I love spaghetti squash. I had eaten it before, but it wasn’t until I had gestational diabetes and I was looking for low-carb alternatives in my dinner recipes that I was reminded of how delicious it is! The first few times I made it, I pretty much stuck with simple vegetarian meals–steaming the squash and then topping it with sauteed bell peppers, mushrooms, onion, tomatoes, and garlic. More recently I cooked up the more traditional “spaghetti squash bolognese,” and while it was yummy, I still wanted to experiment with other options.
Well, this is it. This is the one.
This recipe is so ridiculously simple, and so delicious.
Are you drooling yet?
I call it “Spaghetti Squash with Sweet Italian Sausage and Spinach,” because those are pretty much the only ingredients. The only other thing you’ll need is extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), salt, and pepper. Simple!
Here’s the how-to…with pictures of course!
Get your spaghetti squash roasting. This takes the longest amount of time, so you’ll want to make sure you get this started right away. There are many different ways to prepare the squash, but I prefer baking/roasting it. I have also steamed it and microwaved it in the past, but I think it tastes yummier (i.e. not as mushy) when it is baked. In our tiny apartment we have a mini-stove/oven and it is kind of a pain, so recently we purchased a nice convection toaster oven, and that’s what I used to bake the squash for this recipe.
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Cut the squash in half length-wise and scoop out all of the seeds. Drizzle with EVOO, salt, and pepper. You can add other seasonings–garlic or garlic powder would be yummy–and spices if you like. Place face down on a baking sheet lined with foil, and bake for about 45 minutes. Depending on your oven it may need slightly shorter or longer to cook. Because my oven was baking on the convection setting, it only needed about 35 minutes until it was finished.
While the squash is baking, remove the sausage from its casing (if using links). Again, you can change up the type of sausage you use if you prefer a spicier flavor, but I used sweet Italian sausage. The squash will make a lot–we had enough for 6 adult servings–so if you want to make it all with sausage, cook up extra links. If you want to save some of the squash for another recipe, cook up less sausage. You can count on about one link per person. We wanted leftovers so we cooked up all five that came in the pack. With the casing removed, “chop” with a wooden spoon and cook until nicely browned with no pink left.
Once the meat is browned, add fresh spinach and cover. Cook just until the spinach wilts. Spinach shrinks down to almost nothing once it is cooked, so add way more than you think you need to! I added more than half of the bag to start with, and once that was wilted down, I added almost half of what was left.
Once the spaghetti squash is finished baking, allow it to rest for a few minutes until it is cool enough to handle. Using a fork, scrape out the insides into the spaghetti like strands the squash is named for.