Spaghetti Squash

I made my first spaghetti squash last night!  I had been wanting to try one for some time now because I found the bright, big-bird-looking squash to be quite intriguing.  I had never seen or tasted squash that resembled anything close to spaghetti.

It ended up being a success and definitely something I’ll be making again.

I baked the it for an hour and a half at 375F.  The directions on the sticker that came with the squash said it only needed to be baked for an hour, but I missed the step that said cut the squash in half…so needless to say, it took longer than an hour to get tender!  I thought it was a little strange to be cooking such a huge squash whole, but my head’s been all over the place and I’ve been so busy lately that I must not be thinking straight.  I clearly should have taken the time to stop and follow my intuitions…Well, on the positive side, now I know for next time, and the little extra cooking time just helped to expand my appetite!

After it finally came out of the oven, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.  I took a knife and opened that large baby up, and much to my surprise, there was a bunch of noodle-like tubes staring back at me.  I took a fork and pulled it through the squash’s flesh to scoop out the “noodles”.  After I placed a heaping pile on my plate, I topped them with some unthawed, homemade sauce made from my summer garden grown tomatoes.  So simple, and oh so delicious!

The flavor of the spaghetti squash alone was pretty neutral, kind of like a mild butternut squash, and when sauce was added, it tasted just like spaghetti.  The texture wasn’t quite the same as regular noodles and was also a little bit crunchier than most varieties of squash.  While I usually prefer my squash to be extra silky and soft, the crispiness worked perfectly to hold the squash strands into perfectly shaped noodles.  My plate certainly looked like it contained the standard Italian dish of spaghetti with tomato sauce.

Just like spaghetti, this “spaghetti” quickly filled me up.  However, unlike calorie-loaded pasta, spaghetti squash contains a mere 42 calories per cup.  Also, for anyone watching their carbs, spaghetti squash only contains 10 grams of carbs, whereas traditional pasta contains 43 grams.  Additionally, it holds 2 grams of fiber per cup, which worked to satiate my appetite and fully fill me up.

Spaghetti squash is a great way to add some more vegetables into your diet.  Instead of sticking to those staple vegetables you may be consistently consuming, try switching it up by throwing in a spaghetti squash.  New and unique produce will help you get excited once again to eat your vegetables.  It’s also a great way to keep your diet consisting of in-season foods.  Typically, when foods are in season, they will be fresher, which means they’ll hold more nutrients.  In season foods that can be grown locally also decrease travel time. which means a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions.

While it’s in season (early fall through winter months), I’ll definitely be utilizing spaghetti squash as a change of pace from my traditional stash of pasta.  Impress (or trick) your guests with this new treat.  It tastes delicious, looks good, and is just plain fun to use!

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  • Reply
    VeggieGirl
    December 1, 2009 at 9:42 am

    LOVE spaghetti squash!

  • Reply
    Abby
    December 1, 2009 at 10:07 am

    I adore spaghetti squash.. I actually prefer it (Sometimes) over reg. pasta!

  • Reply
    Melinda
    December 1, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Spaghetti squash is one of my faves. I have been telling some of the middle schoolers here about it so I wonder if any will give it a try. they usually look at me funny when I talk about healthy foods (although they did enjoy a trip to the health and wellness center to learn about nutrition). Another good one for low cal noodle alternative (although the squash is way more fun) is shirataki noodles.

  • Reply
    Jenn@slim-shoppin
    December 1, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    I too, until about 6 months ago never made/tried spaghetti sqash either!

    You can also cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and place it face down in a dish with about an inch of water an microwave it for 15 minutes.

    If you visit my sister’s blog http://www.biz319.wordpress.com and search for spaghetti squash lasagna, you will have another great thing to make with spaghetti squash.

    I think for the longest time I never tried veggies because I never liked them growing up, but now I taste things and I love it! It opens up a whole new world of possibilities!

  • Reply
    Melissa "Melicious" Joulwan
    December 1, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Here’s an alternate way to eat it, now that you’re in the spaghetti squash club!

    Saute the cooked squash in a little coconut oil and fresh, crushed garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let it cook until the sugars carmelize, and it begins to get some brown bits. So good!

    Bonus points if you drizzle it with tahini dressing:
    http://theclothesmakethegirl.blogspot.com/2009/06/open-sesame.html

  • Reply
    Anna
    December 1, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    What a coincidence– I made spaghetti squash last night too!

    Thanks for posting the nutritional stats– I was wondering about that! Crazy how much food you get for so little calories!

    I just found your blog through the Gelareh’s orange truffle…I’m excited to keep reading it!

  • Reply
    The Candid RD
    December 1, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    I am a HUGE fan of spaghetti squash! I buy like three at a time, it’s pathetic. I had some for lunch today, in fact. Congrats on your first successful experience! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  • Reply
    Nicole
    December 1, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Spaghetti squash is super popular in blog world today! Lots of bloggies making it! I have one at home, too….needing be eaten : ) I think they’re delicious — glad you enjoyed!!

  • Reply
    iwentwest
    December 1, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    mmmm im a huge fan of spaghetti squash, too. i almost never eat real pasta anymore. my favorite sauce is just olive oil, toasted pine nuts, and sauteed onions and tomatoes with fresh basil. if im feeling lazy, though, i’ll just defrost some chili (i usually make too much and freeze most of it) and use that for sauce. tons of protein that way.

    oh, and while baking it definitely has its merits, i usually just nuke the squash. It’s just as effective, and much faster!

  • Reply
    Simply Life
    December 1, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    I love spaghetti squash and just had it last night for dinner! I bake it whole and then cut it in half, a tip I learned from other bloggers!

  • Reply
    Andrea@WellnessNotes
    December 1, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    It’s so funny how everyone is making spaghetti squash these days! 🙂 I made my first one last week!

    I can’t wait to experiment with different sauces and toppings; there are so many great spaghetti squash recipes out there!

  • Reply
    Leah
    December 1, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    I LOVE spaghetti squash! I tried it for the first time a few weeks ago and fell in love! Its wonderful.

  • Reply
    Mari
    December 1, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    I am yet to try this but really want to, I have been seeing it all around the blogs.

  • Reply
    Bekah
    December 1, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    42 cals a cup?! Holy cow, sign me up for a big bowl of that.

    Yummm. This sounds good also with some broccoli+red sauce.
    I have yet to try spaghetti squash too, so I’m excited now!

  • Reply
    Gelareh @ Orange Truffle
    December 1, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    I always wondered how people get it to look like spaghetti. It looks really good and I really need to make them one of these nights.

  • Reply
    theemptynutjar
    December 2, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Hi, I have yet to try the spaghetti squash. I will be trying the buttercup or nut type soon. I hope to find some good way to eat it.

  • Reply
    Squash Galore « Food-Fitness-FreshAir
    December 19, 2009 at 8:40 am

    […] About 42 calories per […]

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