It’s a glorified leftover dish everyone will be exited about. It’s vegetarian, its cheap and it uses leftovers, option for no leftovers following as well. I mean, who has spinach artichoke dip leftovers? Pffffft!
For a long time I did not dare to eat this interesting item, it just seemed… wrong and I had no idea what to do with it once it would find its way into my kitchen. Stringy things are not usually a good thing when it comes to veggies, like stringy beans or the wire like strings in tough snowpeas that quite nearly strangle unsuspecting eaters. But finally curiosity won out and I have departed from the ‘just put spaghetti sauce over it’ approach that is generally the extend of creativity people come up with when confronted with the ‘what to do after it’s cooked’ question.
So while this particular squash can’t quite keep up nutrition wise with some of the other members of the winter squash family, its high water content kinda work against it there. Not to say it’s unhealthy, by no means, it’s just not as nutritionally dense as some of the other ones, but it’s a great low calorie, low carb choice!
One of the issues I have with this, like some of the other winter squashes as well, is what to do with it all? I am a one person household on most days and I really, really would like to not have to eat the same for lunch and dinner all week. Maybe I am weird that way, but hey, there’s worse ;) Well, I have found that cooked spaghetti squash freezes quite happily for a couple of months, stored in zip top sandwich baggies. That way it’s ready to defrost in my fridge for whenever I need it.
So first, yes you do need to bake (or microwave) the thing to cook its interior. Prick it with a fork all over so it doesn’t blow up on you, and either cut in half, scoop the seeds and discard and place cut side down on a baking sheet in the 350ºF oven until tender, or microwave without cutting in half until tender and easily cut in half (Careful, extremely freakin’ hot)
Once it’s cooled to an acceptable temperature, using a fork, scrape the stringy flesh into a bowl. Portion up as convenient and freeze until needed!
For two people as a side (or small meal) or 1 hungry eater
- 1 cup cooked Spaghetti Squash (defrosted if frozen)
- 1 cup Spinach Artichoke Dip (or 1/2 cup chopped artichoke hearts, 1 cup chopped fresh baby spinach, chopped & 1/2 cup italian cheese mix, microwave until cheese is melted and spinach wilted not quite as creamy, but works)
- 1/2 of a 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup of Italian cheese for the top (use a mix that has more than just mozzarella, so you get better flavor
- Preheat oven to 350ºF
- In an oven proof 2 cup square dish layer spaghetti squash, then top with Spinach Artichoke Dip, followed by tomato sauce by the spoonfuls. Top all of it with a handful of cheese.
- Bake until heated through and bubbly, cheese is melted and beginning to brown (about 15-20 minutes)
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