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Low-Calorie Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Broccoli Breadcrumbs

Joy Bauer's paleo-friendly cheesy pasta
Joy Bauer's paleo-friendly cheesy pasta, on the TODAY show, August 30th 2016.Nathan R. Congleton / TODAY


  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 3/4 cup nonfat milk, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon whipped butter
  • 1/2 cup fresh broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Chef notes

    Creamy sauce, delicious pasta, and plenty of melted cheese — you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t love this classic comfort food. The only problem is this childhood favorite can cost you more than 1,300 calories. My healthy spin, which swaps the pasta for spaghetti squash, goes for just a fraction of that. 


    Microwave spaghetti squash for 4 minutes to soften.

    Slice off ends, then slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and pulp. Place squash (cut side down) in a microwave-safe baking dish with an inch of water. Microwave for 9 to 10 minutes.

    Once cool, use a fork to scrape out spaghetti-like strands and pat strands with paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible. Save squash shells for the mac n’ cheese “bowls.”

    In a small saucepan, add ½ cup nonfat milk, soy sauce, hot sauce, dry mustard, onion powder, and bring to a simmer.

    In a separate small bowl, mix corn starch with ¼ cup nonfat milk. Add to the saucepan, mix well, and continue to stir over medium heat for a few minutes until sauce starts to slightly thicken. Shut off heat. Add cheddar cheese and stir until melted. Add butter and stir.

    Pour cheese sauce over spaghetti squash and stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon evenly into the two squash shells.

    To make breadcrumbs: Pulse broccoli florets in food processor, for about 30 seconds. Mix broccoli with 2 to 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan and sprinkle on top of squash halves. Add a sprinkling of Kosher salt across each top, if desired.

    Bake in oven at 375˚ for 25 to 30 minutes until tops are browned.