When cooked, the flesh of the spaghetti squash separates easily into long, golden spaghetti-like strands. These strands are tender like angel hair pasta and a very mild flavor. So, what you combine with the spaghetti squash creates the flavor of the dish.
A serving of spaghetti squash is low in calories and provides fiber and potassium. This recipe is a lower calorie version of “pasta primavera” by swapping spaghetti squash for the pasta. Suggested toppings Parmesan cheese, pesto or toasted pine nuts.
Like other hard-shelled winter squash, spaghetti squash is harvested in the early fall. The squash keeps for months in cool storage, so it is available in markets throughout the winter and spring. Mature spaghetti squash is oblong in shape with a creamy-yellow shell. Choose firm squash that's free of soft spots and feels heavy for its size.
- 1 spaghetti squash (about 2 pounds)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms, diced
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- ½ cup red bell pepper, diced
- ½ cup zucchini, diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- salt and pepper, to taste
- To cook squash in microwave: Pierce the skin of the spaghetti squash all over with a utility fork or paring knife. Make sure you go all the way through the skin to allow the squash to expand as it cooks. Microwave for 10 minutes on high. Check occasionally - you may need to turn it. Once cooked and soft, let it cool. Cut in half and carefully remove the seeds. With a metal fork, pull the strands of squash starting next to the skin. If you start at the center, you will break the strings. Place in a bowl and set aside
- In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the mushrooms have lost their liquid, and the onions are soft and slightly colored.
- Add the Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes, if using. Stir well to combine.
- Add the red bell pepper and zucchini to the pan. Cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the cherry tomatoes and cooked spaghetti squash to the vegetable mixture. Toss all of the vegetables together. Cook for another 8-10 minutes over low heat for the flavors to blend. Stir gently from time to time. If the pan looks dry, add a few tablespoons of hot water or stock as needed.
- Serve warm. Season with salt and pepper. Top with shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired.