So I mentioned this spaghetti squash alfredo the other day. Along with a comment about exploding spaghetti squash. I certainly didn’t mean to scare you off from this recipe! So I will explain…
You see, I read somewhere that instead of nearly losing fingers by trying to hack a giant, round spaghetti squash in half you could just bake the whole thing. So when I had a hard time cutting a squash in half I just threw it in the oven, baked it for an hour and then stuck a knife in it. Um, not smart. Let’s just say you’d be amazed at the steam pressure a spaghetti squash can build up. Thankfully, there were no injuries.
So I tried again. Except this time I poked it half a dozen times with a knife, all the way to the center to make sure the steam had somewhere to go. And I let it rest for a few minutes after baking just to be safe. And then it worked perfectly. It was still terrifying for me to cut into after the first one exploded. So I’ve left it completely up to you, prepare your own squash however you like. Which would you prefer though? Almost lose a finger chopping it in half raw or risk an exploding squash?
Moving on to this amazing dish! It’s everything you love in alfredo except you don’t feel like you ate 3 days worth of calories after eating this for dinner. Because you’re not.
This recipe comes to just over 400 calories for a huge half a squash serving, or half that if you serve it as a side for 4(using low fat cream cheese and 1% milk) assuming the whole squash is 6 cups of squash. Of course if your squash is smaller than mine was you may not need all the sauce(save any extra for a small portion of pasta, or maybe even pizza night!) It’s not the lowest in sodium, but if the rest of your meals are home cooked and fairly low in sodium it’s not such a big deal This is definitely one treat you can enjoy guilt free!
Let’s talk about time though… If you don’t count the squash baking time, which is the vast majority of the time it takes to make this… this is actually a really fast dinner to make! The sauce comes together in just a few minutes. I sprinkled the top of my little spaghetti squash boats with a little extra Parmesan and broiled them for a few minutes, but you really don’t need to if you need the extra time. Mix in the sauce and you’re good to go!
To make things even simpler you can skip serving them in their “shells” and just scrape the squash out into your pot of sauce(just make sure it’s big enough), stir, and serve! Awesome, right?
I enjoyed mine with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, and as an afterthought, some roasted broccoli with lemon, garlic and Parmesan cheese would have been awesome with this too. My 3 year old daughter actually loved this and keeps asking for it.
No matter how you serve it, I hope you love it as much as we did!
- 1 medium sized spaghetti squash
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2½ tbsp flour(whole grain is fine)
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, very finely minced, grated or pressed
- 1 tbsp cream cheese(low fat is fine)
- 1½ C milk(low fat is fine)
- 1 C freshly grated, not packed Parmesan cheese(about 60g or 2.1oz), plus 2 tbsp extra for topping
- ¼ tsp salt
- First prep the spaghetti squash. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half using a large sharp knife, scoop out the seeds and place cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet covered with water. Bake until tender, about an hour Alternatively, keep the spaghetti squash whole. Poke a few holes deep into the squash with a large knife. Place in the oven whole. Bake for 60 minutes, remove from the oven and let rest for 10 to 20 minutes before slicing in half with a large serrated knife like a bread knife. Scoop out the seedy inside leaving the spaghetti strands. Once cooked, use a fork to gently scrape the “spaghetti” strands into the center.
- For the sauce, melt the butter in a small pot. Once hot add the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes over medium low heat. Add the flour and whisk into the butter. Cook for another minute while stirring. Add the cream cheese, warm it up and stir it in to the butter mixture.
- Add the milk and whisk well. Bring up to a gentle simmer then remove from the heat. Add the freshly grated cheese and salt and stir until melted, just a minute or two. Pour half the sauce into each spaghetti squash half(or less if using a smaller squash). Gently stir to combine. Top with an extra sprinkle of Parmesan and place under the broiler of your oven for 2-3 minutes until golden and bubbly. Serve immediately.