Spaghetti Squash with Herbed Ricotta

Spaghetti squash is cool. You cook the squash, scrape the insides and it is incredibly reminiscent of spaghetti. God must be Italian to create such a thing 😉

Spaghetti squash is a great alternative if you’re gluten free or just trying to cut down on carbs. It doesn’t really have a flavor of it’s own, so it is an easy substitute. It is a little crunchier/crispier than cooked spaghetti noodles, but I don’t find the texture to be too off putting. This isn’t so much of a recipe as it is just an introduction to the squash. I really just kind of assembled all of the ingredients, instead of creating anything. Absolutely nothing wrong with assembling though. It’s still tasty, but it’s very easy and very quick — making for a great weeknight dinner or Saturday lunch. I used a pretty small spaghetti squash, it was about 8 inches long and maybe 3 inches wide. (I didn’t measure and I’m a bad guesser so give or take an inch or two.) It made 2-3 servings.

Keep in mind that spaghetti squash isn’t going to be very filling. I opted to use some chicken sausage to help up the heartiness and protein to make it a little more filling. If you’re eating it as a side dish, you could leave off the meat. If you’re a vegetarian, you could leave off the meat, but be sure to account for protein somewhere. (You could substitute cottage cheese for ricotta.) If you’re vegan, leave off the meat and the ricotta and find a side of protein that you like. Sometimes I struggle making sure to get enough protein at every meal — I really like carbs. I’ve been focusing on adding protein, both meat and plant-based. I’ve noticed a significant increase in energy since doing so. Protein is important!

Spaghetti Squash with Herbed Ricotta

1 small Spaghetti Squash
– If you want more than 2-3 servings, use a large spaghetti squash or grab a couple small ones
Salt
1 small Onion, diced
2 teaspoons Oil or Butter
2 pre-cooked Chicken (or pork) Sausage links, I removed the casing and sliced it into rounds
2 cloves Garlic, minced
12 oz Spaghetti Sauce
1/2 cup Ricotta
3 tbs Fresh Herbs, I used thyme and finely minced rosemary. Basil and oregano would be good too.

Preheat oven to 400°
Cut your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds
Spaghetti Squash Prep If you use a large spaghetti squash, it may be next to impossible to cut in half. You can bake it whole, but it will take quite a bit longer. I saved the seeds to roast later.

Sprinkle a teeny bit of salt on both sides and then place them face down in a baking dish that has about a 1/4″ of water
Bake until a fork can easily be pierced through the outer flesh — mine took about 40 minutes
While the squash is baking, add your diced onion and a sprinkle of salt into a pot over medium heat
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to brown to the bottom of the pan
Add the oil and sausage
Cook until the sausage begins to turn slightly golden, then stir in the garlic
Cook another 1-2 minutes, then stir in the sauce
Bring to a low simmer and let cook, stirring occasionally until you’re ready to eat
For the ricotta, just stir the herbs into the ricotta — Simple!
Remove the spaghetti squash from the oven and scrape the insides with a fork
— They’ll be hot, so handle them carefully. The tines of the fork will help to separate the spaghetti strands.
Spaghetti Squash
Stir the spaghetti squash into the pot of sauce and serve with a hearty dollop of ricotta. So good!

Spaghetti Squash with Herbed Ricotta

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