Spaghetti squash. It’s not terribly pretty, nor is it really all that flavorful, but this vegetable (or is it a fruit? I can never keep it straight) has a lot of wonderful uses. I’ll be honest, prior to going gluten-free, I’d never even heard of this humble squash, let alone eaten it. Now, I pick one up whenever I see a small-ish one & the price is good.
When I first got one, all I heard was that it made a good substitute for noodles & made for a more nutritious hashbrown patty, & that the flesh looked like spaghetti. So I picked one up, sliced it open, & tried to scrape out of the goodness.
Not much happened. Somehow I’d missed the memo that in order for the flesh to turn into spaghetti and/or come off the skin, you gotta bake it first. Although disappointed that my bacon-egg-&-hashbrown breakfast would be about an hour later than I’d thought, I soon learned that the wait was worth it.
Here’s how to turn your gourd into something edible: slice it in half, then bake it in the oven for about an hour. Or, throw it in the crockpot for several. It’s that simple!
I put butter on mine, usually about half a stick on each half for a two pound squash (as you’ll see above), but there’s no reason to stop there! Add some chicken or beef stock to make your squash extra delicious, or throw some bacon on top & create a masterpiece. The smell of baking bacon is always a treat.
After it’s done, the bits of spaghetti will scoop out quite easily. I wouldn’t save the seeds, as they’re really quite hard, but otherwise, everything is edible. The flesh scoops out all the way to a rather thin skin, so you’ll get a lot of edible yumminess!
Some ideas for what to do with your squishy-squash:
» Hashbrowns! Much lower carb & more nutritious than your usual variety made with skinless white potatoes. Butter up a frying pan & make a patty. Cook cook cook, then flip over. Great for yummy runny over-easy eggs!
» Noodles! This is the most obvious, but hey. It needs to be a part of the list! It’s tasty covered in alfredo sauce, spaghetti sauce, or just drizzled with a bit of olive oil & some sauteed veggies.
» Quick mac & cheese: growing up, my mom always made macaroni & cheese with tomatoes. It’s always been my favorite dish, so you can imagine how sad it is that I can no longer enjoy it. Well, I put some spaghetti squash in a bowl, added some colby-jack cheese & diced tomatoes, & microwaved until everything was melted & hot. Close enough for me!
» Saute with olive oil, fresh garlic, fresh basil & diced tomatoes. Add a bit of fresh mozzarella. Delicious!
» Make your favorite pasta salad. I always enjoy colby jack, cilantro, black olives, halved cherry tomatoes, broccoli & pepperoni in mine. Drizzle some olive oil & balsamic vinegar over top of everything. Toss & serve!
Any other ideas for spaghetti squash? Next time you see one, be sure to try it out!