Spaghetti squash is gettin’ a whole lot of buzz these days, and for good reason! I decided to see what all this fuss was about and created one of my very favorite recipes. This squash is an excellent substitution for pasta for those of you trying out a sugar-free, low-carb or paleo style approach to eating. Don’t expect an exact replica of the taste or texture, I find that the squash is a little sweeter, and less noodle-y but if you can get past that, this dish is pretty similar (even better…) to traditional spaghetti.
This squash compared to the same serving size (1 c) of whole wheat pasta has less calories (42/174), less carbs (10/37), less added sugar and less protein (1/7). If you’re hung up on the fact that it has fewer grams of protein per cup, keep in mind that you can easily add meat or a protein source to your dish (like mine below!). The squash compared to the same serving size of whole wheat pasta has more Vitamin A and C, lutein and zeaxanthin (protect your eyes from aging!), potassium (to keep those muscles working well).
Cooking the Squash
The first thing I had to do after buying my experimental squash was look up how to cook it. Of the microwave and oven options, I opted for the oven. Too much time in the microwave freaks me out. So
- Preheat the oven to 425
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise
- Remove the pulp and seeds
- Place on top of a pan covered with foil, open face down
- Cook for 45 minutes
- Use a fork to pull the spaghetti strands out of the shell
While the squash is cooking, I’ll usually start on the mix’ins. For my first ever dish with this ingredient, I opted to make a meat sauce-like topping. Here’s what you’ll need:
Ground Beef Topping for Spaghetti Squash
- 1 package of grass fed/grass finished ground beef
- 1 large can of organic diced tomatoes (italian seasoning optional)
- 1 chopped organice red bell pepper
- 1 handful chopped mushrooms (optional)
You can add any other vegetables or seasonings to the mix that you’d like. I just use the diced tomatoes as my sauce and omit any jarred spaghetti sauce (usually have some hidden sugars, plus I’ve just learned to like the chunks – I know mama’s shocked!).
- Brown the meat, discard the fat
- Add the canned tomatoes
- Sautee the red peppers and mushrooms in coconut oil or Kerrygold butter
- Add veggies to tomato and meat mix
- Pour over the “noodles”
- Enjoy your spaghetti with meat sauce for days!
I’ll usually whip this up on a Sunday night and it’ll feed me through a school week. I’ve even eaten it for breakfast after a morning workout! If you try it, be sure to let me know what you think. I won’t be upset if you don’t think the squash imitates the pasta well enough 😉 happy eating y’all.