Mediterranean Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with Tzatziki Ranch

Keeping healthy eating resolutions can be as challenging as finding an empty gym treadmill in January. Whether you are crunched for time, don’t have anything inspiring in the fridge, or just can’t take another bite of bland, boring food, the struggle to eat clean is very real. But, with my recipe for Mediterranean Chickpea-stuffed Spaghetti Squash you can get a fit, fresh and flavorful meal on the table in well under an hour.     

Have you walked right by spaghetti squash in the produce department? Perhaps they look too big, sound too strange, or you have absolutely no idea how to prepare one. The good news is that they are ridiculously, almost embarrassingly, easy to cook. I’ve just sliced mine in half (the hardest part), scooped out the seeds, brushed with olive oil and roasted for 25 minutes. After that, a fork scrapes up the flesh which somehow magically transforms into long, noodle-y strands.  A largish-looking 3-pound squash yields about 4 to 5 cups of “noodles” which is the perfect amount for my four-serving vegetarian entrée recipe.

For time savings, the noodles are tossed with healthy convenience products including canned chickpeas, canned tomatoes, bagged baby spinach, pre-shredded cheese and a little bit of Tzatziki Ranch Yogurt Dressing from OPA. This medley is stuffed back into the squash halves and baked for another 10 or 15 minutes until heated through. Or, you can meal-prep up until this last baking part, store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, and then pop in the oven on your busiest nights. 

The lower-calorie yet still rich and creamy OPA dressings from Litehouse are smart swap for sour cream, additional cheese or other heavy ingredients in many recipes – of course, it’s also delicious as a dressing or dip. Each serving of Mediterranean Chickpea-stuffed Spaghetti Squash is half of one half (so a quarter!) and has about 20 grams of plant-based protein for just 350 calories. It’s friendly for vegetarian, gluten-free and lower-carb diets. 

Mediterranean Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with Tzatziki Ranch

Serves 8 | Finish in 50 minutes
0

Add color and creativity to your New Year’s clean eating goals with a serving of this balanced, beautiful stuffed squash. You can also meal prep and reheat on busy nights.

Ingredients

  • 1 3 to 4lb spaghetti squash

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt

  • ½ cup OPA Tzatziki Ranch Yogurt Dressing

  • 3 cups chopped fresh spinach

  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained well

  • 6 ounces part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

  • 2 ounces feta cheese crumbles

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F degrees.
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise with large serrated knife. Scoop out seeds and webbing in center cavity.
  3. Brush cut sides of squash with one tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Lay both squash halves, cut side down, on foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. 
  4. Rub drained and rinsed chickpeas in a dish towel to dry and remove most of the skins. Place chickpeas in another rimmed baking dish (I used a pie pan) and drizzle with remaining one tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, shake pan about to coat. 
  5. Roast squash for approximately 25 minutes or until softened and edges caramelizing. 
  6. During last half of squash roasting, add pan of chickpeas to oven. Roast chickpeas for 10 minutes, or until warmed and lightly browning, but so long as they become crunchy. Turn oven down to 350 F degrees.
  7. Remove squash and chickpeas from oven. Let rest in pans for 5 minutes. 
  8. Using the tines of a fork, scrape up the spaghetti squash “noodles” leaving an approximate ¼ inch rim around the squash to create the bowl.
  9. Add squash “noodles” to large bowl mix in garlic salt and ¼ cup of the OPA Tzatziki dressing. While still warm, add chopped spinach, drained tomatoes, mozzarella and soft-roasted chickpeas. 
  10. Distribute this mixture evenly among the two squash “bowls,” packing down and necessary to fit it all in.
  11. Return stuffed squash to oven and bake at 350F for a additional 10 to 15 minutes or until hot through and cheese melted.
  12. Remove from oven and sprinkle with feta cheese crumbles and drizzle with remaining Tzatziki Ranch dressing. To serve, cut each “half” in half for a total of four portions.

Related Recipes