A couple of years ago, you never would have caught me buying a spaghetti squash or even cooking with squash. For as much as I could remember, growing up, I disliked squash. Wouldn’t touch it. Hated the taste. Hated the texture. Hated everything about it. Did. Not. Want.
But when I signed up for my CSA bin, before I knew I could swap out items…squash season came around and my bin was being inundated with different varieties of the vegetable. And there I was…not wanting to let anything go to waste.
Now…whenever I get a squash I do a happy dance of joy. I have learned that tastes can change over time and now squash is one of my favorite things to prepare. There are so many different varieties of squash and so much that can be done with them because of that. This is one rockstar of a vegetable, that’s for sure.
One of my favorite varieties of squash is the spaghetti squash. I love it. I have made so many different meals with the inner strands of the spaghetti squash, even substituting it for pasta noodles. But when my CSA bin recently delivered a small spaghetti squash to my door…I wanted to do something outside of the box. With a little Google-foo and a recipe from a blog called Chocolate & Carrots…I was able to do just that. I baked my spaghetti squash…shredded it with a fork…then topped it off with a lightened up, gluten-free alfredo sauce.
Recipe: Spaghetti Squash Alfredo
Time: Prep 10 minutes; Cook 1 hour
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons flour (I used Better Batter Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour)
- 1 cup of milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
- 1 tablespoon reduced fat cream cheese (I used Daiya Deliciously Dairy Free Cream Cheese Style Spread)
- 1 cup grated melty cheese like Parmesan (I used Dill Havarti Cheese…because that’s what I had)
- 1/4 cup grated mozzarella or Parmesan, for topping
Bake your spaghetti squash as usual. There are so many ways to bake a spaghetti squash…in the oven or the microwave. But I cooked mine by slicing the squash in half and removing the seeds and pulp. On a baking sheet, I placed the squash rind-side up and slid it into a 375°F oven for about 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, I removed the squash from the oven and used a fork to break up the spaghetti squash strands inside of the spaghetti squash casing.
While the squash is baking…make the sauce.
In a small sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter.
Whisk in the garlic and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
Whisk in the flour until combined.
Slowly whisk in the milk until it is combined and there are no lumps.
Keeping the pan on the heat, whisk in the cream cheese.
Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cheese until it has melted.
Evenly distribute the sauce to both halves of the spaghetti squash and stir.
Top with the remaining cheese and place the halves under a broiler for a minute or two, until the top becomes a light brown.
Serve immediately with pepper, red pepper flakes, or hot sauce.
I discovered that the next time I choose to make this dish, I definitely want to use a stronger cheese. While I love Dill Havarti for a cheese, it really wasn’t made for an alfredo sauce. It melted just fine, but the flavor profile needed a bit more of a boost. I recommend a Gouda cheese or an extra sharp cheddar. Something with a little bite behind it.
All that being said, regardless of the use of mild cheese, I found that I absolutely LOVED this dish. It was nutritious and filling all at the same time. The spaghetti squash paired well with the lightened up alfredo sauce. And I found topping it with a little heat from red pepper flakes and a dash of my favorite hot sauce just gave it that little extra kick. It’s optional…but amazing. My roommate preferred hers with just some grated Parmesan cheese on top.
If you are looking for a new way to enjoy a spaghetti squash…or are just now being introduced to the vegetable…give this recipe a try. It takes a little time to prep the squash…but the end result is always worth it.