Cheesy, Creamy Spaghetti Squash


Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and I know that I am not the only one who is planning my holiday menu. My family members are creatures of habit, and there are some traditions that I know I cannot change such as turkey for Thanksgiving. We buy the largest organic turkey we can find that will fit in the oven and have tried every method ever written about trying to create the most flavorful, moist, bird possible. No matter what the method we use, our turkey has always been pretty darn good. Despite the fact that I have no choice about turkey, my family is willing to let me try out new side dishes to go along with our turkey. I usually experiment with two or three new side dishes each year trying to find the absolute best ones to compliment our turkey for our family Thanksgiving celebration.

Planning a complete Thanksgiving menu can be a challenge, as some prefer mashed potatoes, while others want sweet potatoes on the menu. I prefer not having both types of potatoes on my holiday menu because along with stuffing, that will provide a lot of starch. I like to include at least one green vegetable, along with a winter squash option. I have been trying out some new squash recipes recently, and this cheesy, creamy made with spaghetti squash one is one the best. In this recipe, the squash is first baked until tender; then the flesh is scraped out and mixed with a combination of cream, cheese, spinach, and garlic. You can either scoop the prepared squash mixture back into the shells before the final baking, or you can scoop the cheesy flesh into a casserole dish.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2016

Cheesy, Creamy Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients:

  • 1 Medium Spaghetti Squash
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 2 Teaspoons Olive Oil
  • 1 (5 Ounce) Package Baby Spinach
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Light Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Crispy Bacon Bits
  • 1 Cup Four Cheese Italian Mix, Divided
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and discard.
  3. Rub the cut edges of the squash with olive oil, then place cut side down on a foil lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake until the squash is tender, about 40 minutes.
  5. While the squash is baking, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and once hot, cook the garlic a minute or two until fragrant.
  6. Add the spinach and stir until wilted, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  7. Drain the skillet of excess liquid, then stir in the cream, cream cheese, bacon, and 2/3 cup of the cheese blend.
  8. Season well with salt and pepper.
  9. When the squash is tender, remove from the oven and cool until you can handle it.
  10. Use a fork, and scrape out the flesh, and mix with the spinach and cheese mixture until blended.
  11. Spoon the mixture back into the squash shells, or into an oven-proof casserole dish.
  12. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top, then bake until hot, bubbly, and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
  13. Enjoy hot or at room temperature.

Adapted from Cheesy Garlic Parmesan Spinach Squash from Peas & Carrots