Give pasta night a tasty makeover with Spaghetti Squash in Lemon Caper Sauce! In this dish, healthy spaghetti squash is roasted and then drenched in a brightly flavored lemon sauce. It’s a great dinner dish for cold winter evenings. This easy recipe is vegan and gluten-free.
Spaghetti squash is delicious change from wheat-based pastas, and it’s perfect for people with gluten sensitivities or wheat allergies. I’ve heard from people that they don’t know what to do with it, but it can be used in just about any recipe that calls for pasta.
This recipe came about after receiving a spaghetti squash in a co-op share and not knowing what to do with it. When I make pasta, I rarely serve it with tomato sauce – I tend to get bored of tomato easily. Instead, I pulled a few bits and bobs out of the pantry and threw in some kale. Et voila – a hearty dish with piccata-like white wine and lemon sauce was made.
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
Winter squashes can be a big of an enigma when it comes to cooking them. They’re large and heavy — and how the heck to get them open?
When a winter squash, any kind of winter squash, is too tough to cut through, I like to soften it a little by cooking it. You can place it in a heated oven for about 10 minutes, or you can give it a few minutes in the microwave. It may be a little hot straight from the oven, so give it a minute or two cool down.
Once the squash has cooled, you just use a large knife to slice it in half. Then scoop out the seeds, which can be cleaned and roasted for a tasty snack. (I often just toss the seeds and any fleshy bits attached to them outside to give the squirrels a treat.)
After you’ve scooped out the seeds, rub a little bit of oil on the inside of the squash and sprinkle it with a little salt and pepper. Then roast it in the oven until it’s soft and tender, about half an hour.
Once the squash has been roasted, you simply dig the “spaghetti” out with a large fork.
How to Make Lemon Caper Sauce
While the the squash is roasting, you can make the rest of the dish.
- First, you sauté the onion and garlic.
- Then, add the vegetable stock and wine. Allow them to come to a rolling boil and then reduce the heat to let it simmer for a few minutes.
- Next, you add the tomatoes, chickpeas, capers, and kale to the pan. Cook for about 5 more minutes, until the kale has wilted.
- Finally, you remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Adding the lemon juice while the dish is cooking will cause the kale to lose it’s bright green color.
To serve the dish, you simply toss the spaghetti squash together with the sauce.
It’s easy to customize this dish to your liking. Try adding your favorite vegetables. You can use broccoli and white beans instead the kale and chickpeas if you like. Or you can add red peppers and spinach. Add in whatever strikes your fancy!
Spaghetti Squash in Lemon Caper Sauce
- 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash
- 2 teaspoons neutral oil divided
- Sea salt
- 1 medium onion diced
- 5 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes drained
- 1 medium-sized bunch kale finely chopped
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons capers drained
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut the squash in 1/2 lengthwise and scoop out all seeds. Rub the inside with 1 teaspoon of oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Place the squash cut-side down in a roasting pan with a small amount of water. Place in the oven and cook until the rind is slightly soft, about 30 minutes.
- While the squash is roasting, cook the onion in the remaining oil in a large pan over medium-high heat for about five minutes, until the onion turns translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
- Add the stock and wine, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes, or until it reduces slightly.
- Add the tomatoes, kale, capers, and chickpeas and cook for about 5 more minutes, until heated throughout. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.
- Once the squash is done cooking, scrape the "spaghetti" out of the rind with a large fork, and place in a large bowl. Toss in the vegetable mixture.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and divide among four plates. Top with any sauce that’s left in the bowl. Serve hot.
If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like:
- Roasted Cauliflower Piccata
- Roasted Cauliflower Cutlets with Lemon
- Lemon Pepper Soy Curls with Broccoli
- Cashew Scampi