Move away regular spaghetti and make place for spaghetti squash!
Spaghetti squash certainly looks great and if you search the web, you will find tons of recipes and pictures to support that theory. The vegan & gluten-free communities swear that this plant-based spaghetti beats regular pasta anytime. But is it so? If you are about to cook your first spaghetti squash recipe (what a healthy start of the year!), there are a few things you should know.
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Does Spaghetti Squash Taste Like Regular Spaghetti?
To cut it short, the answer is no. Spaghetti squash surely looks a lot like regular spaghetti and they also have a similar texture, with the squash being more tender and fragile.
However, winter squash is still a squash. The taste is quite mild (avoiding to call it tasteless) which is not necessarily a bad thing. This makes spaghetti squash perfect for pairing will all sorts of sauces and toppings, especially those with stronger flavors.
How to Transform Squash Into Spaghetti
Squash has a hard shell, which makes it rather difficult to cut. Make sure you use a heavy knife and lots of strength when you cut it.
Tip 1: Before you start cutting, heat the squash in the microwave for maximum 3 minutes to soften the shell and make cutting easier.
Tip 2: If the squash you have is very hard and seems impossible to cut, you can roast it whole (for about an hour) and then cut it in half.
Start cutting from the stem without cutting through the stem itself. Cut all the way to the end and pull the halves apart.
Once the squash is halved, remove the seeds using a scoop. You can reserve and roast them later and use them as a crunchy topping for your vegan pasta recipe. Remove the fibrous threads and pulp from the seeds, then boil them in slightly salted water for about 8-9 minutes. Drain and let them dry. Toss with olive oil and season with salt. Roast for about 20 minutes at 325 degrees F in the oven. The seeds are done when they become crunchy.
How to cook Spaghetti Squash
In the Oven
Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, add some olive oil, salt & pepper (or other spices & herbs to taste). Cook the halves face-down in a baking dish lined with parchment paper at 375 degrees F until soft (about 40-50 minutes, depending on the size). Pierce with a knife or fork to check for doneness. If it’s soft, you’re good to go.
Tip 3: To facilitate the process, add some water to the baking dish. The steam will prevent the squash from drying out and make it even softer.
In the Microwave
While it is true that oven-roasted squash is more flavorful and less moist, the microwave gets the job done faster.
The process is very similar to the one that uses the oven for baking – cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and add with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the halves face-down in a microwave-safe baking dish. Fill the dish with a bit of water (about 1-inch deep). Cook for 5 minutes, check for doneness and if it’s not cooked through, cook for 2-4 minutes more, until soft.
When the squash is done, turn the halves over and let cool for about 5 minutes. Separate the strands using a fork.
Spaghetti Squash Recipes
The simplest recipe is to season the spaghetti squash with some cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and brown sugar and serve it as a side dish to meaty dishes. But why stop at that when there are so many delicious spaghetti squash recipes?
Cheddar cheese, sour cream, bacon, and roasted red pepper add lots of ﬂavor to spaghetti squash, while breadcrumbs add a crunchy topping. Chopped carrots, mushrooms or green bell pepper are all nutritious additions to this dish—just add 1 cup of any one of them to the skillet in Step 3.
These burrito bowls can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of their dietary preferences – vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, or omnivore. They’re just like ‘real’ burrito bowls only much healthier. The best part is they are very easy to customize so you can make them different every time!
Are you a fan of Italian cuisine? Well, who isn’t? For an easy Italian flair, pair your spaghetti squash with basil pesto and grated Parmesan cheese. If you are more patient, this is the recipe for you – a lasagna-inspired dish with tofu ricotta & marinara sauce. An incredibly flavorful yet simple dish made with only ten ingredients. Hearty, gluten-free, vegan, and full of proteins, this dish is light and yet very fulfilling. A perfect fall & winter recipe for the whole family!
We’re not done with Italian versions of our new favorite pasta substitute because who would refuse a healthier take on their favorite cuisine? This pizza-stuffed version is filled with vegetables, pizza sauce, and has the flavors of classic pepperoni pizza. Top with melty cheese, bake, and dive in!
How about some Mexican flavors? This vegetarian tostada is filled with roasted tomatoes and onions, spaghetti squash, and black beans. A meat-free delight that is sure to become one of your favorites!
Even though Southwestern cuisine is known for its high-calorie comfort foods, there is a number of modern takes on classic recipes that show its food can also be good for you. This easy dish is a great way to change up the weekly routine – a meatless specialty packed with flavors from with the taco seasoning & enchilada sauce.
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Looking for something simple, healthy, but pretty enough for a family/friends get-together? You have found the perfect recipe. These cute nests have a flavor very similar to hash browns and are made in a muffin tin. They are also perfect for breakfast or brunch any day. For extra flavor, add a dash of sriracha on top!
I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!