Spaghetti Squash Gratin

Thursday, September 23, 2010


There’s one thing about Mr. SGCC that drives me absolutely nuts.  (Well, there’s actually more than one thing, but that’s a story for another day.) He suffers in silence.  That is to say that, when he doesn’t like something, he usually just sucks it up and doesn’t say anything.  This especially applies to food.  I know this because over the past twenty something years, I have made and remade several dishes that he didn’t really like, yet he never said so – until maybe the tenth time I served it.  Case in point:  When we were first married, I used to cook a lot of spaghetti squash.  I served it like pasta with tomato sauce, sautéed in butter, swimming in broth… You get the picture.  I loved it.  He didn’t.  But, he never actually told me that he didn’t like spaghetti squash until years later, when it just kind of came up in conversation.

Imagine how awful I felt learning this little nugget of information after years of shoving pounds of spaghetti squash in his face!   I had no idea!

“Why didn’t you ever say anything?” I asked incredulously.

“I don’t know. I guess I didn’t want to hurt your feelings.” was his response.

Admirable intentions.  Poor execution.



So, when I found one of these big boys in my veggie basket from Suncoast Organics this week, I found myself in a quandary.  Don’t you just love saying the word “quandary”?  I do.  Quandary. Quandary. Quandary.  There, I think I’ve gotten it out of my system now.

Anyway, I didn’t want to serve it to “you-know-who” when I knew that he didn’t like it. Especially when he knew that I knew he didn’t like it.   But, I certainly didn’t want to waste it either.  After some deliberation, I decided to do the only thing I could do given the circumstances.  I would try to disguise the squash by baking it in a casserole under tons of creamy Mornay sauce made with lots of butter and cheese.   I mean, everybody loves rich, cheesy, buttery sauces, right?  He’d probably never even know. Right?

And that, dear readers, is how this Spaghetti Squash Gratin came to be.

To make this gratin, you first have to cook the spaghetti squash.  There are a couple of ways you can do it.  You can steam or boil it, microwave it, although I’ve never tried that, or bake it in the oven.  My method of choice is baking.   While your squash is cooking, you’ll need to prepare the sauce. A Mornay sauce is simply a béchamel sauce amped up with shredded cheese, and is very easy to make.


Don’t forget the cheese!


Once your squash is cooked and your sauce is made, it’s time to put them all together.


Et voila!



One thing I should mention here, is that I also mixed some sautéed onions in with the squash before baking it.  You don’t have to do this.  But I love onions and thought that they would add a nice flavor to the dish – which they did.

The gratin was (Kat Flinn, please forgive me) absolutely delicious!  The squash was soft, delicate and just the tiniest bit sweet.  The sauce was voluptuous and velvety.  And the crunchy topping added just the right amount of texture.  It was a very successful dish that I plan to make again.

Oh, and Mr. SGCC did recognize the spaghetti squash, but he ate it anyway and said that he liked it.  I guess I’ll just have to trust him on that one.


19 responses to Spaghetti Squash Gratin

  1. On September 23, 2010 at 9:11am, Jessica @ How Sweet said...

    Never thought to make spaghetti squash this way – it looks incredible!

  2. On September 23, 2010 at 9:26am, Rosa said...

    That is one of my favorite squashes. Your gratin must be very flavorful.



  3. On September 23, 2010 at 9:30am, joanne at frutto della passione said...

    I have never had a spaghetti squash, don’t even know if I can find them here, but I’ll on the look out for them. I might try the gratin anyway with a mix of potatoes and sweet potatoes (which by the way in Italy are called *patate Americane*!)

  4. On September 23, 2010 at 9:53am, nina said...

    Who in their right mind would NOT like something so smotheringly good!!! I have not seen or cooked a spaghetti squash before…..will have to rectify that!!!

  5. On September 23, 2010 at 10:05am, Valerie @ City|Life|Eats said...

    Oh my this looks awesome!!

  6. On September 23, 2010 at 11:31am, Rachel (S[d]OC) said...

    I’m a bit like Mr. SGCC as squash is not my thing, but oddly enough, I find the taste and texture of spaghetti squash quite palatable and often serve it as a low-cal spaghetti. Mr. SGCC isn’t like SPP though. Sir Pickypants will have a few quiet ways of letting you know he doesn’t like something even if he doesn’t say it outrgiht.

    This dish sounds wonderful. I’d eat it and I wouldn’t care if SPP wouldn’t eat it because there would be more for me!

  7. On September 23, 2010 at 1:33pm, Joanne said...

    None of the men in my life are kind enough to not tell me when they don’t like something i make, so I’m not really sure what that’s like. I love spaghetti squash. Love love love. I need to try this!

  8. On September 23, 2010 at 2:23pm, Cherine said...

    This gratin must be really good!!

  9. On September 23, 2010 at 2:35pm, Duchess said...

    Oh my oh my oh my! I think yummy just about covers that… I will so be making this!

  10. On September 23, 2010 at 5:18pm, Liz @ Blog is the New Black said...

    GReat idea! Love spaghetti sqash.

  11. On September 23, 2010 at 6:10pm, Amy said...

    I’m always wondering what to do with spaghetti squash. I have one sitting here right now and I think this recipe is calling it! Thanks!

  12. On September 23, 2010 at 6:22pm, Joan Nova said...

    I feature spaghetti squash a lot in my kitchen and on my blog and this is a nice variation. I think it’s so versatile and basically takes on the flavor of its topping. Very nice Susan.

  13. On September 24, 2010 at 12:22am, LimeCake said...

    that’s a neat idea to use the squash in a gratin. this looks delicious!

  14. On September 25, 2010 at 12:50am, Ruth Ann said...

    That spaghetti squash gratin looks really tasty! Great idea.

  15. On September 26, 2010 at 8:59am, Carol, Simply...Gluten-free said...

    I wish my husband would suffer in silence :) I guess not really. Anyway a gratin is a great way to use the spagetti squash. BTW – I finally took your advice and got a reader for my blogs! So much easier, thank you, thank you, thank you!

  16. On September 26, 2010 at 7:20pm, Chris said...

    That looks delicious. I too married a “Mr. suffer in silence so I won’t hurt your feelings”. However, he will like many foods if they are hidden in cream, butter or bacon. I might just have to give this recipe a try.

    After years of marriage I have been able to get an idea of what he really means by his tone of voice when he answers “yes” when asked if he liked what I made. It could mean:
    A. Yes, please make it again
    B. Yes, it is not the worst thing you ever made
    C. Yes, that which does not kill us makes us stronger
    D. No

  17. On September 28, 2010 at 11:40pm, roz said...

    I just cannot wait to make this! I’m always looking for squash recipes…..this looks awesome! thanks!

  18. On November 06, 2010 at 1:09pm, Vicky said...

    My mom made this dish — it was absolutely DELISHHH!! The only thing that after she put it out & everyone dug into it, there was alot of water at the bottom of the gratin dish — Could this be the water that cooked out from the squash? We will definitely be making it AGAIN! :)

  19. On January 08, 2011 at 1:22pm, Kim - Liv Life said...

    What a wonderful dish!! My family turns up their noses at this squash, but this recipe might do the trick. Nice post!

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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