This Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Sauce recipe is a healthier and low-carb alternative to traditional pasta. It’s a dish that combines the natural sweetness of spaghetti squash with the rich flavors of a classic tomato sauce. This recipe not only satisfies your pasta cravings but also offers a lighter and more nutritious option.
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Why I Loved This Recipe
I first stumbled upon this recipe during a farmers’ market visit where I picked up a beautiful spaghetti squash.
Intrigued by the idea of using it as a pasta substitute, I gave it a try.
The result was astonishing!
The spaghetti squash strands resembled real pasta, and the tomato sauce brought all the comforting flavors I love.
It was a game-changer for me, and since then, it’s become a regular dish in my kitchen.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
• Healthier Option: If you’re looking to reduce carbs or add more veggies to your diet, this recipe is a winner. It offers the pasta experience without the carb overload.
• Nutrient-Packed: Spaghetti squash isn’t just low in carbs; it’s also packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, making your meal more nutritious.
• Easy and Quick: Despite its fancy appearance, this recipe is easy to whip up. You’ll have a tasty and wholesome meal ready in a jiffy.
• Customizable: While it starts with a classic tomato sauce, you can let your creativity shine by trying different sauces and toppings to suit your taste.
Helpful Kitchen Tools
For the Spaghetti Squash:
• 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash: This unique squash transforms into spaghetti-like noodles when cooked. It’s not just delicious but also low in carbs and packed with nutrients.
• 2 tablespoons olive oil: We use this to infuse the squash with flavor while roasting.
• Salt and pepper to taste: A sprinkle of these enhances the squash’s taste.
For the Tomato Sauce:
• 2 tablespoons olive oil: This adds richness to our sauce.
• 3 cloves garlic, minced: Garlic brings a delightful aroma and flavor to the sauce.
• 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes: Convenient and tasty, these serve as the base of our sauce.
• 1 teaspoon dried basil: Basil, an herb, lends a fresh and slightly sweet note to the sauce.
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano: Oregano contributes an earthy flavor to balance the dish.
• Salt and pepper to taste: These are the secret weapons for making all the flavors shine.
• Red pepper flakes (optional, for heat): If you enjoy a little heat, these are the perfect addition.
• Fresh basil leaves, for garnish: These serve as both fancy decorations and a burst of fresh flavor.
Making Of Spaghetti Squash With Tomato Sauce
STEP 1: Put on your trusty apron and preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Take a knife and carefully slice the spaghetti squash in half. It can be a bit tough, so be cautious.
STEP 2: Scoop out the seeds from the squash halves, like a treasure hunt. Drizzle them with olive oil, add some salt and pepper, and they’re ready for roasting.
STEP 3: Place the squash halves cut-side down on a baking sheet and roast for about 40-45 minutes. Keep an eye on them to make sure they’re tender, not mushy. While they roast, let’s make the tomato sauce.
STEP 4: Heat some olive oil in a saucepan, add minced garlic, and let it sauté for about a minute. The aroma is amazing! Add crushed tomatoes, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes if you like it spicy.
STEP 5: Let the sauce simmer for 15-20 minutes. The flavors mingle and get all tasty. Taste it, and if it needs more herbs or a kick, go ahead and add them.
STEP 6: Your squash should be ready now. Take them out and let them cool a bit. Use a fork to gently scrape the insides, turning them into delicate noodle-like strands.
STEP 7: Divide the squash strands onto plates, creating edible nests. Spoon the tomato sauce you made earlier over them. Finish with fresh basil leaves for that extra flair – because our food deserves a stylish moment too!
• A tiny pinch of sugar or a touch of honey can work wonders if your tomato sauce is too tangy, bringing a delightful balance to the flavors.
• Make spaghetti squash easier to cut by microwaving it for about 2 minutes beforehand, allowing your knife to glide through effortlessly.
This amazing Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Sauce recipe makes about 4 servings. That means it’s enough to share with your family or have some yummy leftovers for yourself. It’s a great choice for a cozy dinner or even for meal prepping a couple of meals. So go ahead and enjoy the deliciousness!
• Add a colorful mix of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber for a refreshing crunch.
• Enjoy with garlic bread for an extra indulgent experience.
• Elevate your meal with herb-infused focaccia bread.
• Keep it light with steamed broccoli, carrots, and green beans.
• Offer freshly grated Parmesan cheese for an extra flavor boost.
• Elevate your dish with grated Parmesan, mozzarella, or feta cheese for a cheesy delight.
• Boost the protein with lean ground turkey, chicken, or plant-based options for a heartier meal.
• Add sautéed spinach, zucchini, mushrooms, or your favorite veggies for color, texture, and extra nutrients.
• Try fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, or rosemary for a burst of freshness and aroma.
When it comes to storing leftover spaghetti squash and tomato sauce, keep them separate in airtight containers in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Avoid freezing the squash as it may affect its texture upon thawing. However, the tomato sauce can be frozen in a suitable container for 2 to 3 months. Simply thaw and reheat whenever you’re ready for a saucy delight. Separation and proper storage ensure your leftovers taste just as yummy as the first time when reheating.
Q. Can I use other types of squash for this recipe?
Absolutely! While spaghetti squash works best due to its noodle-like texture, you can experiment with other squashes like butternut or acorn. Keep in mind that the texture might differ slightly.
Q. Is spaghetti squash easy to cut?
It can be a bit challenging to cut through the tough skin. To make it easier, pierce the squash in a few places and microwave it for about 2 minutes. This softens the skin slightly and makes cutting less daunting.
Q. Can I freeze the leftovers?
While spaghetti squash doesn’t freeze well due to its high water content, you can freeze the tomato sauce separately for up to 2-3 months. Thaw and reheat it when needed.
Q. Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned for the sauce?
Absolutely! If fresh tomatoes are in season, you can blanch, peel, and dice them to make the sauce. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Q. Is this recipe suitable for vegetarians and vegans?
Yes, it is! The recipe is naturally vegetarian and can easily be made vegan by omitting cheese or using a plant-based alternative.
Spaghetti Squash With Tomato Sauce
For Spaghetti Squash:
- 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Tomato Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 can 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Red pepper flakes optional, for heat
- Fresh basil leaves for garnish
Prepare the Spaghetti Squash:
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds.
- Brush cut sides with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place squash halves cut-side down on baking sheet.
- Roast for 40-45 minutes until flesh is tender and shreds easily with a fork.
Make the Tomato Sauce:
- Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat.
- Sauté minced garlic for about 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add crushed tomatoes, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes if using.
- Simmer sauce for 15-20 minutes to meld flavors.
Scrape and Serve:
- Use fork to gently scrape squash strands into noodles.
- Divide squash strands onto plates.
- Top with tomato sauce and garnish with fresh basil leaves.
- Fluff up roasted spaghetti squash strands with a fork before adding sauce for even distribution.
- Balance acidic sauce with a pinch of sugar or a drizzle of honey.