Baked Vegetable Marinara (Grain-free)

We’re in the Midwest this week, where it’s quite a bit colder than we’re used to, so I’m all about the comfort food lately.

baked vegetable marinara in a dish

This baked vegetable dish is just the type of meal I love when the weather cools down. It reminds me of baked spaghetti, but uses cooked spaghetti squash instead of pasta for a completely vegetable-based dish. If spaghetti squash hasn’t hit your local market yet, you can also replace it with any extra vegetables you like. Zucchini, broccoli, and cauliflower are some of my favorite additions, but I have a feeling that any vegetable you love would work well in this dish.

A topping of bubbly cheese makes this casserole-style dish extra comforting, but I’ll leave that option up to you!

Baked Vegetable Marinara
Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

1 (3 lb) spaghetti squash
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
2 cups chopped broccoli florets
1 zucchini, chopped
2 cups fresh spinach
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce*
salt and pepper
3 oz. goat cheddar, shredded (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and place the halves cut-side-down on a large baking sheet. Bake until a fork can easily pierce the shell of the squash, about 45 to 60 minutes. (For detailed pictures, see this post.) Drag a fork through the cooked squash to create spaghetti-like strands, and set aside.

In a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat, saute the onion and garlic in coconut oil for 5 minutes, until tender. Add the broccoli and zucchini, and a splash of water to help prevent sticking, then cover and allow the vegetables to cook until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the lid and stir well, making sure that any added water has evaporated, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the cooked spaghetti squash strands, fresh spinach, and marinara sauce, and cook until the spinach has wilted and the marinara sauce is heated through.

making baked vegetable marinara

You can serve these marinara coated vegetables as is, but for a truly comforting dish, I like to add a crisp and bubbly cheese topping. If your broiler is located at the top of your oven, you can simply sprinkle the cheese over the top of your large skillet and place it in the oven to broil for 2 to 3 minutes, until the cheese is lightly browned.

baked vegetable marinara with cheese on top

If your broiler is on the bottom of your oven, like mine is, you may want to divide the vegetable mixture into individual oven-safe dishes so that they more easily can fit under the broiler. Sprinkle each dish with cheese, then broil for 2 to 3 minutes until the top is melted and lightly golden. Serve warm.

fork scooping baked vegetable marinara

5 from 5 votes
Print
Baked Vegetable Marinara (Grain-free)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hrs
Total Time
1 hrs 10 mins
 

A comforting vegetable dish reminiscent of baked spaghetti.

Course: Main Course
Servings: 2
Calories: 495 kcal
Author: Detoxinista.com
Ingredients
  • 1 (3 lb) spaghetti squash
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion , chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli florets
  • 1 zucchini , chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 oz . goat cheddar , shredded (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and place the halves cut-side-down on a large baking sheet. Bake until a fork can easily pierce the shell of the squash, about 45 to 60 minutes. (For detailed pictures, see this post.)
  2. In a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat, saute the onion and garlic in coconut oil for 5 minutes, until tender. Add the broccoli and zucchini, and a splash of water to help prevent sticking, then cover and allow the vegetables to cook until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the lid and stir well, making sure that any added water has evaporated. Stir in the marinara sauce and spinach, and cook until the spinach has wilted and the marinara sauce is heated through.
  3. You can serve these marinara coated vegetables as is, but for a truly comforting dish, I like to add a crisp and bubbly cheese topping. If your broiler is located at the top of your oven, you can simply sprinkle the cheese over the top of your large skillet and place it in the oven to broil for 2 to 3 minutes, until the cheese is lightly browned.
  4. If your broiler is on the bottom of your oven, like mine is, you may want to divide the vegetable mixture into individual oven-safe dishes so that they more easily can fit under the broiler. Sprinkle each dish with cheese, then broil for 2 to 3 minutes until the top is melted and lightly golden. Serve warm.

Like I mentioned above, this dish is very adaptable– feel free to use any veggies or sauce that you like. Hope you enjoy!

*Note: When shopping for marinara sauce, look for a jar that has no added sugar and little to no added oil. I love Whole Food’s 365 Brand “Organic Pasta Sauce,” which has no added oil or sugar. Alternatively, you can always make your own to control exactly what goes in it!

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite comfort dish when the weather cools down?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments

Laura

I just scored 2 spaghetti squash (huge ones too!!!) for $1 a piece at roadside stands and now am totally making this, for breakfast if possible!! What a fabulous recipe, and I love how flexible it is and that I can incorporate other veggies too, maybe the last of my summer squash, why not get all squashy while I’m at it? I think that spaghetti squash does make a really good substitution for the real deal. It’s not THAT far off from real pasta, not exactly like it, but pretty close in a pinch.

I’m making this for lunch minus the goat cheese because I get all weird about cheese from goats.

Favorite comfort food is definitely Fanny Farmers Mac N Cheese. If anyone out there has not brought that to a family gathering you should. You will become a legend and everyone will love you (unless they look at the calories).

Sam @ PancakeWarriors

yum love all the veggies on this. What a yummy comfort food. Not too heavy and just the right amount of sauce! Sounds great thanks for sharing

jaime // the briny

always, I end up burning my mouth on dishes with beautiful red sauce and cheese, so much that they turn into something that’s more challenging than comforting, but I love them anyway. ha! thank you for sharing this simple recipe.

Angela

Ooo…I’m having spaghetti squash with zucchini, carrots, and ground turkey in marinara for dinner tomorrow. I bought an organic sauce in a jar, but might have to try your recipe now instead! Thanks for the recipe!

Kezia @ Super Naturally Healthy

I can never find spaghetti squash in the UK but this would be good with some courghetti I am sure – its turning pretty cold here so perfect warming dinner:)

Amy

This was SOOOO good! Thank you for an easy week night meal. Made it last night for dinner. I added red pepper flakes for a little spice- yum. My whole family loved it (and I am loving the leftovers today 😉 When is your cookbook coming out?

Marisa

I made this 2 days ago for dinner before work — I waitress and its hard to find healthy, filling meals that make me want to pass on the “family” style pizza/pasta dinner they serve us before we start our shifts. It was delicious and I may have warmed up sole
leftovers for breakfast today 🙂 thanks Megan!

Marcia

This sounded amazing to me but I couldn’t find a spaghetti squash at the market I was at and I didn’t have time to run around so I just let it inspire a few substitutions. I did this method but with cubed, roasted eggplant, sauteed cremini mushrooms, leftover garlicky green beans, and quinoa. It was amazingly good and my husband loved it too! We topped with mixture of goat cheddar and pecorino.

Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen

This dish looks fantastic and so comforting Megan! I cannot wait to try – the bubbly cheese on top looks dee-lish 🙂

Berneda

FYI:

The printed out recipe version does not say when to add the spaghetti squash to the pot.

Nicole

This was so good, I made it two nights in a row. Even my 9 month old, who’s a bit of a picky eater, gobbled it up. (I diced up the veggies small and skipped the cheese on his portion.)

I actually made this with roasted acorn squash as the base, as I had a bunch of them on hand. I didn’t have spinach, so I used kale in it’s place. I also doubled the marinara sauce, as 1 1/2 cups wasn’t quite enough for my taste. All that being said — absolutely delicious meal. Thank you so much for the recipe.

Cecilia

Absolutely delicious!
I plan to make it again this week!! thank you:)

Kelly

We made this for dinner and loved it! Thank you for the recipe.

Debra

Fabulous recipe. I added a little more sauce than called for and mozzarella. Swapped it up with rustic bread! Thanks.

Mary Moran

Just made the baked vegetable marinara and loved it! such a wonderful dish that is hearty and healthy. Thank you for sharing!

Never Miss a Post!

Get a FREE 3-Day Detox Plan when you sign up for my email newsletter