Low-Carb Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin
Low-Carb Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin is a delicious cheesy side dish that’s low-carb, Keto, low-glycemic, meatless, gluten-free, and South Beach Diet friendly. Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.
Besides writing this blog, I also write about food twice a week for BlogHer.com, and recently I wrote about spaghetti squash. Of course that made me think about cooking some of my own spaghetti squash from the garden.
I found great-sounding spaghetti squash recipes for the BlogHer post, but the one that inspired this Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin was Spaghetti Squash Gratin from Daily Unadventures in Cooking. Adding the chard was one of those “wonder how it would work?” experiments, but really liked the combination of spaghetti squash and chard in this cheesy gratin.
Spaghetti squash is an ingredient you’ll never forget after you’ve tried it once. It’s quite magaical, the squash strings apart in a way that makes it look like spaghetti when it’s cooked, and it’s a mild-flavored squash that can get along well with many other flavors.I’ve been growing spaghetti squash for years, and I love to eat it when it’s green like a summer squash, but if you don’t have a garden you’ll have to settle for the ripe spaghetti squash.
The hardest part of this recipe is cutting the spaghetti squash in half. I’ve heard you can cook it whole and then remove the seeds after it’s cooked, but I like to season the inside of the squash before it cooks. Use a big chef’s knife, cut off the stem and blossom end, then stand the squash up and carefully press down to cut in half. Then use the sharpest spoon you can find and scrape out the seeds and the slimy material that surrounds them. Throw that away.Spray the pan with non-stick spray or olive oil, then rub the cut surface of the squash with olive oil rub and some seasoning. (I used some Rosemary Garlic Rub, but any seasoning that tastes good on vegetables would work.) Pour a little water on the baking sheet before you put the squash in to bake, which helps prevent the bottom of the squash from burning.
Squash is done when it strings apart in strands that look like spaghetti (if you use your imagination.) While the squash is cooling, chop the onion and chard. I wanted small pieces of chard so it would mix well with the spaghetti squash, so I sliced it thinly one direction, then turned the cutting board and sliced the other direction. Cook onion a few minutes with seasonings, add garlic, then add chard. It only takes a couple of minutes for the chard to go from the previous photo to this state of being about half wilted. It will cook more in the gratin, so turn off the heat as soon as it looks like this.
Use a large fork to gently mix in the shredded spaghetti squash and finely chopped chives or green onions. Combine the sour cream, drained cottage cheese curds, Parmesan, and beaten egg and gently mix it into the spaghetti squash/chard mixture. Press the mixture into a gratin dish and sprinkle on a bit more grated Parmesan, then bake at 400F/200C for 30-35 minutes.
Serve hot and enjoy! This will keep in the refrigerator for quite a few days and reheats well.
More Tasty Recipes for Spaghetti Squash:
Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Parmesan ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash and Cheese ~ Completely Delicious
Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Mizithra and Browned Butter ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Pesto Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash ~ Cookin’ Canuck
Low-Carb Mock Lasagna Spaghetti Squash Casserole ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Weekend Food Prep:
This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!
Low-Carb Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin
(Makes about 6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from Spaghetti Squash Gratin at Daily Unadventures in Cooking.
1 large spaghetti squash (mine was 2.5 lbs)
1 T + 1 T olive oil
2 tsp. Rosemary Garlic Rub, or any all purpose seasoning that’s good on vegetables
1 large onion, diced small
1/2 tsp. Spike seasoning (optional but good)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 T minced garlic (or less)
12-16 oz. chopped chard leaves (about 5-6 cups chopped chard, you could also use other greens like spinach, collards, or kale. The cooking times might be longer for some greens.)
2 T finely chopped fresh chives or sliced green onion
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup cottage cheese curds (put the cottage cheese in a fine strainer and rinse with cold water to get the cheese curds)
1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese plus about 1/4 cup more for topping the gratin
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Wash the outside of the spaghetti squash if needed, then cut off the stem and blossom end, stand squash upright, and using a large chef’s knife, carefully cut in half lengthwise. Use a sharp spoon to scrape out seeds and the slimy material that surrounds them, and discard. Rub cut sides of squash with about 1/2 T olive oil for each half, then sprinkle each with 1 tsp. Rosemary Garlic Rub or other seasoning of your choice. Spray the roasting pan with non-stick spray, Put squash on baking sheet and pour 1/4 cup water around bottom of squash. Roast squash about 45-50 minutes, or until it separates easy into strands when pulled with a fork. Let squash cool for a few minutes, then shred into spaghetti-like strands.
While squash cooks, wash chard leaves if needed and spin dry or dry with paper towel. In two batches, stack up chard leaves on top of each other and slice into thin ribbons, then turn the cutting the board the other way and slice again into small pieces. Chop onion.
Heat 1 T olive oil in heavy frying pan, add chopped onions, season with Spike seasoning, dried thyme, and black pepper, and saute until onion is softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook about 1 minute more, then add chopped chard all at once. Cook chard about 1-2 minutes, turning a few times. until it’s wilted to about half the size it was. (The chard shouldn’t be completely cooked, since it will cook more in the gratin.) Turn off heat.
Put 3/4 cup low fat cottage cheese in a fine strainer and rinse with cold water until only the cheese curds remain, then let drain. Spray a glass or crockery gratin dish with non-stick spray or olive oil.
Using a large fork, gently mix the chopped chives or green onion and shredded spaghetti squash into the onion/chard mixture. Combine the sour cream, drained cottage cheese curds, Parmesan cheese, and beaten egg and mix into the chard/spaghetti squash mixture. Then put the combined ingredients into the gratin dish, and press down so it’s evenly distributed in the dish. Sprinkle top with about 1/4 cup more Parmesan cheese.
Bake about 30-35 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling and cheese is browned on top. Serve hot.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Spaghetti squash is a low-carb vegetable that’s perfect low-carb and low-glycemic diets, and for phase one of the South Beach Diet. I think this Low-Carb Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin would taste great with Greek Meatballs or Balsamic and Onion Pot Roast.
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