Protein-punch Marinara Spaghetti Squash

A traditional pasta dish with a vegetarian spin.

Protein Punch Marinara Spaghetti Squash
 Amy Gorin, M.S., R.D.N.

Cottage cheese, an underappreciated protein, adds the punch in this vegetarian recipe. One cup of low-fat cottage cheese provides 163 calories, 28g of protein, and is an excellent source of riboflavin, vitamin B12, and selenium, and is a good source of calciumall needed for healthy bones and body.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 210; protein: 8g; fat: 14g; carbs: 17g; sugar: 7g

Recipe and photo by Amy Gorin, M.S., R.D.N., owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition.

Prep time

15 min.

Cook time

60 min.

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 1/4 cup marinara sauce
  • 4 1/2 oz cottage cheese
  • 1 Tbsp + 1/2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chives, diced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh oregano, diced
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375°.

Meanwhile, use a fork to poke several holes in the spaghetti squash. Then microwave until the squash becomes slightly tender, about 4-6 minutes. Slice squash in half, and remove seeds and membranes. Place halves with cut side up on a nonstick baking tray, and brush the tops with 1/2 tsp olive oil. Place halves with cut sides up, and roast until fork tender, about 40 to 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, place onions in a medium pan, and add a small amount of water, so that onions are just covered. Cook over medium-high heat until onions become translucent and most of liquid is dissolved.

Puree in blender cottage cheese, remaining olive oil, chives, oregano, and lemon juice. Set aside.

Once squash is cooked, remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Use a fork to shred the squash into a large bowl. Toss with marinara.

Divide onto four plates, then top with onions and cottage cheese mixture. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and black pepper.