Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Since my celiac diagnosis, I've managed to find gluten free substitutes for most of my favorite eats. Pizza? No problem. Granola? Don't even get me started. Some cuisines are harder to de-gluten than others, however. Like, for instance, the traditional enchilada.

I know, I've already posted the recipe to my favorite Crock Pot Enchilada Stack...and I'm still in love with every (dairy free) cheesy bite. Sometimes, though, I crave a more veggie-packed version. That's where my Enchilada-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash - that's not only gluten free, but also dairy free, paleo and optionally vegan - comes in.

casey the college celiac

Just imagine: one spaghetti squash "bowl" cooked until tender in the middle and crispy on the edges, only to be topped with homemade enchilada sauce, spices, soft spinach, fresh black beans, chewy ground turkey, and some vegan cheese sauce or Daiya shreds sprinkled on top. Add some tortilla chips, salsa, avocado and mixed greens on the side for a meal that tastes like a fiesta but offers plenty of veggie-packed benefits - like high levels of folate, potassium, omega 3 and omega 6 and Vitamin A, C and B!

Ready to get your party started? Pull out a few simple ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash (I like to buy small to medium sized squashes for 2-4 servings)
Handful of leafy greens (I use spinach)
Enchilada sauce of choice - canned or homemade (here is my favorite recipe)
Liberal sprinkle of black beans (increase for vegan version)
Pre-cooked ground turkey or beef, grilled chicken, etc. (optional)
Vegan cheese sauce (my fave recipe here) and/or Daiya mozzarella shreds (you can obviously sub in your favorite dairy cheese as well!)
Spices of choice (I usually go with paprika, oregano and thyme)

Fresh avocado, mixed greens and salsa to serve on the side.


One of the best parts about this recipe is that you can get an enchilada taste with more nutrition and less active time in the kitchen. To begin, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, liberally stick your spaghetti squash with a fork (creating holes for steam to escape) before microwaving the squash for around four minutes. The microwaving time will vary depending on the size of the squash and power of your microwave, but you want to cook it until you can easily slice it lengthwise with a knife.

casey the college celiac
My version of an avocado heart!
Microwaving not only makes cutting easier, but it also cuts down your cooking time in the oven. Next, all you have to do is spice your spaghetti squash boats, turn them face-down on a foil baking sheet and leave them to roast in the oven for 30-45 minutes or until the tops reach a golden brown. You can also tell it's done when the squash is easily shreddable by a fork.

For an extra easy weeknight dinner, roast the squash ahead of time (along with your meat, if using). Once it's cooked, you can add your toppings now or refrigerate the squash and add toppings later. Either way, to create your "enchiladas," add a layer of enchilada sauce, spices and torn greens. Then add as much black beans, meat, cheese sauce and/or shreds as you want and your squash can handle! For the final touch, put your loaded spaghetti squash back in the oven long enough for the spinach to wilt and cheese to melt.

casey the college celiac
With salsa on top...
(PRO TIP: you can also freeze the baked squash halves. Let them defrost in the fridge the night before you want to use them, add your toppings and bake until warm. They may taste a bit more watery than usual, but just as delicious!)

I love serving my veggie "enchiladas" with some avocado, salsa and tortilla chips I make by warming up Food for Life's Brown Rice Tortillas on the stovetop until crispy. Feel free to serve it with all of your favorite enchilada sides, though, like extra beans, Mexican rice or guacamole! As usual, don't be afraid to experiment with this recipe either. Some ideas? Adding mushrooms for a tasty meat substitute, replacing the enchilada sauce with pesto or a tangy radish greens sauce, or even sprinkling on sunflower or pumpkin seeds for an extra crunch. The only limits are your taste buds and the size of your spaghetti squash!

casey the college celiac
When your socks match your meal...
Before my diagnosis, I never would have imagined eating spaghetti squash and tasting "enchilada." But if these three years of gluten free cooking have taught me anything, it's that creativity can be the key to re-creating glutinous old favorites. Now that's a discovery - and a dish - worth celebrating!


*Also found at RunningwithSpoonsVegetarianMamaSaucy SaturdayAllergy Free Thursdays and What'sCookinWednesdays!*

What's your favorite gluten-free alternative to an old fave? Have you ever eaten or cooked with spaghetti squash? Tell me what you think below!

Comments

  1. I love this recipe!! I absolutely cannot wait until squash comes into season. I eat alllll the squash in the fall! Spaghetti squash is by far my favorite though - with butternut coming in a close second!

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    1. I've never been able to stomach spaghetti squash, but I'm definitely addicted to the spaghetti version! And that is definitely one good thing about fall...makes up for the lack of berries.

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  3. These are super festive and colorful! The bean heart is a nice touch! Thanks!
    Michelle

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    1. Thanks for the kind words Michelle! :)

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  5. These look absolutely amazing! Two of my favorite things, enchiladas and spaghetti squash, all wrapped into one! Thanks for sharing.

    xx, Danielle

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    1. Right? Talk about killing two birds...or two cravings...with one stone!

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