When I decided to eliminate grain from my life, it became apparent soon after that I would miss pasta. Fortunately there is a vegetable that can be prepared like spaghetti noodles, allowing you to “cheat” the system and get your pasta fix – it’s called spaghetti squash.
What is spaghetti squash? According to Wikipedia, it is a seed-bearing variety of the winter squash, and is also called vegetable spaghetti, noodle squash, spaghetti marrow, squaghetti, or gold string melon.
It is called “spaghetti” squash because when it is prepared, the inside is scraped with a fork, resulting in long thick strands much like noodles.
If you are like me, you probably have never tried it because you didn’t have a reason to. Most people I talk to about spaghetti squash have never tasted it.
Spaghetti squash is cheap, easy to prepare, and healthy. Even if you aren’t on a low-carb diet, it is the perfect way to introduce a grain-free meal once a week. Chances are your kids will love it, especially if you don’t tell them what it is.
Spaghetti squash can be mixed with red sauce, white sauce, meats, and otherwise prepared as you would any pasta dish. It has a nice crunch to it (crunch is also something that is missing from low-carb diets), tastes great, and we’ve actually found in my house that we like it more than traditional pasta noodles.
It is cheap to buy, approximately $1-2 for a single spaghetti squash, and the smaller sized ones can easily feed four people. The larger ones could provide for multiple meals. That makes them a cheap and healthy food.
If you are wondering how to cook it, below is my wife Katie’s spaghetti squash recipe. The photos are our own.
Spaghetti Squash with Marinara Sauce and Italian Sausage
- Select your spaghetti squash based on size. The size pictured here will make one dinner for a family of four.
- Cut the spaghetti squash in half from end to end using a large, sharp knife.
- Use a large spoon to scrape out the middle of the squash. Be sure to remove all the seeds and stringy stuff.
- Place one half of the spaghetti squash with the cut side down into a microwave safe container that has about an inch of water in it.
- Microwave for approximately 15 minutes. The squash is done when the outside can be easily poked with a fork. Adjust cooking times as needed.
- CAREFULLY remove the squash from the container. Add a little more water and cook the other half in the same manner.
- When the squash is sufficiently cooled, use a fork to scrape the squash away from the skin. It will scrape out in strands like spaghetti noodles. I find using tongs works best to hold the squash in place during this step.
- Add your desired ingredients to complete your meal. The photo here shows spaghetti squash with marinara sauce, browned Italian sausage and shredded romano and parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. We also like it with alfredo sauce and shrimp.