Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall Comfort Food - Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip Squash Casserole #Recipe


My biggest cold weather guilty pleasure is spinach artichoke dip.

A seasonal treat I only bring out for holiday parties or birthdays, it combines my love of cheese, artichoke hearts and spinach. Yeah, I got that one from watching hours of Popeye cartoons as a kid.

Having seen a pasta recipe on Pinterest I thought, could I make it healthier? Could I indulge myself with a little less guilt?


Well, I think I got it. I created Spinach Artichoke Dip Squash Bake, spaghetti squash that is. Flavorful, fiber-filled and healthier alternative to both corn chips and regular pasta.

So grab yourself a spaghetti squash at your local farm stand. They are pretty plentiful right now and inexpensive. We enjoy ours tossed with a tomato sauce for a fun dinner option. You all know that I don't have anything against pasta, but squash is such a seasonal treat I just can't turn it down.


And if you haven't tried spaghetti squash before, what is keeping you from enjoying it? Bake it like any other squash and once tender use a fork to fluff up the strands of "spaghetti". One medium squash is usually more than enough for our family of four and even my kids enjoy it.


Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip over Squash

You Will Need:
1 medium spaghetti squash
1 - 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. lite sour cream
1/2 c. chicken stock
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1- 15oz jar of artichoke hearts, quartered
1 package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
1 c. Mozzarella cheese, grated

salt and pepper to taste

Half the spaghetti squash, scrape out the seeds and place cut-side down in a baking dish with 1-inch of water. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20-35 minutes, or until fork tender.

Let the squash cool slightly and then use a fork to pull the strands out .

Spray a 9x13" casserole dish and re-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, garlic powder, and spinach. Thin with chicken stock. Season to taste.

Start with a layer of spaghetti squash, use approximately 1/3 of the squash. Then add 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture, top with half the artichoke hearts and a handful of shredded Mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layers twice more until you are out of ingredients. Top with Mozzarella cheese and a little more salt and pepper.

Bake for 20 minutes until the top is melted and the casserole is bubbling.

Enjoy!
Andrea
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