Friday, September 14

spaghetti [squash] with meat sauce...seriously, try it!

i've got a confession. y'all, i love spaghetti! i mean, who doesn't love spaghetti? i grew up eating spaghetti at least twice a week. my mom would make a huge pot of it we could would eat on it for days. and, i never complained. oh no, here's some real honesty. sometimes, i'd wake up in the middle of the night and sneak into the kitchen to eat it cold by the little handfuls. that's a habit i still can't break...don't judge. 

oh, how i've missed those spaghetti dinners. it was when i saw Claire's recipe from The Realistic Nutritionist that i remembered how awesomely versatile spaghetti squash can be! it was that "duh!" moment. now, you must go check out The Realistic Nutritionist! not only is Claire gorgeous and witty, but she's got recipes and stories that you'll want to just eat up. i'm totally trying her Spaghetti Squash & Jalapeno Casserole next!

oh thank you to the food gods for creating spaghetti squash so that i may be reunited with my truly missed and dearly loved spaghetti dinner. now i don't have to feel bad about all the calories and carbs!
with it's noodle-like strands, spaghetti squash makes the perfect substitute for ANY pasta dish. there are so many ways to serve it up. trying different herbs, spices, and sauces gives you endless pasta-bilites!

use a leaner beef if you're trying to cut fat. better yet, use ground turkey. or, if you want to turn the flavor up an Italian-notch, ground Italian sausage is tasty! you might prefer a smoother sauce rather than a chunky one, using a canned tomato sauce is perfect. i'm not talking about the jarred stuff with all the sugar and spices. this tomato sauce is found in the tomato section. it cooks faster too!

now, you have to remember, this is spaghetti squash. it's not going to taste exactly like spaghetti pasta, but it's a darn good version with a healthy slant. spaghetti squash has a slightly sweet taste. i think it's delicious. but, if you get it all baked up, and you're not sure about the taste, you can always saute it with some minced garlic and give it a savory flavor. that's also a perfect way to heat up leftovers!


1 5lb spaghetti squash
2 lbs of ground beef (i use 80/20)
2 15oz cans of low/no salt crushed tomato (or tomato sauce...smoother sauce and cuts simmering time)
1/2 cup of diced onion
4 garlic cloves (minced)
1 tbsp oregano
beef bouillon (optional)
salt to taste

preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

carefully cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and pulp. with a sharp knife cut 8 slits through the skin of each half. on a baking pan, roast the halves face down for 30-45 minutes. it's ready when the skin is tender, and you can easily stick a fork through it.

while the spaghetti squash is baking you can get started on the meat sauce. in a large pan, brown the ground beef. i try not to break it up too much, so i get hunks of meat in the sauce. it break up more as it cooks in the sauce. drain off the beef drippings into a bowl and set aside.

in medium size pot, heat 1-2 tablespoons of beef drippings (tons of flavor!) over medium heat. add the onion and saute until transparent. then add the garlic and stir until fragrant. next add the 2 cans of crushed tomato. stir in the oregano and the browned beef. now here's where the bouillon comes in. i like a super meaty tasting meat sauce, and the drippings and beef just don't cut it for me. adding a couple teaspoons of beef bouillon in with the beef always does the trick! stir occasionally and allow to simmer for 45 minutes. salt to taste

around this time, your spaghetti squash should be tender.  remove it from the oven and allow to cool. then, run a knife along the edge of the squash. this will help separate the the squash from the skin. 

with a fork, gently separate the spaghetti strands. you don't have to break them up too much.

serve it up with loads of meat sauce. now, doesn't that look delicious!

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  1. YOU ARE WAY too kind :) I love spaghetti squash! and meat!

  2. girl, i'm a meat eater, fo sho! spaghetti squash is a much healthier vessel. however, the hubs and i were saying that it might actually taste better than traditional pasta!

    oh, where credit is due!


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