New Meal Monday: Cooking With Spaghetti Squash

I am fairly new to the delicious world of spaghetti squash, and I have to say I have been missing out! I had my first experience with the noodle-like dish at one of our favorite restaurants last fall and really loved it; however it felt like it might be one of those dishes that was a lot easier to let someone else prepare for me... 

It wasn’t until last week when my friend brought over a spaghetti squash and some garlic from her garden, that I got the courage to cook up some squash myself. After a few tips from her, and some quick searches on Pinterest, I was ready to give it a try. See below for the recipe, I made a few changes but you can click the link at the bottom of this page for the original recipe.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 8 oz fresh spinach
  • 1 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional: 8 bacon strips, cooked and finely chopped. I do not eat bacon, so much to my husband’s displeasure, we omitted this.**

Here’s how you do it:

Step One – cook the spaghetti squash

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 F
  2. Cut the squash in half, lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds and fiber out of each half.
  3. Spread (or spray) olive oil on each side of the cut halves, then place the halves cut side down on a baking sheet. Be sure to spray the baking sheet with olive oil or cooking spray.
  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes (it should be soft and cooked through). Flip the squash over and allow it to cool.
  5. Once cooled, use a fork to scrap out the squash in long strands into a bowl.

Step Two – cook the fillings/toppings

  1. Toast the pine nuts – I used our 9 in Lodge cast iron skillet and heated them over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in another skillet (I used our 12” Lodge cast iron skillet), add in minced garlic and fresh spinach and sauté over medium heat for about 2 minutes or until the spinach has wilted. Season with some salt.
  3. Add the spaghetti squash to the spinach and combine, turn heat down to low at this point. *If you are adding bacon – do it here! (Or if you have a mix of carnivores and herbivores, you can also top individual plates with bacon at the end)
  4. Add fresh parmesan cheese and mix until cheese is melted.
  5. Top with the toasted pine nuts and enjoy!

**Note from Luke: I don’t know why we omitted this…I could have added the bacon just to my plate and we both would’ve been happy. Next time I’m adding bacon for sure.