Spaghetti Squash & Bacon Casserole
1 medium-large spaghetti squash (about 3-4 lbs.) 2 slices bacon ¼ c. rough-chopped walnuts ½ c. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided 3 Tbsp. panko breadcrumbs Olive oil Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and grease/butter a medium baking dish.
Trim ends of the squash and then cut in half vertically. (Poke with knife and microwave for a couple of minutes if you are struggling). Scoop out the seeds and any loose, stringy gunk. Brush the insides of the halves with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place on the prepared rimmed sheet (cut side down) and bake for about 30-40 minutes, +/- depending on your squash size, until lightly browned on the edges and tender when poked with a knife or fork (it should still have body and texture- don't allow it to overcook and get mushy). Allow to cool for a few minutes. Leave oven on.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon until crispy, then crumble.
When the squash has cooled enough for you to handle it, run a fork through the flesh in short, sweeping strokes to separate it into “noodle” strands. Scoop out the strands from one half and place into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Season lightly with salt and pepper, sprinkle the bacon, walnuts, and half the cheese. Add the strands from the other half and season lightly again with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese and bread-crumbs.
Place dish in the oven for 5-10 minutes until the cheese is lightly browned and melted.
Variation: Substitute scooped-out squash shell "bowls" for baking dish.
Recipe created or adapted by Liz Talley, Urban Graze
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