt with tbsp cream…perfection. I’ve already printed many more recipes from your lovely site, and I can’t wait to try them.
I’m so glad that you’re finding recipes that you like, Emily!
This spaghetti squash gratin is one of my fall/winter favorites, too. I think I need to make it again ASAP :) And I love your idea of using caramelized onions instead of just sauteeing them. That sounds really fabulous!
Carrie, I also wanted to say I tried your (I think it’s your – can’t find it in the search) flax seed cracker recipe – and considering that I already ate an entire batch, but my 12 yr old son declared they were better than Cheez-Its, I also owe you a thank you for that! Lovely stuff, and I’m enjoying working my way through the archives. :) Happy cooking!
The flax seed cracker recipe wasn’t mine, actually – sure sounds good, though! Better than Cheez-Its? Yes please! (Those things are way too addicting…..)
Oops – sorry! Because it was so good, and I printed off so many of your wonderful recipes, I thought it must be yours. Oh well! No idea where I got it from now!
No problem! :)
Just made this….it is AMAZING!!! Thanks so much.
So glad that you enjoyed it! You’re very welcome :)
I have some in the oven right now, but I was short on sour cream so I put a dallop plus heavy cream…I hope that works! Can’t wait :)
I hope it turned out with the cream? I’d love to hear how that went!
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