Do you find yourself craving pasta, especially spaghetti, more often than not? If you answered yes, you’re in good company. I am an Italian woman obsessed with gluten, and I’m always exploring how to fill my plate with better choices. Here is one of my most satisfying recipes: Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms. So delicious, light, and easy!
If you have looked around my website, you already know about my love for mushrooms! I use them often, as you can see from recipes like my Gluten-free Meatloaf and Stuffed Mushrooms. Mushrooms are delicious, pack an intense umami flavor and have a string of health benefits. These include:
- WEIGHT MANAGEMENT. Simply put, they help with weight loss in general, but especially belly fat, which is the most dangerous kind of fat. They are low-carb and low-cal (only 19 calories per cup). Also, they make an excellent vegetable source of nutrients if you are on a keto diet.
- ANTIOXIDANTS. They are loaded with them.
- IMMUNE BOOST. As per Dr. Axe‘s post, a 2005 report in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine reveals that mushrooms contain “compounds and complex substances with antimicrobial, antiviral, antitumor, antiallergic, immunomodulating, anti-inflammatory, antiatherogenic, hypoglycemic and hepatoprotective activities.” Truly impressive, humble powerhouses.
- POTASSIUM. After magnesium, potassium is the mineral in which most of us are deficient. According to Healthline, 2/3 cup of Portobello mushrooms contains as much potassium as a medium banana.
- LOWERS BAD CHOLESTEROL. Thanks to sterol compounds and phytonutrients, many types of mushrooms promote the production of good cholesterol, while lowering bad cholesterol. Overall, they help with good heart health.
NUTRIENT-DENSE SPAGHETTI SQUASH
- WEIGHT MANAGEMENT. Similarly to mushrooms, this squash is low in calories (only 42 per cup) but high in vitamins and minerals.
- ANTIOXIDANTS. They are loaded with them. Particularly, beta-carotene, which is a vital source of protection for cells and DNA.
- FIBER. One cup contains 2.2 grams of fiber. We’re all trying to get more fiber into our diets. Especially now that we understand its role as a prebiotic. More fiber helps with digestion and bowel movements, but it also helps feed the good gut bacteria, responsible for so many vital functions crucial to our overall health.
- PASTA SUBSTITUTE. OK, I’m Italian, so there is no veg big enough to fill the pasta-shaped hole in my heart… BUT! Spaghetti Squash helps trick my mind into believing that I’m having the real thing. Especially, when it’s prepared the right way and dressed with a ton of flavor like my Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms.
INGREDIENTS FOR SPAGHETTI SQUASH WITH MUSHROOMS
For 4 people, I purchased 2 small/medium spaghetti squash, so that I could serve each half in its own shell. Once garnished, the dish looked elegant and colorful. If you use a large squash, you’ll have to empty the spaghetti onto each individual plate. They would taste just great with the mushrooms and the rest of the ingredients, but you would not have the visual effect you see in my recipe. It’s purely esthetics, so use what you have.
Here is the full list of ingredients:
- 2 small/medium Spaghetti Squash (each cut in half)
- 8 oz Baby Bella Mushrooms
- 3 tbsp Feta Cheese (leave out for a vegan version)
- 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Fresh Italian Parsley
- 1/2 tbsp Fresh Thyme
- Chives for garnish
- Himalayan Salt
- Black Pepper
TIPS TO MAKE SPAGHETTI SQUASH
As mentioned above, for this dish I recommend small/medium squashes. That way, you can serve the spaghetti inside each half after scraping them out with a fork.
- First, halve the squash lengthwise with a very sharp, pointy knife. Go in with the point first and then rock the knife back and forth. Be careful, it will require a little work and some jiggling.
- Remove the seeds with a spoon or an ice cream scoop.
- Brush the inside with extra virgin olive oil. Be thorough and cover all the nooks and crannies.
- Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Lay halves face-down on a lined sheet pan and roast in the oven for 45 minutes at 400 F.
- Once cool enough to handle, scrape out the fibrous strands with a fork. Voilà! You have spaghetti!
Here is the recipe in motion for you. Besides being a huge crowd-pleaser, this recipe is really easy, affordable, and nutritious. Watch and cook along!
Before I leave you with the full printable recipe, I want to remind you that if you want a perfectly Vegan or Paleo version of this recipe, all you have to do is leave out the Feta cheese. For an AIP Paleo version, simply leave out the Feta and the Black Pepper. I promise you that there will be plenty delicious flavor that way, as well.
SPAGHETTI SQUASH WITH MUSHROOMS
ROASTED SPAGHETTI SQUASH
- 2 Spaghetti Squash small/medium
- 1.5 tbsp Olive Oil extra virgin
- ¼ tsp Salt Himalayan
- ¼ tsp Black Pepper ground
- 8 oz Mushrooms baby bella (chopped)
- 2 tbsp Parsley Italian (chopped)
- ½ tbsp Thyme Fresh (leaves only)
- 3 cloves Garlic chopped
- 3 tbsp Feta Cheese crumbled
- 1.5 tbsp Olive Oil extra virgin
- Salt to taste
- Black Pepper to taste
- Chives garnish
ROASTED SPAGHETTI SQUASH
- Preheat oven to 400 F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
- Carefully halve spaghetti squash lengthwise using a very sharp and pointy knife. Insert the pointy tip first and rock it back and forth. You’ll need to jiggle it quite a bit, so make sure you have a firm grip and proceed with caution
- Using a spoon or ice cream scoop, remove the seeds
- Brush the inside with oil thoroughly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
- Place the halves face-down on the lined baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, or until you can easily pierce them with a fork
- Remove from oven and set aside until they are cool enough to handle
- Using a fork, scrape the inside of each half and gather the "spaghetti". Fluff them up with the fork and leave them inside their individual shell
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and sautee the chopped garlic until lightly golden
- Add the chopped mushrooms (small chunks) and cook until soft
- Add the thyme leaves and a pinch of salt with black pepper to taste
SPAGHETTI SQUASH WITH MUSHROOMS (FINAL STEPS)
- Spoon the mushrooms onto each spaghetti squash half
- Sprinkle the crumbled Feta cheese on top
- Sprinkle with the chopped Parsley
- Using a pair of scissors, chop some chives on top for garnish
- Buon appetito! Enjoy!
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