Spaghetti Squash | The Versatile Winter Squash

Many people dislike squash in general – whether it’s zucchini or pumpkin, acorn squash or delicata, there’s just something about it they love to hate. Spaghetti squash is different though. With its very mild flavor, it takes on the flavor of pretty much whatever you mix with it.

It’s called spaghetti squash because the flesh, once cooked, turns into strings reminiscent of spaghetti or angel hair pasta by just flaking it with a fork.

The easiest way to cook it for use in pasta dishes is to poke a few holes in it and put the squash in the oven and bake it at 350 until it is soft.

The time varies because the sizes of the squash also varies. Just keep an eye on it, I usually start checking it after about 20-30 minutes.

Here are my favorite ways to use spaghetti squash:

  1. As a pasta substitute in part or completely. I have used this wonderful squash with pesto, tomato meat sauce, and even in Chinese food as part of chow mien. When you mix it with half pasta, it is almost indistinguishable from the pasta, by itself it is a worthy substitute.
  2. Stuffed. Do you like stuffing bell peppers with meatloaf? Try cutting a spaghetti squash in half width-wise and doing the same thing. Be sure to cut a bit off the bottom to give it a flat end to stand up in the pan while cooking.
  3. Roasted. Cut it in half lengthwise, spread butter and/or olive oil and a generous helping of garlic over the cut surfaces. Cover in foil and roast in a 350 oven until the flesh begins to shred when you pick at it with a fork. Remove the foil turn it on to broil and sprinkle shredded mozzarella and either Parmesan or Asiago cheese over the top. Broil for a minute or two until the cheese is melted.

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