Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of recipes being shared on Facebook, most of which are healthy and look really delicious. I try to make a point of “liking” or sharing the post so I can go back to it, or I simply copy it down. Last week, one of my friends shared one for spaghetti squash, and sadly, I didn’t do either and don’t recall which friend it was. I figured I could wing it, but looked up a few recipes to find out about cooking times in both the oven and microwave. I ended up cooking mine in the oven, mostly because my microwave is small and cooking a whole spaghetti squash in there can lead to spaghetti squash wallpaper if it explodes. Needless to say, the end result was incredible, and honestly, tasted better than I expected. If you like healthy, and/or love pasta, but hate the carbs, look no further! If you’re short on time or just want to simplify this recipe , you can use your favorite spaghetti or marinara sauce instead of making this one, but I recommend you trying mine out 🙂 I added lean ground Italian turkey to mine; however, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, obviously you can omit it. Feel free to add some veggies, too, if you so desire.
*UPDATE* – shortly after posting this, I stumbled across a spaghetti squash recipe that looked amazing, so I quickly took the remaining half squash from this recipe and added the two additional ingredients, which I’ll post at the bottom (with a photo, of course)!
- 1 medium uncooked spaghetti squash, about 2 lbs.
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can stewed tomatoes, chopped
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can whole Roma tomatoes, chopped (discard juice)
- 1/2 lb. lean ground Italian turkey meat (I used Jennie O), optional
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil plus extra for baking dish
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1-2 tsp. garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. fennel seeds, ground in spice mill or using mortar & pestle
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste and for sprinkling baking dish
- Parmesan cheese, go big and just use a little for the top
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Cut squash in half lengthwise using a sharp knife. This can be somewhat difficult, so be careful. If need be, start at one end, cutting half way through then turn it around and cut through the other half. Once the squash is cut in half, scoop out the seeds.
- Drizzle a little olive oil in a large baking dish, then sprinkle with some salt & pepper. Place squash cut sides down in dish and prick skin with a fork all over.
- Cook for 45 minutes.
- While the squash is cooking, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and crushed fennel, and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add ground turkey, and continue to sauté until cooked through, breaking into small pieces, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes (including juice from the can of stewed tomatoes), basil and Italian seasoning; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring often, 5 minutes or until desired consistency.
- Remove squash from oven and carefully turn over with an oven mit (they’ll be hot!). Rake the stringy squash pulp from the skin with a fork, separating it into strands that look like spaghetti. You can either serve the squash in its skin or move the strands to a plate.
- Spoon sauce over squash and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Additional Recipe: Cheesy Spaghetti Squash with Marinara
The additional items you’ll need are 1 cup of cottage cheese (I prefer low fat) and 1 cup of shredded cheese. I used a light Mexican four-blend, but the recipe I saw calls for Mozzarella. To make this, after cooking the squash and scraping the strings with a fork, add 1/2 cup cottage cheese to each half, top with marinara, and then add 1/2 cup cheese to each one. Put on a baking sheet and place under the broiler for approximately 3-5 minutes. I added some fresh chopped oregano and basil, and as you can see, some of it burned, so I ended up finishing it in the microwave until the cheese got melted and bubbly.
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