No Recipe Required: Spaghetti (Squash) and Meat Sauce

I’ve always found spaghetti squash to be a rather magical vegetable. I mean, you throw it in the oven and when it comes out, it shreds into these perfect edible strands. The hardest part of the whole shebang is cutting the darn thing in half.

I’ve used spaghetti squash a number of times before, but for some reason I always thought it had to be a vegetarian preparation – something about it being a healthy alternative to pasta made it say “vegetarian,” I guess? Then, my coworker brought in spaghetti squash and meatballs one day for lunch – and my mind was blown. The healthy “pasta” of squash and the savory protein of meat? WHY HAD I NOT THOUGHT OF THIS. And so, the next time I picked up a squash at the grocery store, I also picked up some ground turkey.

To cook the squash, you halve it (carefully), scoop out the seeds, and stick it face down (not as pictured here) in a roasting pan in a 400 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes until a knife goes easily all the way through the flesh. I also put a little water in the pan to steam them and flipped them over to cook for the last few minutes (mostly because I’d already flipped them to check if they were done). Once cooked, you let the squash cool a bit, then use a fork to scrape out the strands.

The cooking takes some time, but you can actually do it ahead (I did), scoop out the strands, and keep in the fridge for a really quick weeknight dinner.

When it was time to eat, I cooked the ground turkey in a little olive oil, added in tomato sauce (store bought, we’re all about the shortcuts here), and finally mixed in the squash until all was heated through.

I found the tomato sauce I picked was a little bland, so I threw in a bunch of spices – cumin seeds, garlic salt, salt, pepper, some red pepper flakes…feel free to play with it until it tastes good. Then, just like spaghetti, top with some parmesan (and some basil if you want a good shot for Instagram) and enjoy!


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