As a dietitian I love anything that makes it easier for people to eat vegetables. That's why I'll always sing the praises of frozen and canned veggies—they can be just as or even more nutritious as fresh—plus, they're more affordable and easier to keep on hand for an easy dinner. The one downside? They don't always taste the same. I love frozen peas, but nothing compares to the taste of fresh peas straight from the farmers' market. And while canned diced tomatoes live in my pantry year round and are a go-to for sauces, the ones from my garden in the summer work better in caprese salads.
All that to say, when I was sent a box of SOLELY shelf-stable spaghetti squash pasta that cooks in just minutes, I was skeptical it could deliver the same flavor as fresh spaghetti squash. But I was intrigued. Spaghetti squash is one of my favorite vegetables to eat, but I hate prepping the squash (here are our best tips for cutting, prepping and cooking spaghetti squash). SOLELY dried spaghetti squash is currently available at some grocery stores, but you can also buy it online at Amazon and Thrive Market.
This pasta substitute is made with only one ingredient—organic spaghetti squash. The squash is then dried in an oven and boxed up. Because it's just squash, the pasta is gluten-free and has 85% fewer carbs and calories than traditional pasta. Plus you get a full serving of vegetables in each portion. All you need to do is boil water and in just 5 minutes of cooking, plus a drain and rinse, you're ready to eat. I made my spaghetti squash pasta with pesto and served it up with vegetarian meatballs.
Since it's made from just spaghetti squash, that's exactly what it tastes like. The good thing is, it cooks super fast. But that also means it's easy to overcook it, so set a timer and check it often. It's definitely super convenient if you eat a lot of spaghetti squash but need a fast option for nights you don't have a lot of time for cooking. However, if you love the flavor of roasted squash you can't quite replicate that with this option. And while I'll never cut out pasta, I appreciate that keeping a box of this dried squash on hand might help people eat more vegetables.