I love spaghetti squash. It’s a good pasta substitute, but I wouldn’t say it tastes like pasta, it’s crunchier (if you cook it right) and lighter – it won’t leave a heavy pasta feeling in your gut. It’s a great gluten free “pasta” option and super healthy for you: full of antioxidants, dietary fiber, iron and vitamin B-6. When most people think of squash they think “mushy” or “soft” – but this squash is different. When you scrape it from it’s shell/skin it comes out stringy like pasta. It’s pretty amazing and it’s created by nature!
I love cooking it up and adding a homemade tomato sauce or a homemade cashew Alfredo sauce (regular Alfredo would be good too!). But my favorite is to make a spaghetti squash primavera. Use any veggies of your choice, but I prefer broccoli, carrots, garlic, peas, tomatoes and mushrooms like listed in the recipe below. You will love this gluten free, vegan, and Paleo friendly recipe!
First take your squash and CAREFULLY slice in half lengthwise with a sharp knife. It can be frustrating and cumbersome if your knife isn’t sharp enough and the squash is large. Just be careful and take your time. Once you cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds and discard them. You’ll then want to bake the squash in a pre-heated 375 degree F oven for about 45 minutes. Pierce it with a fork to see if it’s done, you’ll be able to pierce it easily.
While it’s baking you’ll want to prepare the primavera veggies. I just chop up carrots, broccoli and mushroom (portabella, white or brown button work). I first cook the carrot a bit, then add the broccoli and some fresh minced garlic. Once that cooks for a bit I add the mushroom. I then add the peas. The tomatoes go in last and I usually just turn off the heat when I add them and let sit with the cover on for a bit otherwise they’ll just fall apart.
Once everything is cooked I scrape out some squash noodles into my bowl, add some primavera veggies on top and enjoy! Some people like to add fresh grated parmesan cheese or sprinkle nutritional yeast on top (this keeps it vegan!).
Spaghetti Squash Primavera
- 1 medium spaghetti squash, sliced in half lengthwise, seeds scraped out & discarded
- 2 large carrots, sliced
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 mini portabella mushrooms, sliced (button mushrooms work also)
- 1 cup frozen green sweet peas
- 6 small tomatoes, diced
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1/2 TBSP dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- parmesan or nutritional yeast to taste (optional)
- Bake the spaghetti squash cut side down on a cookie sheet in a 375 F oven. Set timer for 45 minutes.
- While it’s baking, cook the veggies. First add the sliced carrot to a pan with 1/2 TBSP olive oil and cook on medium heat for about 7 minutes, covered. Stir halfway through.
- Add the broccoli, fresh minced garlic, oregano, salt, pepper and the rest of the olive oil. Stir. Cover and cook for 6 more minutes. Make sure not to burn the garlic, turn down heat a bit if necessary.
- Next add the mushrooms and sweet green peas. Cook for about 5 more minutes.
- Once everything is cooked to your liking, add the tomatoes, stir, cover and turn off heat. The tomatoes will break down easily and turn to mush if you over-cook them.
- Once the squash has cooked for about 45 minutes, take it out and pierce it with a fork to see if it’s done. If the fork goes in easily, it’s done. Once cooled a bit, take a fork and scrape the squash flesh – it should shred easily into noodles on its own. And there you have spaghetti squash! Put some in a bowl or on a plate and add the veggies on top. You can then add parmesan or nutritional yeast on top (if you’d like) and enjoy!
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