Spaghetti Squash Boats

Spaghetti Squash Boats #glutenfree

 

I have a confession. I kind of secretly dislike all of those “Get Back On Track After The Holidays” posts that go up. I know, I know…. And the thing is, I know that the best way to get back to feeling great after a period of eating less than great is to fill up on good healthy food and remind myself that contrary to recent events, I do actually love vegetables.

Spaghetti Squash Boats #glutenfree

 

It just seems so….cliche. However, I know there’s always this big “problem” of WHAT DO WE EAT BETWEEN CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS??? Family is in town, you’re sick of leftovers, and every restaurant in town seems to have a two hour wait.

Spaghetti Squash Boats #glutenfree

 

*Insert mandatory cliche about how this dish will help you stay healthy during the holidays*

Spaghetti Squash Boats #glutenfree

 

Okay, but seriously, how can your family not enjoy these super cute spaghetti squash boats??? Everyone gets their own individual “boat”, and it looks so much fancier than it actually is! In fact, the only real time spent on this recipe is the time it takes to roast the squash. Then you just whip up a quick meat sauce, and you’re good to go! That leaves you with less time in the kitchen, and more time to relax and spend time with the people in your life.

Spaghetti Squash Boats #glutenfree

 

Ever since I discovered spaghetti squash, I almost never go back to real pasta. It’s probably my favorite discovery in healthy cooking. I mean let’s be real here, we eat pasta to get to the sauce. No one orders plain spaghetti with no sauce. The pasta is merely the vehicle, and this squash is, in my opinion, a MORE delicious vehicle. It may not take the place of a gnocchi or ravioli,  but when it comes to noodles, I find it more delicious, and as someone who loves to eat, I love the fact that I can load my plate up and still feel great afterwards! It’s the perfect way to sneak in veggies.

Spaghetti Squash Boats #glutenfree

 

I used a spicy meat sauce, although you could use regular if you don’t like spicy, and loaded it up into each squash, then topped each boat with a little mozzarella cheese that I broiled until brown and crispy–just how I like my cheese! I served it up to a group of friends, and there was not a single bite left at the end of the evening. If you’re on the fence about the pasta swap, trust me, this is the way to try it!

 

Spaghetti Squash Boats

yield 4 servings

  • 2 medium spaghetti squash
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 20 oz 99% lean ground turkey breast (you can also use the 93-94% or 96% lean ground beef)
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp fresh or dried basil
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper (more or less depending on desired spiciness), optional
  • 1 cup freshly grated part skim mozzarella cheese (you can use pre-grated if necessary)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Slice spaghetti squash length wise and scrape out the seeds. Rub 1/4 tbsp olive oil into squash half and season with salt and pepper. Place spaghetti squash face down in a large baking dish and bake for 40-60 min. When squash is done, middle will be tender and pull apart easily.
  2. In a large pan, sautee onion and garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat until fragrant. Add ground turkey. Season with salt and pepper and cook until browned. Add crushed tomato and remaining spices. When sauce starts to bubble, reduce heat to a simmer until thickened (about 3-4 minutes).
  3. When spaghetti squash is fully cooked, flip in the baking dish so that it is now skin side down. Evenly divide sauce between each squash half. Top each “boat” with 1/4 cup cheese. Turn oven to broil, and cook for an other 2 minutes, until cheese is browned and bubbling. This happens very quickly–make sure to watch closely, otherwise it can burn easily.

Comments

  1. says

    I love this idea! Spaghetti squash is so good. I also hate the whole detox after the holidays push. On Pinterest, the food section went from desserts and other goodies to detox drinks on the 26th. Funny how that happens every.single.year.

  2. says

    Hi there!

    I am a midwife and am trying to get a nice collection of recipes on our website that are healthy and simple and appealing to families with small kids…like this recipe!

    I’d like to encourage you to submit it (and as many others as you like) to our recipe contest. If we post your recipe(s) on our site (which will if you submit them…your recipes are awesome), we will post not only your name as you enter it but also a link to your blog.

    Each recipe you enter earns you the chance to win a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant of your choice. (Local = where you live, and locally owned, not some big chain) For full details on the contest, click here:

    http://www.sacredpassagesmidwifery.com/portland-midwives-announce-recipe-contest/

    PS – Any readers of this blog are also encouraged to enter the contest!

  3. says

    Oh my goodness that first picture is making me so hungry! Your post reminded me that I still have some spaghetti squashes from my garden to use up. I better get on that asap! I love that you broiled these – it makes them look amazing! I love my cheese like that too 😀

  4. kristin says

    Hi, this looks like a great recipe. I’m trying it out on a friend tomorrow night but wondering what to serve with it. I’m thinking salad and bread? Any suggestions are appreciated! Than ks!

  5. Naomi White says

    I made these last week (minus the cheese, since we are doing a Whole30) and my husband LOVED them! They’ll be a staple in our home from now on!

  6. May says

    I just made these and they were delicious!! I used my own meat sauce recipe (beef, carrot, spinach, garlic, celery, zucchini, onion, peppers and tomato sauce) and I am so impressed at how I did not miss the pasta one bit! Super satisfying and too easy! You could really impress with this dish. Thanks so much.

  7. k8 says

    Made this tonight and it was delicious! My husband who is fairly picky and doesn’t really care for vegetables even loved it! Our first time eating spaghetti squash but definitely won’t be our last!

  8. amber says

    I cooked this for dinner last night and it was yummy! The whole family loved it. But I substituted the ground turkey for ground Italian sausage! First time ever eating spaghetti sqaush and it was sooo good.

    • Ari says

      Ooohhh that sounds delicious! I would probably love it with some spicy turkey sausage too–yum! So glad you enjoyed it :)

  9. amber says

    I am a cashier at walmart and people have always came through my line and bought it I thought it was a very strange vegetable. I’m so glad I found this recipie and was finally able to try it

  10. Cassandra says

    This dish pleases all the senses… Only request I have is an easier to print option… Just a though :)

  11. slvrsnoozi says

    Just have to tell you that you’re never too old to shuck the potatoes and gravy and start eating healthier! Hubby was just diagnosed as a Type 2 Diabetic and it’s recipes like these that are helping him reverse the diagnosis! We love spaghetti squash and now use it in a weekly recipe. This particular recipe is our favorite! :)

  12. Zen says

    Loved it! I modified a little to use half turkey and half ground sausage and just used our favorite jarred pasta sauce. Soooo filling!

  13. Lisa says

    I’m soo excited for this recipe. I made a similar pasta sauce last night, and I have been staring at my spaghetti squash or a week. My boyfriend has never had it before, and wasn’t looking forward to trying it. He just tasted the squash by itself actually likes it. Tonights the Night (for the boats). Thanks for the recipe.

  14. kristin M says

    THIS was delicious and so easy to prepare!!!!! Hubby’s got cheese, mine didn’t in order to be whole30 compliant.

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