How To Cook Spaghetti Squash

The original “zoodle”, spaghetti squash! Spaghetti squash is something easy to make, you just need to know how and to have the time to prep it before. Depending on the size of the squash, it can make a lot, so my suggestion would be to make sure you have people to share it with or have a few different sauces to eat with it throughout the week for meal prep. It doesn’t have much of a taste so any sauce will be the taste. Marinara, pesto, lemon garlic, creamy mushroom, red wine sauce, etc. The dishes are endless. Soon I’ll be sharing some of my sauces to have with spaghetti squash for a lighter and more nutrient dense pasta alternative that’s gluten free.

When I think of spaghetti squash I think of the first time I had it. When my mother was going through chemo treatments, she was trying to eat more organic foods and to stay away from starchy processed white foods. Since spaghetti was a weekly meal for us then, and now, she decided to try it out. It was delicious! The texture is different than pasta, but it is still soft and you can still twirl your fork around and enjoy slurping your favorite sauce!

So let’s get started and I’ll share the nutritional facts after.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
Scoop out the center with the seeds.
  • Preheat Oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the squash in half.
  • Scoop out the center and any seeds.
  • Rub with a small amount of olive oil and salt and pepper if desired.
  • Lay face down and stab with a knife 5-6 times on each side.
  • Once oven is preheated, put in the oven for at least 40 minutes. Depending on the size it might take up to 1 hour.
Bake for 40-60 minutes depending on size.
  • When the skin of the squash looks a little wrinkled and the bottom is started to brown, your squash is ready!
  • Cool for a few minutes and then flip them upside down. With a fork from the longer side toward the center start pulling away the strings.
  • Add with your favorite sauce and enjoy!
Spaghetti squash ready to use and eat!
Nutritional Information

There are nutritional benefits to both, especially if the grain version is a whole grain pasta whether gluten free or whole wheat. But this is a simple and easy way to lighten your pasta bowl and not feel stuffed and bloated after eating a full bowl, or two, of spaghetti. Check out the differences.

1 Cup Spaghetti Squash

  • 31 Calories
  • 0.6 g total fat
  • 7 g carbohydrates
  • 1.5 g fiber
  • 2.8 g sugar
  • 0.6 g protein
  • 2% Vitamin A
  • 3% Vitamin C
  • 2% Calcium
  • 3% Magnsium

1 cup Regular Spaghetti Pasta

  • 221 Calories
  • 1.3 g total fat
  • 43 g carbohydrates
  • 2.5 g fiber
  • 0.8 g sugar
  • 8 g protein
  • 0% Vitamin A
  • 0% Vitamin C
  • 1% Calcium
  • 6% Magnesium
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Pumpkin Penne with Spinach & Ricotta

Since winter is just around the corner, it’s good to have filling and satisfying recipes at hand that give our immune system a nutrient boost. When most think of pumpkin it’s usually pumpkin pie or a sugary creamy latte they think of first. But pumpkin is good for many things. Since it doesn’t have a strong taste it’s good to add in baking recipes instead of oil to cut down on the fat and calories for instance. Or it’s good to use as a creamy sauce without it being heavy in dairy or fat. This recipe does just that. There are some great benefits to pumpkin as well.

Pureed Pumpkin
  • High in Fiber, 1 cup canned pumpkin has 28% of your daily value of fiber
  • High in Vitamin A, 1 cup canned pumpkin contains 762% Vitamin A, for your eye health
  • Good source of Iron, to oxygenate cells
  • Good Source of Magnesium for your brain, heart, and muscles
  • Good source of Vitamin E for skin, brain, and heart health
  • Low in Sodium / High in Potassium which makes it beneficial for blood pressure control
Cooked Spinach

When foods are cooked it changes the chemistry of them. With spinach there are some added benefits when it’s raw, and other benefits when it’s cooked.

  • Absorb higher levels of Vitamin A
  • Good Source of Vitamin E
  • Good Source of Protein
  • Good Source of Zinc for your immune health
  • Good Source of Calcium for bone health
  • Good Source of Iron for blood health

So this recipe will not only keep your weight down with the amount of fiber, but also help your immune system with the high amounts of vitamin A & E which has powerful antioxidants, and zinc. Great way to use pumpkin and get the health benefits without adding the fat and sugar!

Pumpkin Penne with Spinach & Ricotta

  • Servings: 6 Servings
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Ingredients

  • small amount of olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, optional (use more broth if not using)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup plain unsweetened yogurt
  • 1 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 large fresh sage leave, minced
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 16 oz. bag whole wheat penne pasta, uncooked
  • 5 oz. bag of baby spinach
  • 1 15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 cup Almond Ricotta, or Regular Ricotta
  • dash of nutmeg, optional

Directions

  1. In a large skillet heat a small amount of oil at medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add in garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add in the white wine, vegetable broth, yogurt, pumpkin puree, sage, salt, and pepper, and stir to mix together. Bring to a boil. Add the penne pasta and stir to make sure the noodles don’t stick. Lower the heat to medium-low. Cover and let simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until the penne is cooked. Stir every few minutes.
  3. Once pasta is cooked, take off heat, or put on very low. Add in the spinach one handful at a time and stir until wilted. Add the drained cannellini beans and the almond ricotta, or regular ricotta. Stir together and serve.
  4. Dust with a small amount of nutmeg and enjoy!

Nutritional Information

367 calories | 10.8 g total fat | 2.5 g polyunsaturated | 5.9 g monounsaturated | 1.3 g saturated | 0 g trans fats | 0-3 mg (depending on ricotta) | 1157 mg sodium | 52 g carbohydrates | 11 g fiber | 7 g total sugar | 17 g protein | 583% Vitamin A | 18% Vitamin C | 142% Vitamin K | 50% Magnesium | 30% Copper | 26% Iron