Spaghetti Squash Recipe & Nutrition | Precision Nutrition's Encyclopedia of Food

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash

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At a Glance

Spaghetti squash is a type of winter squash that is grown on the vine. It comes in season in autumn and is usually available throughout the winter months. Spaghetti squash looks a bit like yellow, rounded footballs. Once cooked and cut into, the flesh is easily shredded and appears a bit like its namesake, spaghetti. You can treat this mildly flavored squash as you would pasta or rice, topping it with your favorite spaghetti sauce, curry, or ragu. Spaghetti squash offers up loads of nutrition: in at least trace amounts, it contains almost all essential vitamins and minerals.

Overview

Spaghetti squash is a type of winter squash that is grown on the vine and harvested in autumn once the skin is very hard. While treated like a vegetable, winter squash is technically a fruit.

Inside its hard rind, spaghetti squash offers up delicate, yellow flesh that is easily shredded once cooked, creating long, thin strands that resemble its namesake (spaghetti). While spaghetti squash does not actually taste like spaghetti, its mild flavor makes it a suitable swap for pasta or rice and a nice accompaniment for rich marinara sauce, curries, or ragus.

You can find spaghetti squash at farmers’ markets or farm stands, or at the grocery store, but green thumbs may want to try growing their own: this type of squash can do quite well in the garden.

Identification

Spaghetti squash have an oval shape — a bit like a football, but with rounded edges.

They are typically yellow in color (both the rind and the flesh), though certain varieties are more orange or beige in color.

Nutrition Info

One cup of cooked spaghetti squash (boiled or baked without salt) contains approximately 42 calories, 1.0g of protein, 0.4g of fat, 10.0g of carbohydrates, 2.2g of fiber, and 3.9g of sugar.

A wide variety of vitamins and minerals are contained in spaghetti squash. Most notably, this squash offers plenty of vitamin C, vitamin B6, niacin, potassium, manganese, and even some calcium.

Selection

Look for squash that have a hard rind and feel heavy for their size. Avoid any squash that is soft, severely bruised, cut, or weepy. The rind should be firm and relatively smooth and have a deep yellow color to it.

In autumn, look for spaghetti squash at your local farmer’s market or farm stands. In the off-season, you may still be able to find spaghetti squash at the grocery store. Because squash can typically be stored for several months, it may be available through the winter.

Storage

Like other squashes, spaghetti squash can usually be stored in a cool, dry place for 1-3 months as long as it is not cut or damaged.

Never put squash in your refrigerator as this will cause it to expire quickly.

Cooked spaghetti squash should be eaten within 3-5 days: keep it in a sealed container in your fridge.

Preparation

Cutting into spaghetti squash can be a challenge! Its skin is very thick and tough.

For this reason, you may choose to bake the spaghetti squash whole. Poke holes throughout the rind with a fork or sharp knife. Place the squash on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about one hour, turning once. Once baked, slicing the squash should be easy.

Alternatively, you can slice the squash in half and bake it in the oven or the microwave. (Cooking time in the oven will run about 45 minutes; cooking time in the microwave will run about 12 minutes.)

Once the squash is cooked, smoothly rake it with a fork to release the ‘strands’ that look a bit like noodles.

Some people enjoy using spaghetti squash in place of traditional pasta. To try this method, top your cooked and shredded spaghetti squash with marinara or bolognese sauce. Of course, the taste and texture will be a little different than actual spaghetti.

Alternatively, serve spaghetti squash as a side dish — drizzle with olive oil or butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and enjoy!

Recipe: Lemon Basil Spaghetti Squash Fritters

Spaghetti Squash

Something new to do with spaghetti squash aside from using it as noodles! These fritters taste incredibly refreshing due to the lemon and mint-like flavor of basil.

Ingredients

spaghetti squash, cooked
1
extra virgin olive oil, plus more for cooking
1 tsp
green onions, chopped
2
eggs
2
almond flour
1/4 cup
brown rice flour
1/4 cup
garlic, minced
1 clove
lemon, zested
1/2
lemon, juiced
1/4
dried basil
2 tsp
sea salt
to taste
pepper
to taste
plain greek yogurt or sour cream for dipping
optional

Directions

Prep Time: 5 minutes   Cook Time: 95 minutes   Yield: 12-14 two inch fritters

Begin by cooking the squash. Slice it in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, and brush with olive oil. Bake face up for 50 to 55 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until it can be pricked with a fork and “noodles” can be lifted out. Remove from the oven and let cool a little bit before following the remaining steps or cook the day before.

Sautee the green onion, garlic, and spinach in 1 tsp olive oil.

Get 2 medium size mixing bowls. In the first bowl mix together the flours, basil, sea salt, pepper, and lemon zest. In the second bowl, whisk together the eggs and squeeze in the lemon juice.

Slice the cooked spaghetti squash down the center to cut the noodles in half. Then remove the noodles and place in egg bowl to coat.

Add spaghetti squash and egg mixture to the flour and mix well.

Heat 1 to 2 tbsp of olive oil at medium heat on a skillet and form flat pancakes with the spaghetti squash mixture in your hands – place on the skillet once heated and cook until each side is crispy – approx. 4 to 5 minutes per side. Repeat this until all of the pancakes are cooked.

Serve with plain greek yogurt or sour cream – optional with grated lemon zest in it and chopped green onion or chives.

Enjoy!

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At a Glance

Spaghetti squash is a type of winter squash that is grown on the vine. It comes in season in autumn and is usually available throughout the winter months. Spaghetti squash looks a bit like yellow, rounded footballs. Once cooked and cut into, the flesh is easily shredded and appears a bit like its namesake, spaghetti. You can treat this mildly flavored squash as you would pasta or rice, topping it with your favorite spaghetti sauce, curry, or ragu. Spaghetti squash offers up loads of nutrition: in at least trace amounts, it contains almost all essential vitamins and minerals.