This Fall I have 2 addictions: spaghetti squash and my blue dutch oven. I keep buying spaghetti squash every week, roasting it in the oven and then throwing into this pot waiting for magic to happen…or not. Feeling like a mad scientist is the most satisfactory part of cooking for me. I honestly can’t wrap my head around the fact some people do not like to cook. But I get it – that is like I can’t stand anything to do with horses. So, fair enough.
So far, I have one more to-die-for spaghetti squash recipe besides this to-die-for spaghetti squash mac and cheese. So, please don’t die until next week!
Bottom line for this recipe is this: if cashews can be made into a “sour cream”, why spaghetti squash can’t be made into “mac and cheese”?! It can and with amazing results – fluffy, creamy and SO COMFORTING! Let’s be clear from the very beginning – this spaghetti squash mac and cheese won’t replace pasta but it will satisfy your craving for a bowl of comforting pasta and cheese.
Two important things you need to know about spaghetti squash, which I learnt from cooking it about 15 times in the past 2 months:
- Do not overcook it – it becomes watery, mushy and not separating into strands.
- Choose light colour skin squash – it is much easier to cut open than bright yellow one. My trembling hands confirm that after hammering on a bread knife with a mallet.
Spaghetti squash has the mildest squash flavour out of all squashes. That is why I love it, I think. I found roasting it for 40 minutes in 375 degrees F oven yields the best results. Sometimes it needs more time but start checking after 40 minutes. After it cools down, I string it using the fork and then cut into short strands using kitchen shears. This way it is more reminiscent of elbow macaroni size traditionally used for making mac and cheese.
I adore kitchen scissors and use them daily. I highly recommend buying yourself some if you still don’t own a pair. Just don’t buy Ikea’s sewing scissors because they are cheap and use them for years, like I did. Slicing small portions of meat and cutting open 25 cans of salmon wrapped together from Costco are only few of the uses for kitchen scissors.
The sauce…I made a MUCH lighter mac and cheese sauce by cutting back amount of cheese and eliminating heavy cream. Now, I used butter and whole wheat flour. I also tried it with coconut oil which wasn’t bad but the dish did have a bit of coconuty taste. I was OK with it and this butter version was just as good. So, it depends how much you like coconut oil. I’m very easy going when it comes to whole foods.
I do see questions about replacing flour coming…If you are gluten intolerant/sensitive you probably know better than me how to replace flour with cornstarch, arrowroot powder or xanthan gum. For all other folks – embrace 3 tbsp of gluten.:) It is super hard for me to advise you on a cooking method I haven’t tested myself.
This pan of veggie saucy goodness is incredible!!! It warms you up from within just like a bowl of soup. I have been eating spaghetti squash mac and cheese for dinner after the workout purring like a kitten. Kids tried it and their faces said it all. So, one more time – spaghetti squash doesn’t taste like pasta.:) But makes a great comfort food for that one who doesn’t want to buy new jeans, like me.:)
- 1 large spaghetti squash (4 lbs)
- 3 tbsp butter or coconut oil*
- 3 tbsp whole wheat or spelt flour**
- 2 cups milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp onion or garlic powder
- Pinch ground black pepper
- 1 cup (4 oz) any hard cheese, shredded (I used mozzarella)
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 F degrees F. Wash squash, cut in half lengthwise and remove seeds with a spoon. Punch randomly with a fork, place cut side down on a baking sheet lined with unbleached parchment paper and bake for 40-50 minutes. Remove squash from the oven, let cool until it's safe to the touch and separate into strands with a fork. Cut into 2” strands using kitchen scissors. Set aside.
- In the meanwhile, preheat medium pot or dutch oven on low-medium heat and melt butter or oil. Whisk in flour until small lumps form. Add milk and keep whisking until smooth. Add salt, onion powder and pepper; whisk and let simmer for about 3-4 minutes or until sauce has slightly thickened. Add cheese and whisk again until smooth.
- Add squash and mix gently with a spoon to combine. Cover and let squash warm through for about 5 minutes. Serve hot.
*I like both ways, depends how much you like coconut oil. **I have not tried to make this recipe gluten free, so I don’t know.
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving = 1 1/2 cups:
Total Fat: 11.3 g
Cholesterol: 30.5 mg
Sodium: 502.5 mg
Total Carbs: 15.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.0 g
Protein: 6.3 g
WW Points+: 5