I often see people on my Facebook feed comment about how difficult it is to cut butternut squash. I just figured they didn’t have very sharp knives. I mean, it doesn’t slice easily, but it is not really difficult. It is not as hard as some other fruits and vegetables. I also always see a bunch of recipes for spaghetti squash. It could be that the fervor of it has calmed down a bit, but for a while there was a spaghetti squash recipe on my feed at least once a day. But not once did I see anything about cutting spaghetti squash being difficult. Not once did I see that as one of the main things about spaghetti squash, as I often heard in regards to butternut squash. Whew! What the heck is up with spaghetti squash? I thought I was going to break my knife. I love my knife and I would have been very upset, so I was trying to be a bit careful . . . but what is up with that??? I had to cook it for four minutes before I could BARELY break the skin. Then I had to cook it for two more to get to the middle. That stuff is TOUGH!!!
So . . . anyway . . . after all this time I finally got around to trying spaghetti squash. We liked it. It was good. I am curious if we liked it because it had ground beef on it. When I planned the dinner, I thought I had a jar of red sauce, but I didn’t. So my red sauce with meat faux spaghetti dinner did not materialize. Instead we had ground beef with garlic butter on spaghetti squash. It was good. It was really good especially the second night when I cooked it more. The first night I was — as usual – starting late and I had no idea it would take so long to cut and cook. I would have preferred to roast it in the oven, but it happened to be over 90° F that day and I didn’t want to turn on the oven. So I used the microwave.
Another thing I had not heard anyone say when making this for dinner was the challenge in shredding the squash out. I mean, it wasn’t HARD per se, but it was a challenge because the dang squash is so hot. It is tricky to hold and scrape at the same time.
Anyway, here is what I did. But, keep in mind, anything with ground beef on it, is so yummy.
Spaghetti Squash With Ground Beef and Garlic Butter
shallow casserole dish
1 spaghetti squash
lid (to the dish) or plastic wrap, wax paper
half of a medium onion, chopped
half of a pound of ground beef
two tablespoons of butter
three cloves of minced garlic
Put water in a shallow casserole dish, about halfway up the side of the dish. Then try to poke a whole or two in the squash and cook it on high (in the microwave) for six minutes. If your microwave does not have a rotating turntable, turn the dish every two minutes.
Once you can, cut the squash cut it in half – lengthwise. Take out all the squash “guts” and seeds. Place each half in the dish – cut side up. Cook in the microwave on high for six minutes with the cover on the dish, or use the plastic wrap, or wax paper.
Take the dish out and salt the cut sides of the spaghetti squash. Then cook for ten minutes with the cover on the dish, or use the plastic wrap, or wax paper. (Again, remember to turn the dish every two or three minutes if your microwave does not do that for you).
While the squash is cooking prepare your topping/sauce.
Heat up a pan with olive oil or coconut oil. Then cook the onions. Then add the half of a pound of ground beef. Add some Italian Seasoning and salt. Cook until beef is done.
In another pan, heat up two tablespoons of butter. Once melted add a few cloves of minced garlic. Cook for a few minutes.
Check the squash. It should be really soft. A fork should insert easily with no pressure required. If you think it is ready (mine was not) then take it out of the microwave. If you think it needs to cook more, sprinkle on more salt, then cook it for six to ten more minutes. Then take it out and let it cool a little.
Then use one fork to hold the squash as you use another fork to shred and scrape the flesh of the squash out.
Put the shredded squash in a dish, toss with the garlic butter. Then put the beef in the dish and toss. Serve with Parmesan cheese on top.
(Total squash cooking time: 32 minutes)
I don’t think the squash will hold up to a red sauce but my husband does, so I might try that, as that was the original plan. But, even if not, I will definitely cook it again. It was good, but it was NOTHING like spaghetti. It was sweet. It was stringy. It was good. I am thinking chicken and mushrooms . . . that sounds good to me. Also, roasted. I can’t wait to roast it!
So what are your tips on how to cook spaghetti squash? How do you shred it? What do you mix with it?