Paleo & GF Pizza Casserole
Truthfully, I have never been a big fan of spaghetti squash. I have only tried it a few times before, and the results were kind of underwhelming. But when my sister, the gorgeous and ridiculously fit woman behind the Instagram account @j_rose_fitness told me that she just HAD to make this dish for the family, I agreed wholeheartedly. Because, really…I never turn down free food.
And holy WOW! It has surpassed chicken spaghetti as my new favorite casserole and totally changed my initial impression of spaghetti squash. Apparently I was making it wrong before, because there is certainly nothing wrong with this dish! It is incredibly creamy and the flavor here is over the top outstanding. My favorite part is that we can make it different every single time. Notice the title? Pizza casserole. Meaning the ingredients change based on what you like on your pizza! In the above pic you can see green olives, sausage and mushrooms peeking out. That just happens to be the ‘pizza’ combo we made this time, but the possibilities are endless! Yes, this recipe happens to be paleo, gluten free, and dairy free, but those are really just labels for people with food sensitivities and allergies. It is so hearty and so dang comforting that it actually tastes indulgent. Like you are sinking your teeth into something sinful! So wether you are watching what you eat or not, I recommend giving this a try. I have added it to the menu for several upcoming events where I am hosting kids and adults alike, both of which have issues with food. Spicy or mild, crazy or simple, I can mix it up ahead of time and leave my hands free to entertain. It makes a giant pan so it feeds a crowd. Or as I discovered, just our family of five with only ONE serving for leftovers! I honestly have no idea if it freezes well because we always eat it, but that is on my list of things to experiment with soon.
Have YOU ever tried spaghetti squash? How did you eat it?
Just before going in the oven. Kinda pretty, right?
Just out of the oven! And yes, it is incredibly difficult to not snitch a bite of crispy pepperoni off the top! You can’t believe how incredible this smells!!
Paleo & GF Pizza Casserole
Recipe from JRoseFitness, inspired by PaleOMG
Any matter of desired meats or veggies can be mixed into this casserole. The ingredients below are what WE like. Use your imagination and come up with a tasty combination!
1 large spaghetti squash
2 c store bought or homemade marinara sauce or pizza sauce
1 lb Italian sausage, sweet or spicy, browned, crumbled, and drained of excess grease
1 lb portabella or shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 large sweet bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c sliced black or green olives
Pepperoni slices, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Halve the spaghetti squash lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Lay the two halves cut side down in a lined sheet pan and bake until soft when pressed with a finger, or a knife slides in easily. Remove and set aside until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, brown the mushrooms, onion, and pepper in a bit of olive oil until just starting to soften. Set aside. When the squash is cool enough to hold, use a large fork to scrape the squash (it will come out in strings looking like spaghetti-hence, spaghetti squash) into a large bowl, separating the threads as you go. Leave the oven on, and spray or butter a large, 9X13 glass baking dish. Add the sauce, sausage, veggie mixture, eggs, and olives to the bowl, mixing thoroughly. Pour the whole thing into the prepared dish and smooth the top flat. If desired, and I highly recommend it, cover the top with slices of pepperoni, overlapping slightly. Bake the whole casserole in the oven until the center is hot and it is all evenly browned and crispy on top, about 30 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes to settle and then scoop and enjoy! Top with grated parm if you so desire!