Spaghetti squash can be an intimidating veggie to use if you’re not familiar with how to prepare it. Honestly, though, its super simple if you can just get it cut in half. That’s the hardest part! If you don’t know what they look like, here they are before being cut in half with seeds removed:
It is better to get small to medium sized squashes for making boats. Each half ends up being a serving. So once you get them, take the stickers off if they have them, then cut in half lengthwise.
The stem may or may not cut in half, or it may come off completely. It doesn’t matter either way as long as you get your knife through the whole thing to get them split. (PLEASE be careful doing this!!) Once halved, take a large spoon and scrape the seeds out. Spray or rub on a little bit of coconut oil or EVOO, add salt and pepper, then bake cut side up at 350F for about 45 minutes on an aluminum foil covered cookie sheet.
While these are in the oven make your sauce. I start with a 1.25lb package of 93/7 ground turkey, and 2 links of hot turkey sausage taken out of the casing.
All you have to do is squeeze the sausage link from either side or from the middle going outward, and the meat will come right out. Sauté one small chopped onion in a little bit of EVOO for a few minutes, then add the two kinds of turkey and cook through, making sure to chop the turkey into smaller pieces as it cooks. You can use a medium to large sized pot, or a large deep pan for this. Just make sure it’s a pan that it is deep enough to hold all of the ingredients you’re going to add.
I soak up all of the grease in several paper towels and throw them in the trash can as opposed to draining and rinsing. I find that it retains the flavor, and doesn’t run the risk of making a solid turkey grease clog in my sink. This significantly reduces the amount of fat, of which 30% is saturated. After that, I add one can of petite diced tomatoes and one can of tomato sauce. I use the cans that are the same size as a regular standard can, not the mini-cans, of sauce. If you prefer to have a sauce that isn’t so thick, or want to make the sauce go further, you can add up to another full can (of tomato sauce.) It all depends on what your preference is. Then, I add finely chopped fresh oregano, thyme, rosemary and parsley. You can absolutely use dried herbs for this. In fact, if you have italian seasoning and that’s it, just throw in a tablespoon or two, and you’ll be good to go. I just enjoy using fresh herbs when I can. I also added some crushed red pepper flakes and a little bit of cayenne pepper, because I like mine with a kick.
After stirring in the herbs, add a couple of tablespoons of goat cheese to the sauce. I like to buy the little individual medallions of goat cheese, because they stay fresher longer than the little mini-logs of it. I would use one medallion if that gives you an idea of how much to add. All I had on hand the night I made these for my parents was a brick of Greek yogurt cream cheese. I added about an inch of that, and it worked wonderfully! Just add it to the sauce, let it melt, and stir in thoroughly. Doing this adds a little bit of a creamier texture without having to add heavy cream or milk. I also just love the flavor it gives the sauce, whether I use goat or cream cheese.
By now, your spaghetti squash is likely done. Remove them from the oven, and pat them dry if any liquid has accumulated. Then, fill each half up with the sauce, top with a few sprinkles of low fat mozzarella cheese, and bake for another 5 minutes. You can also broil them if you’d like some brown crisp on the top. Just be careful and keep a close eye on it! Nothing is worse than ruining all of your hard work because you left it under the boiler too long and burnt the crap out of it! They should look like this when they’re done:
And yes, they are damn good!! Just ask my parents, who were a little skeptical about the concept of squash being the base of a dish. I was so super excited that they had such an incredible reaction to it! My Mom wants the recipe and directions so she can make it at home! You can thank my Mom for this recipe/method being posted :-). Anytime I can share an awesome, and healthy recipe that people really like, it makes my work here worth it!
What are you having for dinner tonight??
Have you made any really good recipes with spaghetti squash that you’d like to share?
Leave me a comment below and let me know!!