Can a person eat too much squash?
In the past several weeks I've cooked butternut squash, acorn squash, zucchini, yellow crookneck squash and spaghetti squash.
Guess who threw a mini fit at my self-imposed squash fest?
The good ol' boyfriendo.
If you've been following my blog for awhile now, you know he's a bonafide squash hater. But he'll still take a few bites of it when I fix it for dinner cause he's hungry and he doesn't want to completely offend me.
If only he would learn to appreciate this vegetable, then I could fix it more often.
Roasted Spaghetti Squash
Anyway, my latest squash foray was this roasted spaghetti squash bowl. I tried spaghetti squash for the first time last year using a Skinnytaste recipe and didn't have it bookmarked so I made my own version on the fly.
With hardly any measuring and little prep-work, this came together quickly. Even better, the squash is extremely filling, so it makes an easy one dish meal.
Never had spaghetti squash before?
Once it is cooked and shredded (with a fork), it has almost the same texture and shape as pasta, but it's slightly sweeter. So when you're chowing down, it's like having a bowl of pasta, but with less calories and more vitamins.
Isn't that magical?
Italian-Style Roasted & Baked Spaghetti Squash Bowls
Roasted spaghetti squash halves shredded and mixed with Italian-style fillings like tomato sauce, herbs, cheese and chicken, then baked until warm and bubbly.
Serves: 2-4 (depending on size of squash)
1 3-4 lb. spaghetti squash (choose organic and/or local, if possible)
1-2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil (I use THIS)
Sea salt, cracked black pepper & dried Italian seasoning, to taste
2 tablespoons of butter (OR sub extra virgin olive oil)
Jarred pasta sauce OR tomato sauce (add extra seasoning if using plain tomato sauce)
Fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained OR fresh tomatoes (optional)
Granulated garlic, crushed red pepper, sea salt & cracked black pepper, to taste (for filling)
Shredded roasted chicken or oven-baked chicken breasts
Full-fat mozzarella cheese (freshly sliced or shredded)
Fresh basil, thinly sliced (or sub dried basil), for finishing
large rimmed baking sheet
sturdy cutting board (these bamboo boards are made with renewable resources)
large sharp knife (this is the basic one I use every day)
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Place a kitchen towel on top of a sturdy cutting board. Then set the spaghetti squash on top of the towel. Using a large, sharp, good quality knife CAREFULLY cut the squash in half lengthwise. Do this slowly and take your time. It might take a bit of elbow grease depending on the size of the squash.
Scoop out the guts and seeds and discard (or save the seeds to roast for later). Rub the 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil over the two halves and sprinkle with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning, to taste. Place both halves face down on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the squash is slightly tender. Check it at the thirty minute mark by pulling one out and scraping the flesh with a fork. You want to avoid overcooking it so it doesn't turn to mush. If your squash is particularly small, check it at the 20 minute mark just to be sure.
When it's done, flip the halves over and let them cool for 5-10 minutes. Using a fork, gently scrape it through the squash flesh, creating thin tendrils that look like spaghetti. Do this with both halves. Mix in the butter, pasta sauce, tomatoes, chicken and any additional spices you want (I used granulated garlic, crushed red pepper, sea salt & pepper). If you don't have any roasted chicken or rotisserie chicken on had, slice up some cooked chicken breasts instead.
I didn't use measurements here because it will depend on how big your squash is and how saucy, meaty or cheesy you want this spaghetti squash bowl. Just eyeball it.
If you're using fresh mozzarella, slice however much you want and lay it on top of both halves. If using shredded mozzarella, sprinkle it across instead. Place the squash back in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Thinly slice the basil and sprinkled it across both halves.
Notes & Tips
- Don't leave out the butter or olive oil in this dish! Although spaghetti squash is a great low fat, low calorie, low carb food, it has fat-soluble vitamins such as A, K & E in it. In order for your body to absorb those vitamins, you must eat it with some healthy fat. You can read more about fat soluble vitamins here.
- If your squash is super big, you can always cut it into four pieces before shredding and topping it.
- This will taste just as good without chicken, or you if you want more options you could try sauteed spinach, ground beef or Italian sausage.
Keep Reading! More Recipes From The Rising Spoon:
- Baked Organic Zucchini Boats Two Ways
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk
- Chorizo, Rice & Black Bean Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Chicken Piccata with Artichokes, Garlic, Onions & Capellini
- Cast-Iron Chicken Pot Pie with Cheesy Garlic Biscuit Crust
- Easy Tex-Mex Ground Beef Chili
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I'd like to hear from YOU!
What's your favorite winter squash to use in comforting recipes?
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