Spaghetti squash is not only delicious but it also works seamlessly as a healthy alternative to pasta. It easily absorbs whatever flavors you put into it, and has a great texture and taste. I am a big pasta lover but I would be happy to substitute to this any day. My father in law gave me the genius idea to microwave it, making it even easier and faster to prepare. My kids were a little confused when I told them it wasn't spaghetti! So if you have kids or maybe an adults with a picky pallet to feed, this might be just what you were looking for. There are so many ways you can enjoy spaghetti squash, but in this recipe we will cover only two. What is your favorite way to eat spaghetti squash? Let me know in the comments.
TIPS AND TRICKS - My father in law gave me the inspiration for these recipes plus a helpful trick on getting into these suckers. Turns out they are very hard to cut into. I could barley puncture the skin before I gave up trying. Turns out microwaving it takes away no flavor, does not change the texture at all, and makes it so much easier to prepare. All you have to do is puncture several holes in the skin and microwave for 6 minutes. If you just want to eat a spaghetti squash and skip the oven all together, add an additional 2 minutes cook time on the microwave, then scrap out the seeds, loosen up the squash and toss in a little butter, salt and pepper.
- It might seem a bit silly to bake the squash once you have cooked it and your sauce is ready to go, but I found the squash really absorbed the flavors well if they cooked together for a few minutes. You also don't have to keep the squash inside the skin to be baked, but I like it for presentation purposes.
Garlic Butter & Herb Spaghetti Squash
This version makes a great side dish. OR if your are looking to make this a main dish, add some cooked chicken breast, fresh parmesan and some cream for a chicken Alfredo version.
1/2 Cup Melted Butter
4 Cloves of Garlic, Peeled and minced
Pinch of Salt and Pepper
1 Tbsp Dried Parsley
1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- Preheat your oven to 425 F.
- Puncture several holes in your spaghetti squash, then microwave for 6 minutes.
Remove from the microwave and cut the squash in half long ways. Remove the seeds from the center, then place your squash halves on a lined cookie sheet or in a large baking dish.
- Meanwhile, in a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup, add your melted butter, garlic, salt, pepper, and parsley. Mix it all together and set aside.
- Loosen the squash away from the skin. Using a fork, start at the top cut edge of the squash and pull the strands away from the skin and into the center. Once its all loosened away from the skin, pour your butter and herb mixture in and blend it all together. (feel free to move the squash into a bowl for this step and then add it back to skin once done).
- Cover the top with mozzarella cheese and bake 5 to 10 minutes until cheese is melted and squash is hot.
- Remove from the oven and serve hot.
Italian Sausage Spaghetti Squash:
This recipe makes enough sauce for an entire squash. It's a little bit spicy from the Italian sausage plus an extra punch if you opted in for the chili flakes and tomato paste. This recipe is reminiscent of one of my favorites', sausage casserole except with spaghetti squash instead of noodles.
4 Italian Sausage, de-cased
2 Can Spaghetti Sauce (tomato sauce)
1 Can Tomato Paste* (optional)
1 Can Drained Diced Tomatoes
1 Green Bell Pepper, Diced
1 Large Onion, Diced
4 Cloves Garlic, Peeled and Minced
1 Can Sliced Mushrooms (2 Cups Fresh Sliced Mushrooms)
1 Carrot, Peeled and Shredded
1 Tbsp Dried Parsley
1 Tbsp Dried Basil
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1 Tsp Onion Powder
1/4 Tsp Chili Flakes* (Optional)
Large Pinch of Salt and Pepper
1/4 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- Preheat oven to 425 F and set aside a line cookie sheet.
- In a large pot, sauté your de-cased sausage (sausage with outer casing removed), onions, and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Once cooked, add you minced garlic stirring for one minute until fragrant. Add in you spaghetti sauce, drained diced tomatoes, tomato paste*, green pepper, shredded carrot, parsley, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, chili flakes,* salt and pepper. Cover and simmer together for at least 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, puncture several holes in your spaghetti squash and microwave for 6 minutes.
- Remove Squash from the microwave and and cut it in half long ways. Remove the seeds from the center and loosen the squash away from the skin. (same as described in recipe above)
- Add a few scoops of sauce to your spaghetti squash and blend it all together. (there will be lots of sauce left over for serving). Cover your sauced squash with shredded mozzarella cheese and bake for 5 to 10 minutes in the oven until cheese is melted and squash is hot.
- Serve a portion on a plate and add an additional scoop of sauce on top.
Whether it's Sweet or Savoury, let it be made with love!