November has arrived and the holiday season is right around the corner, if not already here. I’m planning to spend much of November focused on vegetarian-friendly dishes perfect for holiday feasts, cold weather entertaining, and every day meals featuring fall’s bounty. I have ideas bouncing around in my head for easy homemade biscuits, mushroom gravy, cranberry muffins, and autumn veggie patties to go anywhere a meat-eater would use turkey. But before that, I’m going to share a simple recipe for one of my favorite fall produce items, spaghetti squash. For years I’ve been roasting spaghetti squash to use in place of pasta. Once you have this simple roasting technique down that creates the thin pasta-like flesh of this squash variety, the possibilities are endless. Top the spaghetti-like strands of squash with any pasta sauce and you’ve got a guilt-free, gluten-free bowl of pasta-ish deliciousness.
This is my favorite way to cook spaghetti squash because it’s easy and really allows the sweet flavor of the squash to develop. The hardest part is cutting the squash in half lengthwise. Be sure to use a sharp knife and be extra careful, moving slowly and intentionally. It takes a little muscle and patience, but once halved, all that’s left is a little seasoning and then into the oven it goes. After roasting and allowing the squash to cool for a bit, the insides of the squash easily turn to strands with just a fork.
Spaghetti squash is super nutritious, low in carbs and calories, and oh so delicious with its slightly sweet and subtle flavor. I love making spaghetti squash because I can eat so much of it without feeling overly stuffed or the least bit guilty. If you haven’t tried it before, try it now. I’ll definitely be cooking it up all winter long.
Simply Roasted Spaghetti Squash
Serves: 2 (4 as a side dish) Start to Finish: 1 hour Yield: 4 cups
1 Spaghetti Squash (mine was 4lb)
2 teaspoons Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt, fine grain
Pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut spaghetti squash length-wise. Be very careful! Scoop out seeds and pulp from the center of each half. Rub the cut side of each half with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil or canola oil. Season each cut side with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. I used 2 pinches of pepper per half.
Place squash cut side down onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on size of squash. These 4-pounders were in the oven for 40 minutes. I could’ve taken them out at 35.
Remove squash from oven. Carefully flip them over to cool. Allow squash halves to cool down until they are easy to handle, about 10 minutes. Once cooled, use a fork to scrape out the flesh into a bowl, turning it into strands. Gently mix and season with more salt and pepper to taste (I found it to be well seasoned, so I didn’t add any more).
Eat spaghetti squash on its own, maybe adding herbs and cheese to fancy it up a bit, use it in place of pasta, or use it in any recipe that calls for spaghetti squash strands.