Y’all, pizza is like my number one thing. Seriously. I can’t think of anything I like better than a Friday night in my cozy jammies with a gooey slice, a glass of red, and a little piece of dark chocolate.
If you’re reading this and shaking your head yes and thinking ‘did we just become best friends?!’ then yes, yes we did.
When a friend of mine told me she had a recipe for a healthier, gluten and dairy free version of “pizza”, I couldn’t wait to try it. My family liked it ok but I had to play around with it. I wanted more ingredients, more “toppings” (ahem, cheese) to make it feel like a real pizza treat.
So I bought all the pizza toppings my people really love – spinach, mushrooms, red onion, bell pepper, fresh basil . . . and went to work on different variations.
The result: a pizza pie worthy of being accompanied by cozy pajamas, wine and chocolate on a Friday night! My friends and family have given me good reviews so I’m thinking this is one for the cookbook. Just a little side note: I’m NOT a spaghetti squash lover. I’m not even that big of a fan. But that’s part of the reason I loooooove this recipe. It’s taking a veggie I’m not that fond of and turning it into a dish I literally CRAVE. So be brave. I dare all you spaghetti squash haters to try it! I’d love to hear your thoughts so be sure to leave them in the comments!
A gluten free version of my favorite guilty pleasure.
Soften the squash in the microwave for a minute or two to make it easier to cut in half. (You can cook the squash entirely in the microwave but I don't have instructions for that because I prefer to use the mircowave as little as possible. I don't even soften mine before cutting it in half. I only offer that as a first step because so many people find it difficult to cut a spaghetti squash. If you also prefer to avoid the microwave then use a very sharp serrated knife to cut yours in half without softening)
Remove the seeds. If you have an Instant Pot (my new favorite kitchen appliance!) then fill it with 1/4 cup water, add the rack at the bottom and set the two halves of squash on the rack. Close the lid and set to manual for 7 minutes. (If you don't have an Instant Pot then place a small amount of water in a casserole dish and lay the squash halves face down. Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven approx. 45 minutes. You can do this ahead of time and save the squash to make this recipe later.)
While the squash is cooking, dice and warm the italian sausage. Place in a skillet on medium heat with a tbsp. of olive or coconut oil and brown for 3 - 4 minutes. Set aside.
Once the squash has cooked and cooled use a fork to shred it into "spaghetti".
Begin to layer all the ingredients (except the cheese) in a casserole dish, starting with the squash. I like to make three layers so use about a third of each ingredient as you create the layers. Finish with the cheese on the top.
Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake at 350 degrees for half an hour. Remove the foil and broil for 3 minutes or until the top is browned and bubbling.