Here in central Texas spaghetti squash is in season from January through March, and with this vegetables nutty flavor and impressive nutrient profile, it can make a great side dish for dinner during these winter months (1).
This nutrient-dense food, low in calories and high in key vitamins and minerals, is a good source of vitamin C, B6, and manganese, as well as fiber (2). Spaghetti squash also provides other B vitamins like B9 (folate), B5, B3, and minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron (2).
In addition to these nutrients, spaghetti squash is rich in antioxidants like beta-carotene (3). Consuming dietary sources of beta carotene, like spaghetti squash, can decrease our risk of various diseases like eye disease and certain cancers (4).
Preparing spaghetti squash
Another reason to love this winter veggie is the ease with which it can be prepared.
Simply cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds (you can save and roast the seeds separately 😉), season the squash with a bit of sea salt and black pepper, and place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet with the cut-side down. Bake the spaghetti squash at 375 degrees F for about one hour (depending on the size of your squash). The hard skin will brown on the top when the squash is cooked. If you prefer your squash to be more al dente, cut your cooking time to about 45 minutes. To serve, simply scoop out the squash and enjoy!
A simple tomato sauce
Sometimes we enjoy the spaghetti squash on its own, while other times we enjoy it with a little tomato sauce over the top. By adding the tomato sauce we also increase our nutrient intake, so here’s a quick, simple, and delicious recipe to try.
Homemade tomato sauce recipe:
2 (28-ounce) cans of tomatoes
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, or avocado oil
4-6 garlic cloves
1 tbsp. basil or Italian seasoning, dried
1 tsp. onion flakes, dried
¼ tsp. red chili flakes (optional)
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Add the tomatoes, garlic, and seasonings to a small blender and pulse until combined. Place the mixture into a small saucepan, add the oil and stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a simmer, stirring. Enjoy!
Here’s a recipe that turns spaghetti squash into a meal with a southwestern flare.