I must admit that when the weather gets chilly and the holidays are on the horizon, I find myself craving hearty comfort food. For me, that’s a delicious pasta dish (any kind of pasta dish… You name it!). But since I do like to fit into my New Year’s Eve party outfit, I try to resist carb loading every night. Which is how I discovered a magical and delicious creation called spaghetti squash a few years ago. Spaghetti squash is a light yellow colored oblong gourd that, when baked, becomes stringy on the inside. This allows you to make it into a pasta-like dish. And it lends itself to just about any flavor! It’s a pretty amazing and healthy alternative for all of my fellow pasta lovers out there.
Today, I’m showing you how to make a basic, tasty spaghetti squash recipe. For this one, you can simply cook your squash then add marinara sauce and basil. Yum. But keep reading to the end of the post to see some of my other favorite twists on this dish…
Easy Tomato Basil Spaghetti Squash
- 1 spaghetti squash
- olive oil
- marinara sauce
- fresh basil
- salt and pepper, to taste
1. Take your spaghetti squash, and cut it lengthwise. This can be a little tough, so use a serrated knife (be careful!). Once halved, remove all seeds. You can also keep the spaghetti squash whole and puncture it all over with a sharp knife if you’re having trouble cutting it lengthwise.
2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lay aluminum foil over a baking sheet. Lay your squash (halved or whole) on the baking sheet, then bake for 30-40 minutes if halved, and about 50-60 minutes if whole.
3. Your squash will be ready when you can puncture it easily with a sharp knife. If you baked yours whole, take it out of the oven, let it cool, then cut it in half lengthwise and remove all seeds.
4. Once your squash halves are cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape the insides. You will start seeing noodle-looking strands—this is where it gets the name “spaghetti” squash! If it seems hard to scrape, return to the oven to bake for another 10 minutes. Scrape all of the insides into a bowl until just the squash rind is left.
5. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the spaghetti squash to the skillet with a little salt and pepper and mix for about 2 minutes.
6. Serve warm in a bowl topped with marinara sauce and fresh basil leaves. Enjoy!
This recipe is just as delicious as it looks. Plus, it’s a light and healthy alternative to pasta on those colder winter nights. I guarantee you’ll be satisfied by the warm, seasonal flavors.
If you loved this recipe and want to try more spaghetti squash dishes, here are a few of my personal favorites:
- Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Sausage, Kale and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Roasted Garlic Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats
- Garlic Spaghetti Squash with Herbs
- Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms and Parmesan
What’s your favorite healthy winter recipe?
I hope you give spaghetti squash a try. Let me know if you like it in the comments below!