My kids have finally admitted that veggie noodles have more flavor than pasta! I agree. I love the natural sweetness that the squash noodles add to this Primal Spaghetti recipe. This is a simple and easy dish for busy week nights, and it takes little thought to pull together.
Talk about a real food choice — spaghetti squash packs in the nutrients and can be supplemented for pasta in any dish. But, a word of caution…they can be tough to crack! I recommended cutting off the stem to make a flat end, stand it upright, and carefully make a vertical slice using a large chef’s knife — FINGERS UP and out of the way.
After you scrape the seeds out and roast it up, the fun begins. In fact, I have my kids loosen the strands with a fork once the squash has cooled slightly. They love seeing the squash transform into spaghetti noodles.
The sauce is your’s to be creative with, but you can’t go wrong with this recipe that emphasizes tomatoes, fresh herbs, and ground beef.
If you have little helpers in your kitchen, put them to work pulling the oregano and basil leaves off the stems — it’s great for their fine motor development and opens them up to the aromas of fresh herbs.Print
- 1 large spaghetti squash (or 2 small)
- 2 1/2 lbs. grass-fed ground beef
- 2 – 3 medium tomatoes, diced
- 24 oz. can crushed tomatoes with basil (such as Muir Glen brand)
- 24 oz. strained tomatoes (or plain tomato sauce)
- 1 bunch scallions, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (or substitute 1 Tbsp. dried)
- 1 Tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped (or substitute 1 Tsp. dried)
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
- Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Carefully cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise with a large chef’s knife. Note: these can be tough to “crack” so watch your fingers!
- Scoop out the seeds and pulp with a spoon.
- Place spaghetti squash cut side down in a large baking dish with ¼ inch of water in the bottom of the dish. Place in preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour. Squash should be tender (but not mushy).
- While squash is cooking, heat a tbsp. of coconut oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add scallions and a dash of salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add chopped tomatoes, canned tomatoes and strained tomatoes to the pan. Stir, bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium.
- While sauce is simmering, heat a tbsp. of coconut oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and a dash of salt and pepper. Brown and cook beef and then add to sauce pan with tomatoes. Add chopped herbs, stir and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and season with any additional salt and pepper to taste.
- When squash is tender, remove from oven. Turn squash cut side up and using a fork, run prongs cross-wise through squash to remove ‘spaghetti’ strands. Place in a serving bowl.
- Plate ‘spaghetti’ and top with sauce. Serve with a side of veggies or green salad!
Use spaghetti squash as a substitute for any of your favorite pasta dishes. Once cooked, the squash strands will keep in the fridge for about four days. This amount of sauce is good for a couple family meals. It also freezes well.