Recipes

Spaghetti Squash 2 Ways

We never ate spaghetti squash when I was growing up. Or any squash, really. For years as a child, I actually didn’t believe anyone ate squash. Don’t ask me why, but I’d somehow become convinced that those bizarrely shaped, lumpy looking things in the supermarket were purely decorative.

At the time it made sense. Squash were always placed beside the pumpkins and flint corn in the supermarket during the fall. And all of the families in Thanksgiving advertisements seemed to have cornucopias with squash abounding all over their dining room tables. But I never saw anyone actually eating them.

Fortunately, as an adult, I was able to not only solve the great squash mystery of my childhood but also discovered they’re a delicious addition to any meal. And super versatile.

Breakfast, lunch or dinner, there is a squash for the job. In cooler months, I love a good butternut squash soup recipe. But all varieties of squash are great to incorporate year round, and I eat them in the spring and summer as well. This is one of my go-to recipes for spaghetti squash.

You can actually take this recipe a couple different directions, so I’m going to include recipes and nutritional stats for both. Spaghetti squash is great on its own with a few simple dressings but is also incredibly easy to dress up for some pizzazz or to make more kid/picky eater friendly. So here’s an easy tutorial on spaghetti squash two ways!

1. Simple Spaghetti Squash Bake

This recipe is simple but incredibly flavorful. I have made spaghetti squash exactly this way for family gatherings and dinner get-togethers and it has been eagerly devoured by guests and relatives. People are often surprised that spaghetti squash can be exceptionally delicious as a stand-alone side dish. I’m telling you now, do not underestimate the power of a few good seasonings and some butter.

Simple Spaghetti Squash Bake

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Large spaghetti squash
  • 6 Cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Ghee (aka lactose-free clarified butter)
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Cut your squash in half, deseed, and place on a baking sheet. Warm up your Ghee in the microwave until it liquefies and then brush a nice even coating over each of your squash halves (1 Tbs per squash half). Sprinkle them evenly with salt, pepper and garlic. Bake at 350°F for 60 minutes.

(Personally, I like as much garlic on those bad boys as a person can stand. But feel free to use your own garlic-y discretion in your sprinkling).

When it comes out of the oven, it should be cooked through and lightly golden brown. Use a fork to shred the squash within its shell.

If the squash is underbaked, it may be stiff or uncooperative in letting you shred up and disperse it evenly. Not to worry, just pop that sassy squash back into the oven for another 15-20 minutes until it drops the attitude and gets with the shredding program.

Sprinkle with a couple extra pinches of salt and pepper and mix it all up.

You can also utilize leftovers from this squash dish in a variety of ways the rest of the week. I will use it to make a veggie omelet the next morning or toss it (hot or cold) into a wrap or salad.

I usually get about 5 cups of cooked squash out of a nice large spaghetti squash (and did for this particular squash), so I’ll be calculating the recipe macros on a ratio of 5 one cup servings.

SUBSTITUTIONS:

  • Feel free to swap the ghee for a vegan butter substitute if animal byproducts aren’t a part of your nutritional routine.
  • Regular butter will also do the trick.
  • When making substitutions, just keep in mind that your macro count may slightly vary from this specific recipe. If you’re counting macros, just make sure to adjust the recipe macros in a macro calculator based on the ingredients you use.

MACROS (5 one-cup servings):

  • Calories: 90
  • Carbs: 8g
  • Fat: 7g
  • Protein: 1g

2.“Pasghetti” Spaghetti Squash

This spin on spaghetti squash is my favorite low-carb and gluten-free swap for traditional pasta spaghetti. It helps me satisfy those cheesy, saucy cravings without blowing my carbs out of proportion when it’s not time for a planned cheat meal.

It’s also a good way to entice kids to give spaghetti squash a try (don’t underestimate the power of throwing some cheese on top of something healthy and tricking a picky eater into giving it a go).

My younger sister had trouble saying the word “spaghetti” when she was little and regularly pronounced it “pas-getty” instead. It kind of stuck with our family and for a while, everyone just started calling “pasghetti”. So, to pay homage to wholesome family dinners everywhere, I give you my low-carb Pasghetti Spaghetti Squash recipe!

“Pasghetti” Spaghetti Squash

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Large spaghetti squash
  • 6-8 Cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons Ghee (aka clarified butter)
  • 2 Cups low sodium canned meatless spaghetti sauce
  • 1 Cup low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

The base prep work for this variation is the same as above, but for the sake of saving you from scrolling back and forth, I’m going to repeat the directions here as well.

Cut your squash in half, deseed, and place on a baking sheet. Warm up your Ghee in the microwave until it liquefies and then brush a nice even coating over each of your squash halves (1 Tbs per squash half). Sprinkle them evenly with salt, pepper and garlic. Bake at 350°F for 60 minutes.

Remove the squash from the oven and fill the center of each squash with one cup of the canned spaghetti sauce and top it with 1/2 a cup of the mozzarella. Place back into the over and cook for another 15 minutes (or until the cheese melts and crisps into a golden brown). Remove from the oven, allow to cool for a few minutes and then dig in!

PICKY-EATER TIP

If you have extremely scrutinous little picky eaters in your house, try shredding the squash (like in the first recipe), putting it into a bowl and mixing it up with the sauce to disguise it. If you’re not above justifying a little white lie for the sake of healthy eating (ha, I’m not), then try to pass the spaghetti squash off as “baby spaghetti noodles” and then throw a solid dose of cheese over top to further disguise them. Because in my days as a live-in nanny, I have 100% pulled this trick off with kids. (Hey. It’s technically a bit of a stretch, but they ate their veggie spaghetti and I have zero regrets).

SUBSTITUTIONS:

  • Vegan butter substitutes are perfectly acceptable swaps.
  • I’m using low-fat mozzarella cheese, but other types of cheese (including vegan or non-dairy based cheese substitutes) will do the trick.
  • When making substitutions, just keep in mind that your macro count may slightly vary from this specific recipe. If you’re counting macros, just make sure to adjust the recipe macros in a macro calculator based on the ingredients you use.

MACROS (5 one-cup servings):

  • Calories: 279
  • Carbs: 16g
  • Fat: 15g
  • Protein: 22g

Whatever your intents for dinner, be they honest or sprinkled in cheesy picky-eater half-truths, it’s hard to go wrong when you go with a good squash.


 

 

All writing and squash images copyright © 2019 Rachel Elise Weems Woods. Cornucopia image copyright Bigstock photos.

Originally published 3-28-17. Updated 2-8-19.

33 thoughts on “Spaghetti Squash 2 Ways”

    1. Spaghetti squash are quite affordable! My parents had 5 kids, so it’s a full house when we get together once or twice a month for a big family dinner. I will make this as a side dish and find that a couple of large spaghetti squash is plenty to go around!

      Like

  1. Im eating squash eversince i learn to eat. My mom said she would boil squash to fed me… Up untill now i love squash…and i would love to try this recipe..

    Liked by 1 person

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