I had no desire to try spaghetti squash. I’d heard about it from various friends or internet recipes but there was something about it that seemed really disturbing to me.
Let me start off by saying that I like squash. I really do! I like it pureed in soups and baked goods. I like it in chunks or chips and roasted. But there was something about a squash breaking down into little wormy strings that sounded awful to me. No thank you. I was perfectly fine not having spaghetti squash in my life. . . .
And then my mom planted some in her huge garden. And it was prolific. My mom’s a pretty adventurous eater so she planted these things without ever having tried them herself. I was more than a little surprised when she called me up with rave reviews over it. I mean, really, who raves about squash?!
Just days after that, I was talking to my uncle who has to watch his carb intake due to diabetes. He and his family had been eating spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti pasta with their tomato sauce – and he raved about it too! What?! Them too?! Now my interest was piqued.
When my husband made a quick trip back home to Missouri, my mom sent him back with a few boxes of veggie goodness (thank you, Mom!) from her garden – including several spaghetti squash. So now I had no excuse not to at least try it. I figured that we’d give it a go just to say we tried it but that no one would really be a big fan.
I have to say . . . we love spaghetti squash! EVEN THE KIDS! Everyone looked a little dubious as I passed out plates of squash with spaghetti sauce but before long we were all cleaning our plates, amazed at how good it tasted. What’s even better is that we were full and satisfied but not heavy feeling. Cooked spaghetti pasta has 221 calories per cup. Cooked spaghetti squash has just 31 calories per cup. Not to mention, it is also low in carbs and fat. It fills you up without weighing you down!
Its flavor is not as sweet as other winter squashes so it doesn’t stand out distinctly in a dish. Which makes it perfect for pairing with sauces and other ingredients. The best part for me is that the texture isn’t at all off-putting (like I thought it’d be). You do break it up into strings but the strings are firmer, like al dente pasta, and not slimy or wiggly. They tend to have a bit more ‘crispness’ to them than pasta so it’s not an exact substitute but we’ve realized that we like it just as much. If you over-cook the squash though, the ‘noodles’ break down into more of a squashy mush. So . . . don’t over-cook the squash.
Not only have we enjoyed spaghetti squash in a spaghetti dinner but we’ve really loved this recipe from Julia’s Album. These Bacon, Spaghetti Squash and Parmesan Fritters have tons of delicious flavor. We’ve made this recipe several times now and it will probably become a family favorite. If you’re not keen on spaghetti, give these fritters a try!
Have you been hesitant to try spaghetti squash or are we the very last people to jump on board the ‘spaghetti squash’ bandwagon? If you haven’t, I recommend that you go ahead and just try it out. You might be surprised.
How to Prepare Spaghetti Squash – it’s so easy! (makes enough for family of 4)
Preheat the oven to 375˚.
Take one spaghetti squash and cut off one of the ends to give yourself a flat surface to set the squash upright.
Cut it in half lengthwise.
Scoop out the seeds and guts.
Lightly brush olive oil onto the squash’s flesh.
Place face-down onto a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes.
The squash is done when you can pierce the squash’s flesh easily with a fork.
Use a fork to scrape the inside of each squash lengthwise to remove the squash flesh in strings.
Enjoy with spaghetti sauce while it’s still hot. (Or use it in a recipe like the bacon, squash and parmesan fritters!)
Next spring, I might even plant a few spaghetti squash plants myself!