Get READY for healthy SPAGHETTI!

Did you just read 'healthy spaghetti'? Oh yah girl, you did!

We love making spaghetti squash for a comforting meal that fits perfectly into your 8 Week Nutrition Plan! Allison from LaurenConrad.com is sharing a simple, easy way to enjoy nature's pasta: spaghetti squash. If you've never tried this pleasing dish, you're in for a treat! The texture and taste is so close to real pasta, the difference is hardly noticeable. And with the benefits like vitamin A and fiber, you may even like it better! We love enjoying this dish for dinner a couple times a month! "Hi TIU Team! I must admit that when the weather gets chilly, I find myself craving hearty comfort food. For me, that’s a delicious pasta dish. But since I do like to stay on track with my New Year's plan, I try to resist carb loading every night. Which is how I discovered a magical and delicious creation called spaghetti squash. 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!"

SERVINGS

2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1

    spaghetti squash

  • 2

    Tbs olive oil

  • 2

    cups organic marinara sauce

    Or you can make your own from scratch!

  • fresh basil

  • salt + pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

STEP 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.
STEP 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.
STEP 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. 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.
STEP 4: 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.
STEP 5:  Serve warm in a bowl topped with marinara sauce and fresh basil leaves. Enjoy!

AUTHOR NOTES

If you love spaghetti, you're in LUCK because this recipe is approved in your 8 Week Nutrition Plan for the Tone It Up Challenge! See your 8 Week Plan HERE!! 8-week-meal-plan-toneitup

COMMENTS 42

  1. I always seem to forget about spaghetti squash! Can’t wait to make this :)!! Love it!

  2. I was really looking forward to this recipe, unfortanly where I live (Netherlands) you can only get this squash in November/December. Still looking for a way to get an hold for one of these!

    1. Hi Susanne! I live in the Netherlands (Amsterdam) as well, but have never seen this type of squash here. Would love to try it though. Where did you buy yours? Best, Charlie

    2. You can substitute squash with zuccini ;) I always make my spegetti this way – husband eats noodles and I eat zuccini spagetti but we share the same dressing ;) Raw zuccini is so delicious!

    3. Susanne, you could probably substitute with zucchini squash. Just cut the zucchini into long thin strips or use a spiralizer to make “zoodles” (zucchini noodles). No need for baking; use a little olive oil in a pan to cook the zoodles and then top with marinara!

    4. Same problem here in the uk Susanne. I am thinking about getting a vegetable spiralizer to make veggie spaghetti for now and save the recipe for next winter. Plus if you can get a few spaghetti squash they store well in a cool area just keep them well spaced and try not to bruise them I kept a few last year until feb!!

    5. Hi Susanne. I live in Belgium and bought it today in the Bioplanet store, don’t know if you have this store in The Netherlands?
      Does anybody know how to make the marinara sauce, can’t find them in stores so want to make it myself… thanx!

      1. Hey, Jennifer! I don’t know if TIU has a recipe, but here’s a super easy one:

        http://www.justataste.com/10-minute-homemade-tomato-marinara-pasta-sauce-recipe/

        Yield: About 3 1/2 cups Cook Time: 10 min
        Ingredients:
        2 Tablespoons olive oil
        2 garlic cloves, minced
        1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
        1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
        1 teaspoon sugar
        1/8 teaspoon fresh black pepper
        1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

        Directions:
        Heat a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil to the pan, allowing it to warm for 1 minute, then add the garlic and sauté it for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until it’s golden brown and fragrant.

        Add the crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar and crushed red pepper flakes (optional), stirring to combine. Simmer the sauce for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, then season it with additional salt, pepper or sugar, to taste.

      2. Hi Jennifer! It can be pretty easy to make marinara sauce: I do a bit of olive oil in a saucepan, cook chopped onion and minced garlic, add crushed tomatoes from a can (or chopped fresh if in season), basil (I prefer fresh for the best flavor), maybe a splash of wine or vinegar (not too much since tomatoes are already acidic), and cook it down. Salt and pepper and good to go! If you like, experiment with the herbs, maybe adding thyme, parsley, red pepper flakes, etc. Adding capers is fun, too, which makes it more of a putanesca sauce. Hope you enjoy!

    6. Same here in Belgium, we only get spaghetti squash when it’s in season, so I’ll replace it with zucchini noodles! You can make them even if you don’t have a spiralizer, a potato peeler works too!

      1. It is only available in the US in season too except that since it’s a storage vegetable it’s available through fall and most of the winter not just straight out of the field in the fall. I would suggest just buying a few next fall and throwing them in a cool dark corner of your house. I have one in my basement that my neighbor gave me in August and it’s still in good shape. (Most) squash was made for storing. :)

  3. I think Zucchinie (zoodles) would be a good replacement if squash isn’t available. :)

  4. Brought it to work today for M3!! Love it! If you pop it in the microwave whole for about a minute, it’s MUCH easier to cut in half.

  5. I just cooked my first spaghetti squash over the weekend and I LOVED it! It’s not to squashy and the noodles are a little firm so they hold up to sauce really well. I made mine with some onions, garlic, crushed tomatoes and ground turkey with some chopped basil and it was delicious. I’ve eaten the leftovers for lunch almost all week! So good and so easy!

  6. If you are short on time, cut the spaghetti squash in half and place in a dish (open side down) and add water (about an inch) and microwave for 8 minutes. Just be careful when you take it out because it will be hot!

  7. You can also put in the crock pot on low for 8 hours. Just be sure to put 1/2c water or vegetable broth in to create some steam. It was great!

  8. Spaghetti squash is my go to! I’m so thankful for this dish when the need for some comfort food arises. Even my husband loves it (which is hard to do!). Thank you thank you thank you!

    1. If you have a spiralizer or awesome knife skills, you can do zuchinni. I put pasta sauce on quinoa as well, just don’t let it sit too long before eating or the quinoa will start to absorb the sauce! For a more starchy option (more M3-ish) I like gnocchi

  9. I just made this dish this past week in place of the tuna wraps. I used Trader Joe’s marina and added caramelized onion and lean ground turkey to the sauce. It was so yummy!!! Thanks K&K!

  10. Just bought a spaghetti squash to prep this meal tomorrow! So excited , i love how simple and clean the recipe is !

  11. Yum! Honestly I can not wait to try this simple yet satisfying dish :)

  12. I love this recipe! Super easy! thats what I need. I like it better with zucchini noodles best though because they are so much easier to prepare.

  13. I can’t wait to try this, I’ve been looking for a substitute or a healthier pasta but I don’t like whole grain pasta, even though I like whole grain everything else. I’ve never heard of using squash or zuccini but I love both, I’ll comment once I’ve given it a try!

  14. Another great alternative for spaghetti is Quinoa Pasta; it is so good and TIU approved! After all, who doesn’t love Quinoa!!!

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