The Most Genius Way to Cook Spaghetti Squash
Pictured recipe: Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
Spaghetti squash-it's the great pasta impostor and, luckily for me, it hit the Internet with a bang just around the time I was diagnosed with celiac disease. But it's not just a revolutionary vegetable for gluten-free eaters like me-carb-conscious folks and calorie counters alike love to swap this slimmer spaghetti for pasta. There's a mere 42 calories and 10 grams of carbohydrate per cup of cooked squash compared to 221 calories and 43 grams of carbs per cup of cooked pasta.
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After going gluten-free, I started using spaghetti squash in place of gluten-filled pasta in cheesy pasta bakes, spaghetti and meatballs and even Asian-style peanut noodles. But the most genius way I've ever cooked spaghetti squash is by stuffing it! You can make dishes like spaghetti squash lasagna right in the squash shell for an easy and fun presentation that requires little cleanup. Here's how to do it:
How to Stuff Spaghetti Squash
Pictured recipe: Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Broccolini
Cook the Squash
Start by cutting the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scooping out all the seeds (don't throw them out, though. Clean them off and roast them into a delicious crunchy snack or soup topper!). Place the cut sides down on a baking sheet and roast in a 400°F oven until tender, 35-45 minutes (or speed things up and place the cut sides down in a microwave-safe dish with 2 tablespoons of water and microwave, uncovered, on High until the flesh is tender, about 10 minutes).
Choose a Protein
Pictured recipe: Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Meanwhile, cook up the other ingredients you want to stuff in the spaghetti squash shell to make a mouthwateringly delicious spaghetti squash boat. One stuffed spaghetti squash will feed 4 people. So plan to add additional ingredients accordingly. You will want about 2-4 ounces of protein per person. Choose from some of these ideas:
- ground beef or turkey
- diced chicken breasts or thighs
- diced tofu
- shredded cheese
Add Even More Veggies
Pictured recipe: Chicken Enchilada-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Add even more color, flavor and nutrients with additional vegetables. Get inspiration from these:
- chopped broccoli or broccolini
- diced zucchini
- diced tomato
- sliced mushrooms
Add the mushrooms and proteins with a little oil in a pan over medium-high heat and sauté until the protein is cooked through and the vegetables are starting to soften.
Make a Sauce
Pictured recipe: Broccoli & Chicken Alfredo Spaghetti Squash
You can either make your own sauce or add pre-made sauce to your pan with the protein and veggies to form the rest of your filling for the squash. We like to use any of these sauce options:
Try these: Delicious & Healthy Sauce Recipes
Stuff the Squash
Pictured recipe: Taco Spaghetti Squash Boats
Once your squash is cooked, shred the flesh from the shell using a fork. Transfer the flesh strands to the pan with your filling to mix it all together evenly. Then place the squash and filling mixture back in the spaghetti squash shells.
Finish off your adorable squash boats with a little sprinkle of cheese. Pop the squash halves under the broiler until the cheese melts and just begins to brown. Garnish with fresh herbs or scallions and serve (1/2 squash boat per person)!
More carb swaps: