Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Spaghetti Squash Enchilada Casserole with Jalapeno Chicken Sausage

Last week I made spicy corn on the grill.  While I was grilling the corn, what you didn’t see on the right side of my grill was a package of spicy chicken jalapeno sausages roasting away.  I cooked them for the same amount of time as my corn (12-14 min).  As my corn and sausage did its thing on the grill, I thought about what I wanted to make with my (planned) leftover corn that could be made ahead and reheated easily later that evening for dinner… Casserole!  One of my most favorite things to make as the weather begins to become more fall like is casserole.  Who doesn’t like cheesy, creamy goodness filled with squash, grilled corn and sausage??  No one I know.  So, next time you’ve got some leftover corn… make this casserole!  It freezes well, could be made a day ahead and satisfies anyone’s craving for comfort food.  If you don’t feel like grilling corn or don’t have any leftover, you could use any type of corn you have on hand like canned or frozen varieties.  If possible, use frozen roasted corn to get that same charred flavor.  If you go the frozen corn route and don’t plan on firing up your grill, I also recommend cooking your sausage in the broiler or in a skillet to get some good color on it.  If you’re unsure how to cook spaghetti squash, I linked to a great tutorial by my buddy Janetha over at Meals and Moves below in the ingredient list.  Her method is by far the best I’ve tried.  Once the squash is done, I like to freeze it in one cup increments for future use.  I do the same thing with brown rice and quinoa for meals just like this.  That way, the next time I need a bit of cooked squash or quinoa, all I have to do is throw a quick defrost on it.  Serve this casserole with a dollop of Greek yogurt, hot sauce and a sprinkle of cilantro and thinly sliced green onion if desired.  

What You Need:

1 ½ cups cooked spaghetti squash (12 oz)
1 cup enchilada sauce (I used Trader Joe’s)
2 ears spicy grilled corn, kernels removed (or 1 ½ cups corn)
3 ½ grilled spicy jalapeno chicken sausages cut into small pieces (from Trader Joe's)
½ cup cooked grain, rice or small pasta like orzo (I used quinoa)
¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar, divided
1 large egg

Cooking spray
Small casserole dish that can hold about 7 cups/ 2 quarts

What To Do:

Heat your oven to 350* and spray the inside of your casserole dish evenly with cooking spray.

Combine all ingredients except for ¼ cup of the cheese and mix well.  Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish and top with remaining cheese and cover with foil.

Bake 45-50 minutes.  You’ll know it’s ready when the casserole is bubbling around all the edges.

Remove foil and hit the broiler setting on your oven to brown the top.  Stay close, as things can get burnt easily in the broiler.  Set a timer for 2 minutes and check and see if it’s browned.  If not, add 2 more minutes.

Serve immediately or allow the casserole to cool to room temperature and store in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to eat.

**Edited to add: Makes 4 - 1.5 cup servings

Nutritional Stats for 1 Serving

Bon Appétit!


Janetha @ meals + moves said...

You know how I love casseroles! Thanks for the yummy recipe and the shout out!

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Janetha: I know you do! :) ...and you're so welcome. Your spag squash cooking method was too good not to share.

Pam said...

Wow! I think this looks and sounds excellent!

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Pam: Last night I defrosted a portion for my dinner... still just as good as the day I made it. I really enjoyed this one. Bonus points for it being so freezer friendly.

Donna Elick said...

This looks amazing. Freezing well is a huge plus in my book. I freeze a lot!

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ The Slow Roasted Italian: Same here! I love having a large stock pile of various tasty dishes avail for quick re-heats.

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga said...

that looks delish!

and what great photos, too!

photographing comfort food, casseroles, baked food like such a challenge for me. You nailed it!! Big time! :)

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Averie: Thank you for the complement :) It's SO hard to photograph comfort foods and casseroles!! FG & TS didn't like it, but did the best I could. FG kept telling me it was lighting/ exposure...? I think the ench sauce is giving it that effect. Better luck next time I suppose.

Chung-Ah @ Damn Delicious said...

Wow, there's so much going on in this dish! I love it! And it has everything I could possible ask for in one dish: carbs, sausages, and vegetables smothered in a nice enchilada sauce.

Thanks for sharing :)

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Chung-Ah: You are so welcome. I love when everything is all in one (casserole) dish. No need to make a side salad or veggies bc they're already in there!

Anonymous said...

This looks so good! This is a really good make-ahed dish and would be awesome for leftovers.

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