Mother Nature’s spaghetti —the noodle-like strands of spaghetti squash are every bit as nutritious as they are delicious. Like other hard-shelled winter squash, spaghetti squash is harvested in the early fall. But how do you cook spaghetti squash?
Watch How to Cook Spaghetti Squash…. Print
- 1 Spaghetti Squash (yellow to light orange in color and firm – about 8 inches to 12 inches long)
- Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil or organic extra virgin coconut oil (such as Barlean’s)
- Unrefined sea salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and pulp (just like cleaning out the inside of a pumpkin at Halloween.)
- Place on the baking sheet cut side up. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Outer skin will be soft when done and flesh will be very tender.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.
- Pull a fork lengthwise through the flesh to separate it into long strands. It comes out easily and looks like thin spaghetti.
How to Buy Spaghetti Squash
You want to look for spaghetti squash that is hard and rather heavy for its size. Pay attention to color too. Avoid spaghetti squash with soft spots and green color as this is a sign of immaturity – instead, look for a constant yellow or orange color.
Though at peak season in the fall, spaghetti squash is available year round in most parts of the United States and found all over the world. Do note spaghetti squash is sometimes called different things in different parts of the country such as vegetable spaghetti, noodle squash, spaghetti marrow or squaghetti.
Health & Weight Management Benefits of Spaghetti Squash
Like all vegetables, spaghetti squash is filled to the brim with phytonutrients and antioxidants (including vitamin C), but it is a particularly good source of super anti-aging and cardio-protective carotenoids. A review of six studies looking at the connection between carotenoid-rich diets and prevention of heart disease found a positive correlation; in one of these studies, those who consumed at least one daily serving of carrots or squash had a 60 percent decrease in heart attack risk compared to those eating fewer than one serving.
Believe it or not, spaghetti squash also contains anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA.) Did you know one cup of spaghetti squash contains around 350 mg of ALA omega-3 fats? Omega-3 essential fats are the fats we must obtain from food because your body can’t manufacture them. Omega-3’s are also the fats people eating a modern diet are most deficient in. These super good for you fats are highly anti-inflammatory, cardio-protective and even slimming. One way omega-3 fats help with weight management is by improving sensitivity to insulin. The fact spaghetti squash is a high-volume, fiber-rich and low calorie food (1 cup cooked contains only about 40 calories!) also contributes to its slimming properties.
Spaghetti Squash Recipe #1:
Ivy’s Garlicky Spaghetti Squash, Kale & Sundried Tomato Entrée
Food for thought…depending on how hearty of a dish you want this to be you can either make it with or without the pasta. It tastes great both ways and adding the pasta doesn’t even really change the flavor, it just helps add more substance to the meal and fill you up. If I’m serving it as an entrée I always add the pasta but I often make it without the pasta if I just want a light veggie side dish. Note: If you want to use sundried tomatoes that are not packed in oil you will need to moisten them placing them in a small bowl of water and heating in the microwave for a minute or so.
- 1 tablespoon cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 cups finely chopped kale
- ½ cup julienned sundried tomatoes packed in oil (rinse the oil off with water and pat the tomatoes dry with paper towels)
- “Real Salt”, to taste
- Red Chile flakes, to taste (optional)
- 4 cups cooked cooked spaghetti squash
- 2 cups cooked sprouted whole grain, quinoa spaghetti or 100% buckwheat soba noodles
- Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes, or until shallots soften. Add the kale and sundried tomatoes. Sauté for several minutes, until kale wilts. Season with salt and red chile flakes to taste.
- Stir in the cooked spaghetti squash and toss to coat. Add the cooked whole grain or quinoa spaghetti and toss to coat. Adjust seasoning. Serve warm.
Spaghetti Squash Recipe #2:
Spaghetti Squash “Hash Browns”
Nothing could be simpler than making spaghetti squash “hash browns.” And the texture really is very similar to the real deal. It’s delicious as is but also tastes great topped with a top-quality marinara sauce (Rao’s is my personal favorite, pricey, but worth it!) P.S. Kids LOVE this!
- 1 teaspoon cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 cups cooked spaghetti squash
- “Real Salt”, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic; sauté briefly, until shallot softens.
- Add spaghetti squash and toss with the shallots and garlic. Turn mixture over several times until spaghetti squash turns a golden color, about 5-6 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Spaghetti Squash Recipe #3:
Spicy Spaghetti Squash & Veggie Omelet
A new veggie-forward twist on a breakfast and brunch favorite!
- 1 pastured organic egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- ½ teaspoon cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
- 1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
- ½ cup of cooked spaghetti squash
- “Real” Salt, to taste
- Red chili flakes, to taste
- Crack the egg in a medium-sized mixing bowl, add 1 tablespoon of water and whisk well with a fork. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and sauté briefly until just soft. Add the tomato and cooked spaghetti squash and mix vegetables together. Season vegetables with salt and red chili flakes. Remove the vegetables from the heat and transfer to another bowl.
- Lightly oil the skillet and set the burner to medium heat. When the skillet is hot, pour in the egg mixture and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the eggs begin to set on the bottom of the pan. Gently lift the edges of the omelet with a spatula to let the uncooked part of the eggs flow toward the edges and cook. Continue cooking for another 2 minute or so, or until the center of the omelet starts to look dry.
- Spoon the vegetable mixture into the center of the omelet. Using a spatula gently fold one edge of the omelet over the vegetables. Let the omelet cook for another minute or so. Slide the omelet out of the skillet and onto a plate. Cut in half and serve at once.