Looking for ways to sneak more vegetables into your meals? Spaghetti squash may be one of your solutions! This squash is a great alternative to many starches. It can be used in place of pasta, in a casserole, as a side dish with your choice of protein, and even as a pie crust for a quiche! Spaghetti squash provides a refreshingly mild taste and crunchy texture to meals that will be sure to please! Best of all, it’s healthy and tastes great!
- Only 40 calories per cup compared to pasta’s 175 calories per cup!
- A lower carbohydrate option with ? the carbs ofpotatoes and ¼ the carbs of pasta.
- Provides 2 grams of fiber per cup, which promotes heart health helps keep us full.
- Contains beta-carotene, an antioxidant that contributes to eye and skin health.
Selection and Storage
- Look for spaghetti squash that is firm and free of cuts, punctures or spots.
- The squash should be yellow in color, and heavy for its size.
- Store the spaghetti squash in a cool, dry place for up to 1 month.
- After cutting the squash, be sure to wrap in plastic, refrigerate and use within 5 days.
- Spaghetti squash is a variety of winter squash.
- Although it can be available year-round, peak season for spaghetti squash is early fall through winter.
- It is unlike any other squash variety because it creates a spaghetti-like structure when cooked.
- Botanically considered a fruit, spaghetti squash is called a vegetable when cooking.
Spaghetti Squash and Marinara
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 1 pound extra lean ground beef or extra lean ground turkey breast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes (low-sodium or no salt added)
- 3 cloves of garlic, fresh, minced
- 1 ½ tablespoon Italian Seasoning
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Fill a glass baking dish with 1 inch of warm water. Wash the spaghetti squash before cutting in half length-wise. Place the squash, flesh side down, in the baking dish. Bake for 45-50 minutes.
In a rush? You can also microwave the squash halves in a dish with ¼ cup of water, flesh side down, for 10-15 minutes. Follow the same steps for cooling and scraping out the spaghetti.
In the meantime, prepare the beef/turkey and marinara sauce while the spaghetti squash is cooking.
Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Cook until browned, stirring occasionally.
Marinara Sauce: Mince 3 gloves of garlic. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Sauté garlic until it turns light brown. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir in Italian seasoning. Boil the sauce with medium-high heat for 15 minutes, stirring often! Turn heat down to low-medium heat and continue stirring occasionally for 35 minutes. Be sure to smash the tomatoes during this time to get your desired consistency.
When ready, remove the spaghetti squash from the oven and allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes. Scoop out and discard the seeds. To make the noodles, use a fork to scrape out the spaghetti squash into a serving bowl,. Pour the sauce over the squash and savor your slim supper!
Nutrition facts per 1 ½ cup serving: 211 calories; 8 g fat; 2 g saturated fat; 40 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrate; 18 g protein; 5 g fiber; 246 mg sodium.
Ashley Steven, RD
District 4 Dietitian
King Soopers/City Market