grilled eggplant + spaghetti squash marinara.

today is a 2 for 1 recipe deal!

spaghetti squash marinara served with a side of grilled (or roasted) eggplant is regular favorite in these parts. i’d say we make it at least once or twice a month. it’s UBER healthy and easily takes the place of spaghetti and meatballs for this plant-based duo. you can make both of these recipes together, or easily separate. i like to enlist A in the dinner prep and tag-team to benefit from the savory combo of the eggplant and the marinara squash. i swear, somehow it winds up tasting wildly decadent. also, i still can’t manage to (safely) cut a spaghetti squash in half on my own. so yea, a man is requested in this kitchen to handle dense squash and large knives.

on this particular day, dinner was whipped up post 8PM monday night grocery shopping (why do i do this to myself). thus, i took the easy route and used store-bought marinara sauce, rather than cooking some up on the stove using stewed tomatoes and herbs. it works great either way, but if you’re going the jarred route, i seriously recommend Dave’s Gourmet Organic Spicy Heirloom Marinara Pasta Sauce along with basically every other sauce under the brand’s organic product umbrella.

prep time: 20 minutes // cook time: 12 minutes

// ingredients: spaghetti squash

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1/2 jar marinara sauce (or 2 cups homemade)
  • 1/3 cup water

// method: cooking the spaghetti quash

  1. slice the spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise
  2. scoop out the seeds & goop!
  3. place squash slices face down in a baking dish, add 1/3 cup water
  4. cover dish tightly with cling wrap
  5. cook in microwave for 12 minutes
  6. remove carefully and allow to cool 10 minutes before removing plastic wrap (gracefully - watch te steam!).
  7. using a fork, scoop out the cooked spaghetti squash from the shell. careful! it will be hot.
  8. top with marinara sauce and/or additional veggies – i love it with sauteed spinach.

while the spaghetti squash is cooking, prepare the eggplant if serving both together.

// ingredients: grilled eggplant 

  • 1-2 eggplants
  • olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt + pepper

// method: grilling the eggplant 

  1. wash the eggplant in cool water. dry with paper towel.
  2. cut into 3/4-inch-thick circular rounds
  3. mix olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and garlic in a small bowl.
  4. brush both sides of each eggplant slice lightly with the garlic oil mixture
  5. grill over medium heat, covered, turning once. let each side cook for 3-4 minutes.