Make this winter squash dream dish like it’s going out of season. It’s a perfect low-carb appetizer, but it also can be eaten like a delicious, healthy casserole. This “Cheesy” Spaghetti Squash Pizza Bake is the paleo, whole30, or food allergy/intolerance answer to the cheesy pizza that you’ve been craving.
I just feel like I have been neglecting you all lately and I am so sorry! Next week I promise to do an entire personal post updating you on why I took my blogging break slash all the things that has come from it. I feel like I keep just peering my head through the door to say hi and then quickly running off, but I promise to fully check in soon because SO much has been going on.
In the mean time, I absolutely had to share this bake. I feel like my recipe arsenal is getting full fast because my blog can’t even keep up with my cooking, but this takes precedents over everything else I might’ve had planned because a) holy shiz it’s literally amazing and b) eeek! we won’t have an abundance of winter squash in the grocery store for long. Time’s a wasting!
So many people ask me “how do you think of all these recipes?” Honestly, aside from the Grace of God, I have no idea. Usually it’ll just spark from ingredients I have on hand or extreme hunger and piling everything I want to eat into one dish, but sometimes there’s an ah ha! moment, where I have a clear vision and just gotta do it. This pizza bake was an ah ha for sure.
This past weekend weekend, my senior year college roommate came to visit and everything just felt right again. I hate to get weird and cheesy (pizza bake pun), but I feel like I can just fully rest and be 100% myself when she’s around. She’s very introspective, calm, and a little more introverted than I am so I think it’s just a really good balance where we’re really not that similar, but in a weird way we still kind of are. Yeah, that made sense.
The blogging break couldn’t have been at a better time. In weeks past, I would have used my weekend to get ahead with the work/blog/life balance, but the plan was just to focus on and enjoy my time with Abby.
I was doing well in the writing and answering emails aspect, but maybe something about feeling like myself made me also feel really inspired because I was in the kitchen quite a bit. The recipes were coming to me like crazy! This bake was one of those times where I knew exactly what I wanted to do and exactly how I was going to do it. We were having a couple people over that night and I was planning on making salmon, sweet potatoes, and cauliflower for dinner, but I woke up from a quick power nap with an idea for this appetizer. I was literally shaking with excitement of how this recipe was going to turn out and Abby just came in there, poured two glasses of wine, and sat there and chatted while I frantically did my thing. She’s seriously the best.
As I said, I had originally intended for it to be an appetizer and it was, but I’m not a big fan of chips or crackers so I honestly just ended up eating it with a fork (paleo tip- dip all things with mini peppers). Since then, I’ve made it the same way and then served it as a casserole.
I have a previous blog post on how to prepare, cut, and cook a spaghetti squash, but we all know there are plenty of ways to skin the cat. If you do happen to venture to that old post, I hope you get a good laugh because it was pretty early on into this process. Although luckily I have since gone back and updated a few of the pictures.
So where’s the cheese coming from, you ask? Well, I hate to break it to you, but there’s really no such thing as paleo cheese and if there is, I don’t think that would really make sense to me. I created this play on cheese by making a puree of butternut and acorn squash. I chose both of these because they compliment each other very well. Butternut squash is a little thicker and less grainy, while acorn squash isn’t quite as sweet. Mixed together, it makes for a delicious creamy blend and I was tempted just to forego the whole plan and end it there because it’s seriously cheesy!
All I did was steam both the butternut and the acorn squash on the stove for about 5 minutes until it was really soft and put it in a bowl. From there I got out my immersion blender and went to town until it was pretty thin and easily mixed with the spaghetti squash. You could also use a masher, food processor, or blender and then just stir in some Italian seasoning.
From there it’s just a simple layering game. Pepperonis, winter squash mix, pizza sauce, and pepperonis.
Bake in the oven at 350 for 15-20 minutes until the top pepperonis are crisp, but not burnt.
And you have so many glorious things in one dish- cheesy, paleo, pizza!
- 2 cups cooked spaghetti squash
- 1 cup cooked acorn squash
- 1 cup cooked butternut squash
- 1 jar pizza sauce (14 oz)
- 1 package of small pepperonis
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp parsley
- 1 tsp oregano
- Preheat the oven to 350
- Once you cook your spaghetti squash, use a fork and a knife to shred it into small pieces no larger than 1 inch
- Mash the butternut and acorn squash and then mix it in a large bowl with the spaghetti squash
- Lay down 1 layer of pepperonis in a 9 inch pie dish
- Layer the squash mixture on top
- Add the pizza sauce
- Top with pepperonis
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the pepperonis are starting to crisp
When do you most feel inspired?
Do you like trying “alternative” foods? What’s one thing you would only eat as the “real deal?”
I don’t like any alternative meats. Like when sushi every says “imitation crab meat” I hit the ground running and I don’t eat tofu or things like that.
**Unrelated question because I need your help: What do you do after you’re finished with a pair of running shoes? Do you throw them out, donate, or just keep them around? I would love as much detail as possible! Thank you!