Spaghetti Squash Bake

Spaghetti squash doesn’t have to be boring. This recipe is easy to prepare and adapt to your food preferences. Experiment with different vegetables and seasonings to find your perfect combo.

Spaghetti Squash Bake

Spaghetti squash is one of my favorite options when wanting less of the “carbohydrate heaviness” that comes with traditional pasta. Spaghetti squash is also fairly inexpensive per pound, easy to cook, and can be used as a substitute in most all pasta dishes. It is naturally gluten-free and low calorie with ~5x fewer calories per gram compared to angel hair pasta.

If you’re new to preparing spaghetti squash, make sure you have a sharp knife on hand and spend a few minutes checking out tips for how to cut and clean one. I prefer the “cross cut” rather than the “length-wise” cut as shown here. [On a side note, I also save the seeds and roast them separately since they are edible and delicious!]

Recipe Ingredients for Italian style Bake:

  • whole spaghetti squash, about 2 pounds

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • ~1 lb of protein of choice - I used ground lean turkey but you can use any ground meat/poultry, Italian style sausage, or a meat substitute of your liking

  • veggies of choice - I used bell pepper, canned fire roasted diced tomatoes, bella mushrooms, and white onion

  • shredded mozzarella - I bought it already shredded to save time

  • fresh minced garlic, 2-3 cloves

  • salt, pepper, and other fresh or dried herbs such as oregano and basil

Preparation Steps:

  1. Clean, cut, and cook the spaghetti squash. You can microwave, oven bake, or use an Instant Pot or pressure cooker. I use my Instant Pot (reference the guidance provided here). After the squash has cooked, use a large fork to scrape out the “noodle strands” into a colander to drain off the liquid as it cools.

  2. Heat oven to 350F.

  3. Heat drizzle of olive oil and sauté your veggies and protein of choice. Add your seasonings. You can opt to cook the veggies and protein in separate pans or all together in one pan.

  4. Lightly oil (or use an oil spray) the bottom of a large glass casserole dish (9x13). Then do one or more layers of the spaghetti squash, veggies, protein, and cheese. I did 2 layers for fun…kinda like lasagna prep. See the pics below for the progression.

  5. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until cheese has melted.

  6. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, serve and enjoy!

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Let me know if you try out “the bake”! Tag @nutritionmechanic on Instagram or @mechanicdina on Facebook. I’d love to see your creation!

-Dina

 

Not your mama’s casserole