Spaghetti Squash Casserole: Lentil Walnut & Spinach with Red Sauce!

Spaghetti squash lentil walnut spinach casserole


It’s been a crazy past couple of weeks for me in OKC. I planted my first garden (isn’t it gorgeous)! It’s mostly tomatoes and a variety of peppers, but I’m growing strawberry, asparagus, and basil too. If you ever plan to build your own raised bed garden, then 1st garden: raised bedI highly recommend a Ford Fusion for hauling in all your bags of dirt and manure, assuming you are okay with 5 trips to Home Depot and your muffler dragging on the pavement. On second thought, you should probably get a truck. I also got a new bike for cross-training and all around merriment; my first two rides have been super fun. And last, but not least, I ran the OKC Memorial half marathon. The two hour rain delay paired with hot and humid weather really affected my time (2:16). I was hoping for closer to 2 hours for this race, but I’m starting a new training plan and WILL break the 2 hour 1/2 marathon barrier sometime this year.


I made this Italian inspired spaghetti squash casserole the week of the marathon, but it’s so high in fiber that I avoided it the day or so before the race to avoid extra intestinal distress. Now I’m happy that I get to introduce it back into my diet! If you’re looking for a filling, low-calorie, veggie-packed meal, make this dish pronto. There is no meat in this recipe; the protein comes from the lentils, which are king of vegetarian protein in my book. The spaghetti squash, spinach, peppers, onion, and tomato sauce load this casserole down with a hefty dose of vegetables. The great thing about spaghetti squash is that it stays crunchy even when reheated, so it makes great lunch leftovers. I also mix in walnuts with the spaghetti squash layer for some healthy fat and additional crunch.



{Spaghetti Squash Casserole: Lentil Walnut & Spinach}

This Italian themed vegan dish is easy to assemble, and loaded down with nutritious vegetables. It has three delicious layers: seasoned spaghetti squash and walnuts, sauteed peppers and onions, and lentils in a roasted garlic spaghetti sauce. 


LENTIL SQUASH & WALNUT CASSEROLE servingServings: 4 large servings



2 lb spaghetti squash

1 tsp dried sage

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 1/2 tbsp oil, divided

1 cup green lentils

2 cups vegetable broth

1 24 oz jar roasted garlic pasta sauce (no sugar added preferably)

1 small onion, chopped

2 bell peppers, chopped (any color)

1 tsp minced garlic

4 cups spinach leaves

1 small can sliced black olives (optional)



LENTIL SQUASH & WALNUT CASSEROLE 003Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds, and bake cut side down on a baking sheet with enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Bake at 350 F for 25 min. Let cool for 15 minutes, and shred squash into “noodles” by running a fork over the cooked squash. In a bowl stir in 1 tbsp of olive oil, sage, thyme, salt, pepper, and walnuts with squash. Set aside.


Rinse lentils in a strainer to remove any dirt, and transfer to a pot with vegetable broth. Bring lentils to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer for 25 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Stir in jar of pasta sauce. Set aside.


Sauté chopped onion, peppers, minced garlic, and 1/2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat until tender (5-7 minutes). Toss in spinach during the last few minutes so it will wilt down. Remove from heat.


In a square 9×9 baking dish, spread 1/2 the spaghetti squash on the bottom of the pan, layer on top of the spaghetti squash 1/2 the sautéed vegetables, then add half the lentil and pasta sauce mixture. Repeat layers. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until casserole is heated through. Top with optional sliced black olives. Let cool slightly before cutting.


Nutrition info per serving: 471 cal, 18 g fat, 60 g carb, 22 g protein, 23 g fiber



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