Maybe you’ve noticed it, especially around this time of year. That bright, big yellow veggie strangely named spaghetti squash – on sale at the grocery store, or prominently displayed at your nearby farmer’s market. Have you wondered what it was? How to cook it? How to eat it?
I was initially intimidated by this unusual watermelon-shaped vegetable. But at the prompting of my sister-in-law several years back, I braved these unknown spaghetti squash waters and let me tell you, friend – it is easy to prepare and our family loves it. If you’ve overlooked this one in the past, maybe you can give it a try?
What is Spaghetti Squash?
Well, it’s a squash. (You’re welcome.) It’s a squash that is made up of long fibrous strands. After you cook it, you rake these strands out from the inside, and you’ll end up with what looks like a plate of spaghetti noodles. . . except it’s, well, squash!
Why Would I Want to Eat It?
Here are some nutritional benefits:
- Contains folate – pregnant mamas, listen up! Folate prevents birth defects.
- Low carb compared to spaghetti noodles – use it in place of spaghetti noodles for a reduced-carb meal
- Good source of potassium
- Great source of vitamins A (beta carotene), B, and C
- Contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids
We use it instead of spaghetti noodles in our spaghetti from time to time, and to tell you the truth, we prefer it to spaghetti noodles. Added to the fact that most spaghetti noodles are not prepared for proper digestion, this makes it an even better choice.
Dying to know how to make it? Read on, you brave forager.
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1 tablespoon strained bacon grease ~ most spaghetti squash recipes call for olive oil. Why the bacon grease? Well, I believe olive oil is best kept at low temperatures. I love it for salad dressings and the occasional light sauté, because its smoke point is around 320 degrees. Bacon grease has a higher smoke point and is therefore, in my opinion, a better choice for this. Plus, it just. tastes. good. (learn how to strain your bacon grease here) But if you prefer, you can also use palm oil (where to buy palm oil), beef tallow, duck fat, or ghee – all for the same reason.
- Sea salt (where to buy sea salt)
- Pepper (where to buy pepper)
- 1 large, sharp knife
- 1 baking sheet
- large spoon
- this will help you easily spread the bacon grease
- barbecue tongs, optional
- large bowl or dish
1. Preheat your oven to 350.
2. Carefully slice the squash right down the center as shown. Cut it completely in two.
3. Using a large spoon, scrape the pulp and seeds out from the center. Put them aside, and I’ll show you what to do with them later.
4. Brush the bacon grease along the inside of both halves. You don’t need to douse it, just spread it around nicely. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
5. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. When it’s finished baking, take your fork and rake the softened insides. The strands will start falling apart. This is where barbecue tongs might come in handy. Transfer to a large bowl.
You can use these “noodles” any way you would use regular spaghetti noodles. Enjoy the crisp texture and fun yet mild flavor. We just top it with our favorite meat sauce and chow down. Every member of our family loves it.
See, spaghetti squash is indeed simple: chop, slather, bake, scrape, and serve. Here’s to a healthy dinner.
P.S. Stay tuned – in my next post I’ll share what you can do with those seeds. Fun!
Wouldn’t you just love a few spaghetti squash recipes to get started? Here you go!
Twice-Baked Cheeseburger Spaghetti Squash from Popular Paleo
Pizza Spaghetti Squash Casserole from Living Low Carb One Day at a Time
Deconstructed Spaghetti Squash Carbonara from Popular Paleo
Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Pasta from Ditch the Wheat
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