White Bean Parmesan
with spaghetti squash ‘noodles’ / roasted balsamic broccoli
Inspired by Chicken Parmesan, this vegetarian version uses saucy white beans as the protein, but it has all the same layers of flavor and texture. For a fun twist, serve it over a healthier base of spaghetti squash instead of regular spaghetti.
Smarts: The sauce for this dish is great spicy, so don't hesitate to increase the spice if you'd like.
- Broccoli florets - 1 lb , chopped
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Vinegar, balsamic - 2 tsp
- Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/4 tsp
- Shallots - 2 shallots , diced
- Parsley - 1 Tbsp , chopped
- Beans, any white (15 oz / 397 g) - 2 cans , drained and rinsed
- Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
- Tomato paste - 2 Tbsp
- Oregano, dried - 1 tsp
- Basil, dried - 1 tsp
- Tomatoes, crushed (15 oz / 397 g) - 2 cans
- Cheese, fresh mozzarella - 5 oz , thinly sliced or shredded
- Cheese, parmesan - for serving
- Squash, spaghetti - 3 lbs (weighed before being roasted and peeled)
Spaghetti squash - Pierce spaghetti squash in several places with a knife. Place in an oven-safe dish and cook in the microwave on high for 6 minutes. (Pre-cooking the squash will shorten the roasting time.)
Beans - Drain and rinse.
Heat oven to 425F / 218C degrees. Move one oven rack to the lower third and one to the upper third of the oven.
Set out two sheet pans and brush them lightly with some oil or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Slice stem off the spaghetti squash and slice in half, base to stem. Scoop out and discard seeds. (Watch this video for tips.) Brush the inside of the squash with some oil and season with some salt and pepper. Place squash, cut-side up on one sheet pan. Transfer to the lower rack of the oven and roast until the squash is tender, ~35 minutes.
When squash has been roasting for a few minutes, on a second sheet pan, toss the broccoli with cooking oil, balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes, and some salt. Roast, shaking the pan halfway through cooking, until tender, ~25 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large oven-safe skillet or saute pan (use one with a lid) over medium heat. Add the olive oil and then shallots. Saute for 1 minute to start cooking. Add in tomato paste, oregano, and basil and saute until fragrant, ~1 minute more. Pour crushed tomatoes over top and bring to a simmer, whisking everything together to combine.
Reduce the heat under the sauce so it is at a low simmer. Gently stir in the beans so they are coated in sauce. Cover and let the beans simmer for 10 minutes to let the flavors develop.
By this point the spaghetti squash should be done cooking. Remove it from the oven.
Top the beans and sauce with mozzarella cheese (you can just tear it into pieces and scatter it out over the beans). Transfer the skillet to the oven until the mozzarella is bubbly and melted, 7 to 10 minutes.
Use a fork to loosen the strands from the rind of the spaghetti squash and toss them with some olive oil and some salt. Transfer the squash strands to a serving platter or individual bowls.
Top the spaghetti squash with beans and sauce, parsley, and some parmesan cheese. Serve with broccoli on the side. Enjoy!