Meatless Monday - Cheesy Spaghetti Squash

>> Monday, February 1, 2010

Have you ever tried spaghetti squash?  Growing up in the deep South, my family just didn't eat winter squash - ever.  But I do distinctly remember having spaghetti squash as an older child.  My mom and I thought that it would be super-cool to eat it like spaghetti noodles with spaghetti sauce.  Now, lots of people absolutely enjoy spaghetti squash this way.  I liked it so much that we never ate spaghetti squash again.  Spaghetti squash was just not a flavor for me.

Fast forward a couple of decades to the next time I ate spaghetti squash.  It was served as a side to my entree at a restaurant.  I tried some - skeptically - and loved it!  My taste has definitely changed over the years, but I think that the preparation of this spaghetti squash made all of the difference.  This side was so simple - spaghetti squash, a little butter, and some cheese.

What is spaghetti squash?  It's an oblong, pale colored winter squash whose flesh becomes stringy when cooked.  It's really quite amazing how much it resembles spaghetti when cooked.  It's has a mild flavor and a slight sweetness.  Like most winter squash, spaghetti squash will keep for a long time after buying - as long as a month at room temperature.

On to the recipe!  Give this a try some night - so easy and very tasty.  We like to have meals of just vegetable sides.  With it's unusual texture, spaghetti squash makes a wonderful addition to all vegetable meals.

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash

1 medium spaghetti squash
3 TBSP butter
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Cut spaghetti squash in half and remove the seeds. Place cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake for 30 min or until squash is tender all the way through.

The baked spaghetti squash
When squash is cool enough to handle (but still warm), use a fork to flake out the stringy strands of squash into a bowl.

The baked squash after using a fork to flake the strands

Add in butter, cheese, and salt and mix well.  Serve warm.

(As always, you should fiddle with the ingredients so that it suits your tastes.  Add more or less butter.  Use Asiago or Cheddar instead of Parmesan.  The sky is the limit!)

I'm a one trick pony when it comes to spaghetti squash but would love to add some more tricks to my repertoire.  What's your favorite way to eat spaghetti squash?


irishis February 1, 2010 at 9:10 AM  

I don't know how you feel about veggies but some sauted(spray a pan w/butter sray Pam)red pepper, mushrooms, etc.. go well mixed in too. Also a wedge of laughing cow cheese makes it creamy.

cathy February 1, 2010 at 9:26 AM  

Irishis - Oooo...that DOES sound good! Honestly wouldn't have thought of mixing in Laughing Cow cheese, but I really like that idea. Thanks!

Amy February 1, 2010 at 10:12 AM  

That's exactly how we like it. My kids ate it up!

Sagan February 1, 2010 at 8:07 PM  

I LOVE spaghetti squash! I make mine with homemade marinara sauce and some parmesan cheese (although now I'd probably add nutritional yeast flakes instead of the cheese). It's delicious! I'd rather forgotten about this excellent squash, thanks for the reminder :)

Teaching Money to Kids February 1, 2010 at 8:12 PM  

I grew up in CA, and had never even seen a spaghetti squah until just a couple years ago, let alone tried one.
We had one at a potluck last week. I was quite excited, but I am not sure it was cooked right. Or at all.
Even my not-quite-2-year-old, who eats anything, pulled it out of his mouth and tried to hide it back in the pile on my plate.
But you give mehope to try it again sometime.
Thanks for joining me this week. Spread the word, and I look forward to next Monday.

Lori February 4, 2010 at 6:03 PM  

I like spaghetti squash, but don't have it nearly as often as I should. This is a great, simple way to enjoy it. I'll definitely try it next time.

Fitness contrarian February 4, 2010 at 7:09 PM  

The whole family loves spaghetti squash. The kids find it fun to eat and make.

Vivie February 8, 2010 at 8:33 PM  

I've never seen that type of squash in my life! I'm totally intrigued! Buying it sooon at my local farmers market!

Amie February 14, 2010 at 5:02 AM  

Oh how we loooove spaghetti squash in our home! I like it very much like your recipe states. It is actually the base for my favorite way to eat it. Here is the link to my blog where I shared this recipe.

Love your blog, by the way! Thank you for so many great ideas and recipes.

Mark Martinez February 20, 2010 at 10:44 PM  

Haven't tried it, yet the "mild flavor and slight sweetness" flavor seems to have an appeal. I might have tried a similar dish some time back, though it was with some mixed eggs!
Mark Martinez,
Is the hypergain effect for real?

dining table November 24, 2010 at 4:44 PM  

This is very interesting. I definitely like it. I would love to try it. Thank for sharing.

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