Fall is finally here! That means it’s squash season! I’m so in love with spaghetti squash. It’s delicious, and the best is, you can have a pasta dish without feeling guilty that you just consumed a heap of glutenous noodles. I made this spaghetti squash for dinner last night. Note: my husband always thinks he hates spaghetti squash (probably because it is a veggie instead of comforting carbs). Well, he inhaled this last night. I win 🙂 It also helped that I loaded it with three kinds of cheese and was generous with sauce, but still.

The best thing about this recipe is you can cater it to what you are in the mood for. I decided to make mine vegetarian with only cheese, sauce, and herbs. I could have easily thrown some Italian sausage, ground turkey, or veggie crumbles in the mix to add protein.  I could have used ricotta cheese to make it more of a lasagna consistency. Or, I could have left the cheese out altogether and added a nice sprinkle of nutritional yeast to the top. Do what you feel! The important part is following the instructions for  how to get the squash to the consistency you want.

Microwaving is easy, but I prefer to use the oven. I feel like it tastes better that way, and it also makes the rind of the squash a little dry and crispy so it holds up better as a serving bowl for the final product. Here is what I did!

Baked, Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

1 large spaghetti squash

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Cheese of your choice

Sauce of your choice

Protein of your choice (optional)

Dried herbs of your choice (I used basil and oregano)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and and scrape out the middle and seeds. Spray the bottom of a 9×13 glass pan with cooking spray, or drizzle olive oil on the bottom of it. Place halved spaghetti squash cut side up in pan and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add a bit of water (half cup or so) to the bottom of the pan and bake for 50 minutes to an hour. Remove the spaghetti squash and do a fork test to see if it is tender. If it is, let the squash cool for about 10-15 minutes. While that is cooling, get out your other ingredients that you will be “stuffing” the squash with. I used fresh mozzarella and cut it up into cubes and also used a jar of spaghetti sauce and some shredded parmesan and romano cheeses. After letting the squash cool, scrape out the “noodles” into a large mixing bowl. Add sauce and about a half cup of shredded cheeses, along with any meat or veggie protein you want to add, and some dried basil and oregano to taste and mix. Using tongs, put a layer of the “noodle” mixture in to the bottom of each spaghetti squash shell, then top that layer with some fresh mozzarella cubes or a generous amount of cheese. Add another layer of the “noodle mixture”, then top that with more cheese. At this point your shells will be overflowing. Just pat down the mixture in the shells to compact it as much as possible, then add a final layer of cheese, any extra sauce, and some dried herbs. Bake on 350 for an additional 20 minutes to melt the inside, then broil to brown the top for about 1-4 minutes, or until the cheese on top is brown and bubbly. Enjoy!!