Spaghetti was always one of my favorite meals growing up. Warm noodles covered in flavorful pasta sauce…the smell alone got me every time. But when I started a grain-free diet, I was pretty sure those days were long gone.
Then enter the spaghetti squash. Now true — it’s not technically pasta, but it sure is a great replacement. As you may have already known (or could probably guess from the name), spaghetti squash comes apart in noodle-like strands when baked. Though the texture is a bit different from pasta noodles, it has a nice, slightly sweet taste, and when covered with sauce, is a pretty ideal alternative. And not only are you taking gluten out (and grains for that matter), but you’re putting vegetables in.
Another great thing about this meal is that it’s super easy. There’s literally three items you need: a spaghetti squash, one pound of ground meat (beef or turkey) and the pasta sauce. That’s it. It’s one of my go-to meals through the week, especially on nights when I don’t have a lot of extra time.
One word on the pasta sauce: I normally just pick up an organic jar of pasta sauce from the store, but feel free to use a homemade sauce if you prefer. If you are looking for a sugar-free option, there are some out there, like this one. I haven’t tried it yet but plan to soon.
Start out by rinsing the squash and cutting the stem off. Then cut the squash in half (length-wise).
Now you’ll need to scoop out the seeds. I usually go around the little oval in the middle with the knife to get the stringy pieces loose and then scoop it all out. When finished, each half should have a long hollow oval in the middle.
Place the squash halves in a glass baking dish (hollow facing down) and bake for about 75-85 minutes. When it’s finished, use a fork to pull some of the squash strands loose; they should be soft and pliable. If the strands are rather stiff, place the squash back in the oven to bake longer.
Once the squash is finished, pull “noodle” strands loose with a fork and place on plate.
Simple Grain-Free “Spaghetti”
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 1 jar of organic pasta sauce or homemade pasta sauce
- 1 pound of grass-fed ground beef or free-range ground turkey
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse spaghetti squash. Cut off the stem and then cut in half length-wise. Scoop out all the seeds so that there’s a long hollow oval in the middle. Turn face down (hollowed part facing down) in a glass dish and bake between 75-85 minutes. While the squash is baking, brown the meat in a skillet. Drain and place back in the skillet and add the pasta sauce. Simmer over low heat. Pull squash strands loose with a fork and top with meat and sauce mixture. Enjoy!
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