Simple Baked Spaghetti Squash
Yields: about 4-6 cups (depending on the size of squash) Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes
So simple and healthy, this is a versatile dish to which you can add pretty much any toppings to customize this faux pasta dish. Rich in B vitamins, folate, potassium, vitamins A and C, this squash is unique in that it shreds into spaghetti-like “noodles” when cooked.
1 medium spaghetti squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
sprinkle of pepper (optional)
Any sautéed vegetables
Choice of meat (chicken, ground turkey or beef)
Chopped herbs (basil, oregano, parsley)
Cheese (Parmesan, Asiago, Cheddar, shredded mix)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Slice the spaghetti squash lengthwise into two even halves. Coat (rubbing with a basting brush or simply your hands) each half with 1/2 T. olive oil and sprinkle each half with 1 t. salt.
3. Place each half face down on a parchment paper lined baking tray. Bake at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes. Shorter time results in crunchier “noodles” and likewise, a little bit longer in the oven results in softer “noodles.”
4. Remove from oven, and (using a fork or oven mitt) carefully turn over each half to let the steam out and allow the cooking process to stop.
5. Using a fork, facing the prongs down, pull at the sides of the cooked squash. As you drag the fork, the “noodles” of the spaghetti squash start coming off. Place on a plate a top as desired.
NOTE: In our house we like simple butter or olive oil with salt and Parmesan cheese for the kiddos. The grown-ups often add diced veggies and chopped herbs such as garlic and basil.
Spaghetti squash is similar in flavor to other squash, with a hint of sweetness that pairs well with savory toppings, such as pungent cheese or sharp herbs. I prefer to leave the squash a little crunchier, so as to keep a bit of texture to the “noodles.” Otherwise, as with any squash, it gets a little mushy (which my youngest would probably prefer.)
Two of our three kiddos get super excited when we have this dish. The third (and our youngest), is still just getting used to solid foods, and so anything with a stringy texture is a bit new to her. She’s eating a bit more each time we have it. And actually, she’s a big fan when we mix it with the “traditional” spaghetti fixings (ground turkey and tomato sauce).
This is such an easy dinner, as it is super quick and versatile. The other cool part is it works great for a toppings bar. Sometimes, I’ll set out the base spaghetti “noodles” and have bowls of toppings from which to choose. This lets the kiddos choose and gives them some autonomy over their dinner.
Personally, I love mixing some raw, chopped garlic, olive oil, Parmesan cheese with a little salt and pepper. This is a great go-to fall immunity-boosting dish!
Other spaghetti squash dishes: