Spaghetti squash is very popular in the Paleo-sphere because it makes a perfect replacement for – you guessed it – spaghetti. But unlike regular spaghetti, spaghetti squash is full of flavors and vitamins.
Spaghetti squash is so versatile, you can eat it in any dish that normally calls for pasta or other sides. It goes well with Italian-style tomato sauces, hearty stews, and even Asian-style dishes like lo mein.
There are many ways to cook it. Spaghetti squash can be baked or microwaved until it’s soft and the “meat” starts to form noodle-like strings. Most recipes suggest cutting the squash in half lengthwise and baking it for 40-60 minutes.
Sometimes it needs to be baked longer to ensure that it’s soft throughout otherwise it can be rather chewy and bland.
In my opinion, the tastiest part of a baked spaghetti squash is the part that gets the most roasted – the strings become golden-brown and have a slightly crunchy texture and a delicate sweet flavor.
The proper way to cook spaghetti squash:
To accomplish this effect throughout the entire squash (and not just the edges) I have found that the best approach is to cut the squash into rings. (Hint: it helps to recruit a big strong man to do the cutting, if you struggle with a knife like I do) 😉
They don’t need to be perfect in shape or thickness. The main goal here is to expose as much of the “spaghetti” as possible to get more of it to roast.
This not only improves the taste and texture of the squash, but it helps speed up the cooking time. If you’ve ever struggled to get your spaghetti squash to cook faster before the rest of your dinner gets cold, you know the pain.
Brush it with some olive oil and sprinkle some salt & pepper on it to enhance the flavors. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 400 F.
Once the squash turns golden-brown and aromatic, simply use a fork to remove the “spaghetti” from the skin. If cooked through, it should be very easy to remove.
Spaghetti squash nutrition
Spaghetti squash is infinitely healthier for you than a side of noodles. Even if you’re not following the Paleo lifestyle, I highly suggest you replace pasta with spaghetti squash whenever you can.
Spaghetti squash contains over 400% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin A, which is great for your eyes, skin, and immune system.
It also contains a few different antioxidants, such as Vitamin C, beta-carotene, and lutein.
Lastly, spaghetti squash contains potassium, which most americans don’t eat nearly enough of. Potassium can help offset the damage caused by salt overconsumption, and is very helpful in dealing with high blood pressure.
Have you tried baking the squash this way? Let me know how you like it!