The first time I cooked spaghetti squash for dinner I was a bit skeptical. It was the second week of January and one of my New Year’s resolutions was to cook healthier meals for my family. The grilled chicken, fish, and roasted vegetables were great those first few days, but I was really missing my favorite comfort food of all-time, spaghetti and meat sauce.
Like many of you, I’d heard people talk about spaghetti squash being a great substitute for pasta, but categorized these individuals as A) health nuts who probably didn’t like carbs in the first place, or, B) crazed dieters so hungry for “real food” they’d think anything was good. Wow, was I mistaken! Since that very first dinner of spaghetti squash and meat sauce (browned ground turkey + marinara sauce), it’s now a meal my family looks forward to each week. And, it’s so good, we don’t even miss the pasta!
If you haven’t tried spaghetti squash before, you’re going to be amazed at how much it resembles real spaghetti (you can even twirl the “strands” around on your fork!). However, I don’t want to set false expectations, spaghetti squash does not taste exactly like pasta. It has a sweet, delicate flavor all its own and, like pasta, is absolutely delicious when tossed with your favorite tomato or cream based sauce. A friend put it best when she said that spaghetti squash simply takes the “role” of pasta in a pasta dish.
One cup of cooked spaghetti squash has 42 calories, 10 grams of carbs, and is chock full of nutrients like Vitamin A and potassium. So, with swimsuit season right around the corner, what are you waiting for? Try my method below for baking spaghetti squash and let me know what your thoughts.
And, if you already have a favorite recipe that uses spaghetti squash, please write in and let me know about it – I’d love to hear from you!
Spaghetti Squash 101: How to Bake a Spaghetti Squash
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Pierce spaghetti squash with a knife and bake for 50 – 55 minutes (or, until spaghetti squash is soft). I like my spaghetti squash a little more “done”. Cook for less time if you prefer it “al dente”.
- Cut your spaghetti squash into two even halves and scoop the seeds out with a spoon. (If you’d like, you can save the seeds and roast them later like you would pumpkin seeds.)
- Using a fork, scrape the strands of spaghetti squash into a bowl.
- Toss spaghetti squash with your favorite tomato or cream based sauce. Or, simply toss with butter, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.