This recipe is definitely my family’s favorite. My husband I agree it’s about as delicious as pizza, and that’s saying a lot because we LOVE pizza. My two toddler-aged boys gobble it up too. If you’ve never experienced the wonders of spaghetti squash, this is the perfect recipe to kick off what will become your new fall obsession. It’s called spaghetti squash for a reason; once cooked, you can run a fork through it and it becomes a remarkable stand-in for America’s favorite pasta.
This squash was given a make-over to resemble lasagna. The best part, other than the flavor of course, is the shell of the spaghetti squash remains firm upon baking and is the perfect “bowl” to eat from.
This recipe uses one medium-sized spaghetti squash to make two very generous servings, so come hungry.
Spaghetti Squash Nutrition
This meal provides a good dose of veggies, and one cup of cooked spaghetti squash is only about 42 calories, 10 grams of carbohydrates, and contains a variety of important nutrients such as vitamin A and potassium. If you are worried spaghetti squash won't fill you up, think again! The fiber content of spaghetti squash provides just over two grams per cup.
Squash also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants that protect your eyes from age-related diseases.
1 medium-size spaghetti squash
1 Tablespoon olive oil
½ onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
16 oz. can crushed tomatoes
10 mushrooms, diced
10 olives, sliced
1 teaspoon dried or finely chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon dried or finely chopped fresh basil
2 to 4 Tablespoons cream cheese
1 cup baby spinach
½ cup mozzarella cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds, and place the spaghetti squash cut-side down in a baking dish or on a baking sheet and bake for 40-60 minutes. When squash is done, the middle will be tender and pull apart easily with a fork.
2. In a large pan, sauté onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until fragrant. Add crushed tomato, olives, mushrooms, and ½ teaspoon each basil and oregano. When sauce starts to bubble, reduce heat to a simmer until thickened.
3. Meanwhile, place the cream cheese in a small bowl. I like to add in a little more oregano and basil for extra flavor. Mix until combined.
4. When spaghetti squash is fully cooked, flip over so the skin side is down and the “bowl” is up. Evenly divide cream cheese between each squash half. The amount of cream cheese used is up to you. It doesn't take much to add a creamy flavor. Add the spinach by layering it on the cream cheese. Next add your sauce. Top each half with ¼ cup mozzarella cheese or some parmesan.
5. Place squash back into a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately. Leftovers may be refrigerated in an airtight container.
The sauce is very flexible, so feel free to embellish in any way you like. I hope your family loves it as much as mine. Enjoy!
In Health and Happiness,
Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods