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Confetti spaghetti squash with peppers, zucchini, lemon and capers {vegan, gluten-free}

Scrape out strands of spaghetti squash topped with colorful vegetables. Fun for kids and adults! #vegan #glutenfree

When I first shared this recipe in a post about capers, in January 2008, I thought that, because I found it in a kids' cookbook, it would be typical kid food. Au contraire. Capers give the vegetable sauce a sophisticated profile, but honestly, I imagine my grandkids would take great pains to pick out each and every caper berry. Two changes I've made in the way I prepare this recipe now: I use smaller amounts of both capers and lemon juice, which tend to overwhelm the delicate vegetables, and I add a teaspoon of garlic. I like to serve the vegetable topping right in the spaghetti squash, so each person can scrape out his or her own squash as they go along. Sometimes, I grate some parmesan or asiago cheese on top. Not vegan, but delicious.

Vegetable "confetti" served in boats of roasted spaghetti squash: what could be more fun for kids? #vegan #glutenfree

Confetti spaghetti squash with peppers, zucchini, lemon and capers

From the pantry, you'll need: capers, extra virgin olive oil, lemon, sea salt, fresh black pepper, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, parsley.

Adapted from Kitchen Playdates, a children's cookbook. Serves 4; can be doubled.


1 large spaghetti squash
2-1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp capers, drained
1 tsp minced garlic
1 zucchini, seeded and diced
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 small tomato, seeded and chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or asiago cheese, 1/4 cup or more, to taste


Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds, leaving half an inch margin all the way around. (Hint: to soften the squash and make it easier to cut, place it whole in the microwave for 5 minutes on high power.) Rub the squash inside and out with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and place cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 45 minutes or until the rind is slightly soft and yields to the touch.

While the squash is baking, make the vegetable topping.

Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, and add the remaining olive oil. Add the capers, garlic, zucchini, and bell peppers, and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until the vegetables are softened slightly. Add lemon juice, parsley, chopped tomato, and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté briefly, 1 minute, just to warm the tomato and lemon juice.

Fill each half of the spaghetti squash with half of the vegetable mixture.

Sprinkle with cheese (optional) and serve hot.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More spaghetti squash ideas:
Spaghetti squash with spicy marinara sauce and chickpeas, from The Perfect Pantry
Chicken and spaghetti squash casserole with bell peppers, olives and cheese, from The Perfect Pantry
Parmesan zucchini and spaghetti squash with pine nuts, from Julia's Album
Thai peanut spaghetti squash, from Shared Appetite
Twice-baked spaghetti squash with pesto and parmesan, from Kalyn's Kitchen

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We watched the movie "Fed Up" last night, and it is another reminder from smart people to cut the sugar, which I love, and eat more veggies. This recipe looks great and easy. If we eat in, I may make it for friends who are visiting next week.

Mary, it shocked me that our grandkids actually liked the spaghetti squash, maybe because they got to make their own "spaghetti". Your friends would love this!

Loving the new look for your blog and also the new look for this recipe!

Kalyn, thank you! I hope the new design is easier to read, and that this update of a favorite recipe is one you'll try and enjoy.

Now there's what we need in this dark and stormy winter - bright colors and tastes. The purpose of capers is lost to me - I can't taste a thing and will gain pantry space when I finally finish up what I hope is the last bottle there. (No lurkers?)

Susan, capers add a lemon flavor, nothing that can't be accomplished by adding more lemon zest. In my pantry, a bottle lasts a very long time.

This looks amazing! I tried making spaghetti squash a month ago and it just didn't turn out well. I think it's time to try again!

ATasteofMadness, please do give spaghetti squash another try! This recipe really lets the squash shine.

Your new design looks wonderful, Lydia! And now I'm off to the store to pick up some spaghetti squash.

Lisa, thank you! Can't wait to see what Texan spin you put on your spaghetti squash.

Thank you for the hint of nuking spag squash a few min to soften it up, hubster was worried about my threats of using his skill saw in the kitchen to slice it LOL. Altho i don't stock capers (they seem a bit pricey when an extra squeeze of lemon--or a sprinkle of sumac--would suffice), i have earmarked this. It looks beautiful and like a great dinner meal to brighten up a dreary winter evening ;0)

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