Spaghetti Squash: Are you SURE this isn’t pasta?

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A nice big bowl of spaghetti squash just waiting for some kick-ass toppings.

Spaghetti Squash: super healthy, vegan, gluten-free and paleo (Whatever THAT means. Juuuust kidding, one of my good friends is Paleo, and as a vegetarian, that gives me license to make fun). It basically has negative calories (31 calories per cup, versus 221 calories per one cup of cooked spaghetti), tons of vitamins A, C and B6, the minerals manganese, copper and potassium, just to name a few. Which basically means – you can eat a ton of it and not feel guilty at all. πŸ˜› (Although, being half Italian myself, I never really feel guilty for eating pasta. Just sayin’.)

It’s very mild in flavor, and slightly sweet, which makes it a great vehicle for any flavor you’re in the mood for. It’s super easy, wallet friendly (serves four for $1.50 per serving!), good for you, and friggin’ delicious. What more can you want in an easy, fall meal?

How to Choose Your Spaghetti Squash

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Step One of being a blogger: Make your friends take a photoshoot of you while holding various food items. “Look, this spaghetti squash totes goes with my outfit!” πŸ˜‰

Choose a squash that is firm (no squishy spots!), heavy for its size, and that has hard, tough skin with no cuts, punctures, sunken spots or mold (aka, make sure it looks better than the one I’m holding above. Mine tasted just fine, but it looked like it had a rough day. A bright yellow and smooth skin is the most desirable). A tender rind (aka the outside shell) indicates immaturity, which is not really what you’re going for in spaghetti squash, and other types of winter squash (and life in general).

Store your squash at room temperature in a cool, dry place for a month or more. If you cut it in half, save the other half by wrapping it tightly in plastic and refrigerating (think supermarket watermelon).

How to Roast Your Spaghetti Squash

Directions:

Step 1: Cut length-wise and de-seed (Tip: roast seeds for a snack!)

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There was a lot of swearing involved in the cutting of this squash. Use a serrated knife like pictured to the right above to allow you to easily cut through the rind without losing any phalanges.

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Scoop the seeds out and set them aside. You can roast them for snack – if you need guidance, see my post on roasting pumpkin seeds. You use the same technique.

Step 2: Roast face down at 375Β°F for 45 minutes.

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Cover your baking pan in foil so that they don’t stick. Just to be on the safe side, I rubbed a miniscule amount of olive oil – just enough to coat the edges of the squash – to ensure it wouldn’t stick. Make sure that you keep an eye on your squash as it nears the end of the baking time – if you overcook that sucker, the spaghetti will be soft and kind of watery. Womp womp.

Step 3: Cool squash for 30 minutes.

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My squash got a little overcooked because I was kind of distracted (hello, shiny objects!). The amount of browning of the edges is a little excessive, I roasted mine for almost an hour, which I found to be too long. It still tasted awesome though! πŸ™‚ Also, if you skip this step, I guarantee that you will burn the sh*t out of your fingers trying to scrape it out. Patience is a virtue in this case. πŸ˜‰

Step 4: Use fork to loosen strands from edges, “tease” with a fork and pull away from the rind.

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Gently loosen the squash from the rind using a fork. Create the “spaghetti” texture by teasing with a fork, like you’re Ariel from the Little Mermaid, and/or you’re trying to create the perfect ‘do for your 80’s hair metal cover band.

Step 5: Transfer to a bowl or serving dish.

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Using a fork, gently scrape out squash into a dish. Then, you can top it off with your fave things! πŸ™‚

Step 6: Enjoy. πŸ˜€

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Spaghetti Squash, Italian style! With veggie sausage, tomato sauce, Romano cheese and red pepper flakes sprinkled on top. YUM.

There are endless amounts of ways you can top this off. Last night, I topped mine with some leftover tomato sauce, vegan sausage, Romano cheese and red pepper flakes. Here are some other fun options, all recipes below using 1/2 of a medium spaghetti squash (about 1 1/2 cups):

Italian style: Marinara sauce (1/2 cup), Vegan (or real) Mozzarella cheese (1/4 cup, like Daiya mozzarella) & veggie sausage (or sautΓ©ed meatless crumbles, like Morning Star Farms brand, or veggie meatballs)

Pad Thai style: Peanut butter (1 Tbsp), Juice from 1 lime, SautΓ©ed carrots (1/2 cup), SautΓ©ed green peppers (1/2 cup), Chopped cilantro (2 Tbsp), Best Baked Tofu EverΒ (1/4 – 1/2 cup)

Mexican style: Black beans (1/2 cup), diced tomatoes (1/2 cup), Greek yogurt (4 Tbsp), Spicy salsa or jalapeΓ±o slices (2 Tbsp), a few avocado slices (Or any of your fave burrito/taco toppings! You can also stuff this into a taco or burrito in place of rice.)

Mediterranean style: Feta cheese (2 Tbsp), 10 halved kalamata olives, A drizzle of olive oil, Juice from half a lemon, and a sprinkle of Greek seasoning (you can find this with the herbs and spices). You can even add a Tbsp of hummus and mix that in as well – sooooo good!

Mac n’ cheeze: Sharp cheddar cheese (or Daiya vegan cheddar, 1/4 cup), Parmesan cheese (or vegan cheese, 1/4 cup), 1 cup chopped broccoli (or your fave veggies)

Spicy Paisan: Kale or escarole, cooked (1 cup), white kidney beans (1/2 cup), Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup), Red pepper flakes (2 tsp, or more, if you’re like me and love spice!)

Breakfast for Dinner: Sprinkle brown sugar, coconut sugar, or maple syrup with a little soy butter and eat for breakfast. You can top it off with egg, if you’d like. Or use in place of oats for overnight oats and top off with fruit/berries, almond butter, and seeds.

As you can see, the options are literally endless. I hope you find one that you really love! I know I’ve been having fun experimenting. Enjoy, and have a great Tuesday!

Rock on,

L

36 thoughts on “Spaghetti Squash: Are you SURE this isn’t pasta?

    • Stefanie – another great breakfast squash is acorn. It’s the perfect size to split in half, roast with a little (soy or regular) butter, sprinkle with brown sugar and share. It’s an amazing treat fresh out of the oven in the fall/winter after a long run in the cold! πŸ™‚

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  1. I love Spaghetti Squash. I actually cook mine in the microwave for 5-10 minutes depending on the size. Sometimes I just want mine quickly πŸ™‚

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    • That’s a great idea, Lee! Thanks for sharing. I’ve never done it that way before! I usually don’t mind roasting because then I have an excuse to catch up on Scandal and drink red wine out of long stemmed glasses a la Olivia Pope! Haha πŸ™‚ I will definitely try that.

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  2. I looooooooooooove Spaghetti Squash. I cook it frequently. I enjoy all squash, actually, but Spaghetti Squash is top of the list of my favorites πŸ™‚

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  3. Thanks for this post. I’d really like to like spaghetti squash but I find it rather bland. Now that I’ve read this post I’ll try some of your suggestions and see if I can get to like the stuff.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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