Doesn't this picture make you want to dive on in and do the backstroke?
Go ahead. Don't worry, I won't judge. After all, that was my intent when taking the picture - to lure you in with an irresistible photo.
Which is why my family had the pleasure of being served casserole at dinner Sunday night with a chunk missing from the center. Only the best for my people!
When my mom asked me what I wanted to bring for potluck dinner for my grandparents anniversary, I quickly told her it would be a side dish involving squash. I had a huge spaghetti squash in the kitchen that I didn't serve with the Bolognese and meatballs the previous week. When you get home frazzled at 7:00 after a crazy day at work, cooking a spaghetti squash for an hour isn't high on the list of good ideas for a quick dinner. So at the last minute, I went with ravioli; leaving me with a huge spaghetti squash with no future in sight.
I knew my Mom was planning to make roasted pork shoulder as the main dish, so I immediately thought to make a cheesy savory squash casserole using the neglected spaghetti squash.
Now I realize spaghetti squash is not typically the variety of squash used in a southern style squash casserole, but I am here to tell you it worked perfectly. That spaghetti squash was meant to be southern despite its Italian roots.
I threw in the asparagus last minute because I had it on hand. I tend to load up my family on vegetables any chance I get.
Don't let the time factor scare you away from making this. The hands on time is really only about 20 minutes. The rest of the time is hands off cooking time (i.e. time to do other things like
watch four episodes of Parks and Recreation and play on Pinterest clean the house). And it's is really easy to assemble. Pinkie swear.
If you want a complete meal, toss in a few chicken breasts (boiled and diced or shredded). Perfect to drop of for a friend who has just had a baby or has fallen under the weather.
See that bite right there? It was really good.
Spaghetti Squash and Asparagus Casserole
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total time: 2 hour 10 minutes
1 onion, diced
1 bunch asparagus, cut into one inch pieces
1 spaghetti squash
1 - 1 1/2 c. of grated cheddar (I used half Cabot Vermont White 3 year and half mild red hoop cheddar)
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 large eggs beaten
1/2 c. mayo
1/2 c. Greek yogurt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 sleeve whole grain crackers crushed (about 2 cups)
2 tbsp. coconut oil
2 tbsp. butter, melted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half (be very careful, please) and clean out membrane and seeds. Place squash flesh side down on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes until skin pierces easily with a fork. While squash cooks, heat large skillet over medium high heat and add coconut oil and onion. Cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add asparagus and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Place cooked onion and asparagus in a bowl to cool. Remove squash from oven and use a fork scrape squash from skin (it will come off in strands like spaghetti). Reduce oven to 350 degrees. Add shredded squash to bowl with onion and asparagus. In a separate bowl, beat two eggs. Add mayo, Greek yogurt, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and nutmeg, mix well. Stir in of grated cheddar cheese and pour mixture onto squash, asparagus and onion with 1 cup of the cracker crumbs. Mix well. Pour into a greased 9x13 casserole dish and spread evenly. Mix remaining cup of crushed crackers with butter and Parmesan and spread over casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour until set.
This was a picture I unintentionally snapped while helping my sister in law with her new camera. The Spaghetti Squash and Asparagus casserole was a hit!