10 Delicious Guilt-Free Ways to Eat Spaghetti Squash
Using spaghetti squash offers spaghetti-like "noodles" without packing on unwanted calories and carbs. Try these 10 delicious, guilt-free ways to eat spaghetti squash for a nutritious dish.
Eating pasta generally makes people cringe when trying to cut carbs and calories. However, the use of spaghetti squash offers alternative spaghetti-like "noodles" without regretful strings attached. Loaded with vitamins A and C and fiber, its intake is far from shameful. Try these 10 delicious, guilt-free ways to eat spaghetti squash for a nutritious dish!
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
There are several ways to get spaghetti squash into an edible product. Whether in an oven or microwave, check out these cooking methods and tips:
Baked or Roasted in an Oven
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut squash in half and scoop out the pulp and seeds. Lay the two halves in a casserole dish with hollowed and cut sides facing down with rinds facing upwards. Fill the dish with a half cup of water and bake for approximately 30 to 35 minutes, or until the flesh is tender. Rake a fork back in forth to remove the spaghetti-like flesh.
As an alternative method, preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Half and deseed the squash and drizzle flesh with two tablespoons olive oil. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, place cut side down and roast in the oven for about an hour. Once the flesh is tender, scrape out with a fork.
Quick in a Microwave
If time is not on your side, utilizing the microwave can be a quick option. Once the squash is halved and the seeds are removed, place in microwave for approximately 10 minutes and scrape out the flesh once slightly cooled.
5 Quick Tips
1. Choose a spaghetti squash that is firm and store in a dry spot for two to three months!
2. Cut the squash at the waist (opposed to end-to-end) to produce longer "spaghetti" strands.
3. If the squash is too tough to cut, soften the squash by popping it in the microwave for about a minute.
4. Too much moisture in the "noodles?" Reduce the amount of water in the bottom of the baking dish or roast without any added water.
5. Keep the seeds! Similar to pumpkin seeds, they can be roasted and eaten as a nutritious snack or topped on salad for added crunch.
10 Spaghetti Squash Recipes and Ideas
1. Simply Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti squash offers slight flavor even without added sauces and toppings. But to compliment the lightness even further, drizzle the "noodles" with a little extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper as desired.
2. Spaghetti and Meatballs
Reduce carb content of traditional spaghetti and meatballs without compromising protein and flavor. Top noodles with turkey or beef meatballs and favorite pasta sauce. Add spinach into noodles or meatballs for added nutrients.
3. Healthified Chicken Parmesan
Skip out on heavy, breaded chicken parmesan by opting for a grilled chicken breast. Cube chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to tomato sauce. Garnish with parsley and oregano for added flavor and aesthetic.
4. A Mediterranean Meal
Amplify the "simple spaghetti squash" version noted above with black olives, sundried tomatoes, and a grilled chicken breast. Serve dish chilled or warm and garnish with fresh herbs and feta cheese.
5. Go Green with Pesto
Pesto sauce is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients. Check out this easy-to-prepare pesto sauce to compliment your next spaghetti squash.
6. Chinese Beef and Broccoli
For a lighter Chinese dish, mix broccoli and other desired veggies with squash. Top with lean beef, drizzle with soy sauce, and add fresh scallions and chopped peanuts for extra crunch.
7. Cajun Shrimp
Load up the spaghetti squash with fresh shrimp, garlic, cayenne pepper, and paprika for a well-balanced meal. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with green onions for added depth!
8. Enchilada Boats
Load up cooked squash halves with shredded beef or chicken, jalapenos, and garlic. Spoon on enchilada sauce and sprinkle with cheddar cheese as desired. Replace sour cream with a heaping scoop of plain Greek yogurt for supplementary protein.
9. Tasty Tacos
Let the nutritious noodles fill taco shells! Mix spaghetti squash with black beans, chopped tomatoes, and sliced avocados. Squeeze lime juice atop and garnish with fresh cilantro for a vegan taco twist.
10. Breakfast Bowls
Top cooked squash halves with hard or soft boiled eggs for a unique breakfast option. Make your bowl your own with your favorite breakfast toppings and flavors!