Kale adds a nutritious boost to the otherwise hearty dish. As the squash is baking, prep the kale by cutting the leaves off the stem and either shredding or chopping them into smaller pieces. After the squash has been baking for about half an hour, I usually start preparing the onion and sausage. Then everything is hot and ready to enjoy around the same time.
I like the addition of pine nuts to the sausage and kale, but they are completely optional. I realize that most people do not keep pine nuts just hanging around the pantry. Also for some reason, I almost always forget about pine nuts (or any other nuts, for that matter) when they are roasting on the stove. I pay attention for the unimportant first two minutes and then start doing something else. Five minutes later I am smacking my forehead because I can smell them burning. I can’t seem to learn my lesson with this particular mistake. If anyone has a suggestion about how to remedy this, I am all ears.
I decided to change things up with this recipe and serve the food right in the shell of the squash. It’s a bit more playful and each person can have his or her own. If there are just two of us eating dinner we each get a half. For four people, I try to pick out two smaller spaghetti squash at the store so that everyone gets a ‘boat.’ So have a little more fun at dinner, even a regular old weeknight dinner, with these hearty spaghetti squash boats.
This recipe was inspired by this awesome recipe from Stupid Easy Paleo
- 1 medium spaghetti squash or 2 small spaghetti squash
- 1 1/2 lbs. Italian chicken sausage, casings removed
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bunch kale
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp pine nuts, roasted
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place squash in the microwave for 3-4 minutes to soften. Using a sharp knife cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Place the halves, with the cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 45-50 minutes, until you can poke the squash easily with a fork. Let cool until you can handle it safely.
- Meanwhile, prepare the kale by removing the center stems and either tearing or cutting up the leaves. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add the chicken sausage and break apart with a spatula to crumble. Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring regularly, until the sausage is browned and cooked through. Add the kale and stir. Cook for a few minutes more to wilt the kale. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Once cooled, scrape the insides of the spaghetti squash with a fork to shred the squash into strands. Transfer the strands into the skillet with the sausage and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture among the squash shells, and then top with pine nuts and parsley to serve.
This may be a stupid question but do you eat the squash shells? Wasn’t sure if you could eat them or not! Thanks!
Not a problem, you don’t actually eat the squash shells with spaghetti squash, just the strands inside the squash. In this recipe the shells are just used for serving, taking the place of a bowl.
The skin for the spaghetti squash is not edible.
Made this tonight… It was awesome!!! Even non-paleo eaters LOVED it. Took a little longer to prepare, so I’m not sure it’s a good weeknight dish (maybe if you prep everything in advance). And we did not eat the “boat” but we did scrape the insides out. YUM!
This is absolutely delicious…and I am not a fan of Italian sausage. I used coconut oil, turkey sweet Italian sausage and seasoned my spaghetti squash with garlic and onion powder for roasting. I forgot about the pine nuts and parsley, but I did top it with sauteed heirloom cherry tomatoes and it was very good. I shared with my sister and her husband and they both thought it was definitely a keeper.
(my first post…and I think I put it under the rating. Sorry it it appears twice.)
I know what you mean about forgetting about things on the stove until you smell em burning. Just get a timer and use it. A super easy solution and it ultimately saves money, especially when pine nuts are $24 lb. I will definitely be trying this recipe, only with a less expensive nut.
they have bins of all kinds of nuts and u buy only what u need..its cheap!!
I am also prone to forgetting things, but I found a solution that works for me. I toast the pine nuts on the stove top. It’s done in those 2 minutes you’re actually on top of things (or less). I just set the heat to medium and stir almost constantly. It goes from aromatic and golden brown to burnt in seconds, so I immediately pull them off when they smell and look good and take them out of the pan. No oil needed either. For an added touch, throw on some unpeeled garlic cloves a few minutes before. Toss them around as well and by the time the nuts are done the skin comes off the garlic easy breasy. You can have delicious roasted garlic and pine nuts in about 5 minutes. How’s that for simple?
made last night, really good! I have been on Paleo for 2 weeks and this was one of the best meals so far. I added some chopped basil to sausage mix and topped with chopped tomatoes. Yum!
So I made this for lunch today and it was so good . everyone was asking me for the recipe. I did add some bell peppers, tomatoes, and spinach. I love this recipe and I will be making it again soon .
Question: How do you shred the squash?
when the squash is finished cooking the “meat” is really stringy. You can take a fork and pull it out a little at a time. It looks like spaghetti noodles. Just try and you will see.
BTW, it is quite mild tasting. I would say closer to zucchin than pumpkin which makes it very versitile.
The recipe uses a “spaghetti squash” a large canary yellow squash that naturally and magically shreds like spaghetti-looking strands.
WOW! This is the first Paleo recipe I’ve ever made. It was so easy and so crazy delicious. I love your blog! So glad I found you online. 🙂
Is the Italian chicken sausage the fully cooked variety, or is there raw Italian chicken sausage widely available? I’ve seen commercial sweet and hot Italian turkey sausage but I don’t think I’ve seen raw Italian chicken sausage. Thanks!
Sounds good! I love spaghetti squash.
I used to burn my nuts too. Then I started toasting them in my toaster oven. It has a timer built in and turns itself off automatically, so no more burnt nuts.
I couldn’t find raw chicken sausage either and no turkey sausage without sugar. So I found this spice recipe to mix with ground chicken, turkey or pork. Turns out delicious, especially in this recipe!
I can’t remember where I found it, I wrote it down from some website…
1/2 to 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Fennel Seed
1 Teaspoon Sage
1 Teaspoon Thyme
1 Teaspoon Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
Generous Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper
Combine all spices and mix into ground meat, let sit in refrigerator for at least 1 hour to meld flavors.
This sounds delicious, will try it.
Thanks for taking the time to post this Meghan. This looks great.
How much meat do you mix into this amount of spice mix?
This sounds so Good! Could you give me and idea on about how much ground meat to use in the recipe?
Thank you so much for posting this! I have a pound of ground pork in the fridge right now and will definitely be making this homemade seasoning!
Set a timer when roasting nuts.
+1 for this. It’s the most important thing I have a cell phone for (the timer). As a chronic forgetter and late arriver, having six timers with me saves me a lot (I really wish the phone had more, but appointments are for the calendar app, not the timer…), and the problem with my stove is that it only has one, and turning it off turns the oven off (too), which has its own set of problems. *yawn* Anyway, I had to bite the bullet and resign myself to electronics to solve the problem. YMMV.
Delicious…the whole family liked it (including a 2, 4yo)! The only changes I made were I added some parmesan cheese and marinara sauce…a keeper for sure..thanks for posting!
Your site is wonderful. I have been Paleo for 5 weeks and will never go back. Spag. squash is the best, so versatile, we use it for many things. Will make this and know it will be a hit.
Paleo has helped my health immeasurably, my dr. says it has been proven to be a very healthy way of eating.
We had this last night for dinner and my whole family was pleased with this dish. We will be making this again. Delicious!!! Thank you for shareing!
This was unbelievably delicious! I gobbled it up and couldn’t wait to eat it for lunch the next day! I ended up giving the recipe to 3 of my co-workers. I bought the chicken sausage from Whole Foods and found it to add enough saltiness to the meal without having to add extra salt.
This was outstanding! Easy to make and my two children ages 12 and 9 had two entire squash bowls full. It had so much flavor! I used coconut oil in place of the Olive oil drizzled over the squash and I sprinkled the tops with vegan dairy free Parmesan cheese. Magnificent!
I need a vegan/vegetarian substitute for the sausage. Any suggestions?
For people that are not opposed to using the microwave, you can actually cut the spaghetti squash in half length wise, and place it upside down on a plate (cut side down), microwave for 6-8min. You can sauté the rest of the ingredients while this is cooking in the microwave, and literally have a meal in 10-15min!!
It was amazing!! I added some extra black pepper and chili powder for some heat and it was delicious! Will definitely be making this again and again!
I always cook my spaghetti squash in the crockpot! Just keep it whole, poke holes all around it an cook it on low for 8 hours. If I’m home I turn it half way through. Always cooks it perfect every time!
Made this for dinner tonight. The 3 and 5 yr olds thought it was ok, which for a first time taste is not a bad review. I thought it was awesome. Not specifically a Paleo eater, but it think this recipe appeals to anyone looking for a hearty meal. Thanks!!
This was absolutely delicious! I replaced the pine nuts with cashews–yum! This recipe that I will make again and again!
I am new to Paleo (2 weeks in) and I made this tonight. I was amazing. I actually took a couple of scoops and threw it in the food processor for my 1 year old. Everyone loved it!! I will definitely be making this again. I will say that I added a bit of rosemary as well. Thank you for the recipe!!
*it was amazing. Not that I’m not. hahaha
Made this tonight….used basil and parmesean cheese on top…..so good and healthy!
I do the same thing with things in the oven-set a timer for when you want to check them or get them out, it is the only way I avoid burning things!
For some reason my husband is dead set against eating kale (to my knowledge he’s never had it!). I had a lot of spinach, so I used that instead and adjusted the cooking time. Still very good. It also made good leftovers for lunch the next day. We’ve been eating paleo since September, 2014. So far there’s only been a one or two recipes that we haven’t liked. I typically try 2-3 new recipes a week. It’s been fun searching for and trying new things (just not kale, yet)!
Looking foward to preparing my first paleogrubs my coworker looks absolutely amazing she has been on it a short time and doing great it’s true you will look like a work of art Heehaw! Would like to hear more from other paleo food movers and shakers Yahoo!
Made this last night (minus the pine nuts-allergic) and I’ve got to tell you, it was AMAZING. Having it for lunch today too. Thank you so much for posting this recipe!
Omg this is so yummy! I never had spaghetti squash before and not a good cook…. This was so easy and delicious!!! I also never wrote a review before….. This was such a success that I had to say it was awesome!
I actually made this recipe and it was good! You can make the spaghetti squash in the microwave but the oven is so much better! It looked just like the picture minus the pine nuts!
This dish is fantastic! My husband (who is not eating Paleo) said it was better then anything we could get in a restaurant. Really thought the pine nuts were a good addition.
Just made this for dinner… it was amazing! I took someone’s advice and put the squash in the microwave. .. came out perfect and it was a super quick meal to put together. I have been on paleo for 8 days now and I am loving making new recipes and I feel great!!!! Thank you. ☺
I toast my nuts in tiny batches in the toaster oven. Less likely to find them too terribly burned if the heat source turns off automatically.
Wow just made this for dinner and my son and I loved it! Waiting for the hubby to get home I am sure he will love it too! Awesome recipe!!
This recipe looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it!!
But if there’s one thing I could add, I just want to say that spaghetti squash seeds are delicious when you season and roast them!! Soooo, I wouldn’t just throw them out.. Or if you’re still going to, you can just mail them my way! 😉 haha
Thanks for a great looking recipe!
Made using apples and sausage with basil garnish. Was so so good. My 12 year old who hates veggies loved it. This will become a regular dish in our household. Thanks for sharing
I didn’t have pine nuts or parsley on hand so they got dropped. I only had a half bunch of kale so added chopped mushrooms to help fill it out. I roasted tomato slices with drizzled olive oil, garlic salt, and pepper. Served the tomato’s on top and it turned out great.
Skipped the nuts since my son is allergic. But this was soo good! Thank you!
This is the 3rd time I’ve made this and it still satisfies. Plus the recipe made it to my “Tried and True”. I use Italian Sausage because I know I like it. Chicken sausage is usually a hit and miss for me. Still searching for one that my taste buds can get along with. Oh, and I have extra’s for leftovers so it’s even more of a hit. Thank you. I always enjoy your recipes
Made this using Graziano Italian sausage, made a thin patty the size of the spaghetti squash placed on top with a onion, pepper and kale mix below with a touch of fire roasted tomatoes. ..topped with a sprinkle of feta cheese on top of the sausage patty..Wonderful..
This recipe looks delicious. I love using spaghetti squash but it always seems to come out very watery. Do you ever have that problem or have any suggestions as to what I’m doing wrong?
This looks delicious! I’ll make make it for sure. I have the same problem with roasting nuts so I now do then on a cookie sheet in my toaster oven on the toast option. Start with 2 minutes. That way if you still forget about them you are OK as they will continue to cook while sitting in the toaster oven.
Also, I’ve started cooking my Spaghetti squash whole in the microwave. Pierce slits to avoid an explosion and cook until soft. It makes it easy to cut in half and scoop the seeds before gettting to the flesh.. The shells are still tough enough to stuff and the prep time is less than half.
Just gave this a go tonight, and it was so yummy! I posted it on instagtam and everyone was “liking” this dish. I used baby spinach and broccolini instead of Kale because I was out of it, and it came out great. Was not a difficult recipe to follow or make, just a little more time consuming, perfect for a Sunday!
I’ve made this several times. It is delicious! I usually buy my chicken sausage from Sprouts. The French apple sausage is by far my favorite in this. I’ve haven’t added pine nuts. I never remember to buy them.